The Bank of America Art Conservation Project, founded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is again calling for submissions from non-profit cultural organisations across Asia Pacific who need funds to restore significant or heritage artworks and artefacts. More details in the press release published below, sent out by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in May 2011.

Hashem Madani, Sha'ia, Studio Shehrazade, Saida, Lebanon, 1970’s. Collection: AIF/Hashem Madani. Copyright © Arab Image Foundation. From Akram Zaatari's Objects of Study/The archive of Studio Shehrazade/Hashem el Madani/ Studio Practices.

This image is part of a collection 2010 grant winner Arab Image Foundation used the money to restore. Image courtesy Arab Image Foundation.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Announces Unique Art Conservation Project To Restore Asia Pacific Cultural Treasures

Hong Kong – Bank of America Merrill Lynch has today announced the launch of a major initiative to help conserve important works of art and cultural treasures across Asia Pacific. The Bank of America Art Conservation Project will provide grants to restore cherished artworks and artifacts to preserve their cultural value for future generations.

Non-profit cultural institutions across Asia Pacific are being invited to apply for the project.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, 30 June 2011.

Brian Brille, Asia Pacific President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “By launching this program in the Asia Pacific region, our company hopes to play a meaningful role in bringing attention to the cultural treasures of many nations while highlighting the growing need for conservation. Bringing this project to Asia marks the next phase in work in this area, after having provided funding to restore numerous arts treasures from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.”

This project is part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s continuing commitment to supporting arts and culture on an international scale. The company’s programme of support is underpinned by the firm belief that the arts play a crucial role in fostering global cultural awareness and understanding.

The Bank of America Art Conservation Project was piloted in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2010, and saw works from 10 countries receiving funding for conservation, including Pablo Picasso’s Mujer en azul (Woman in Blue) from the collection at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and a selection of photographs from the Arab Image Foundation. This year, it will provide funding to restore art works across the globe, in Asia Pacific, EMEA and the U.S.

Rena De Sisto, Global Arts and Culture executive at Bank of America said: “Museums around the world are full of treasures that either represent significant cultural value to that region or play their part in the history of art internationally. It is extremely important to preserve these treasures for future generations to experience to gain an increased understanding of the diversity of artistic traditions around the world. We encourage all non-profit institutions with significant works of art requiring conservation to apply and potentially benefit from this unique project.”

During 2011, Bank of America will seek applications from non-profit arts organisations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a long history as a supporter of the arts in Asia. Amongst others, the bank is the title sponsor of the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, and a sponsor of the Jaipur Literature Festival in India.

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Bank of America Art Conservation Project
2010 Case Study – ‘Picasso goes back to Blue’

Woman in Blue, painted in 1901 by a young Picasso at the beginning of his Blue Period, is one of the Reina Sofia’s most important and popular works, with approximately two million visitors viewing it every year. Over recent decades, following an earlier restoration procedure involving the liberal application of varnish, Woman in Blue became greener than her intended blue. The contrast between lighter and darker areas consequently seemed more muddied, and the painting lost much of its original drama.

The restoration effort is currently being carried out by a team of eight experts in the Reina Sofia’s own conservation studio, who have carried out close analysis of the painting using visible light macro photography, infrared reflectography, UV light and radiography. They will shortly begin to remove the layer of varnish in order to reveal the painting’s original colours, as well as leaving Picasso’s first brushstrokes more clearly visible and more easily appreciated. The Woman in Blue will be back on public display in September 2011, and visitors to the museum will finally be able to view her in all her former glory.

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch

As a company doing business in more than 150 countries, and with nearly 300,000 employees, Bank of America helps a broad spectrum of arts programmes thrive. Support comes in many forms such as grants, sponsorships and loans to museums from its own art collection, and most recently, the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Other current or near term programmes include: sponsorship of Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World at The British Museum; global sponsorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; sponsorship of Manet: The Man who Invented Modern Art at Musée D’Orsay, Paris, and exhibitions from the Bank of America Art Collection at the Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris, and Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

Bank of America supports nearly 6,000 arts organisations worldwide, in the belief that greater cultural understanding can foster increased opportunities for all.

Back in April 2011, Art Radar took a closer look at 2010 grant winner Arab Image Foundation. Click here to read about what the Arab Image Foundation plans to do with their conservation grant from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.


Related Topics: non-profit art organisations, funding

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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