OKCMOA Selected As a 2019 Bank of America Art Conservation Project Grant Recipient:

"Triumph of Washington" Undergoes Conservation

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has been selected as a 2019 Bank of America Art Conservation Project grant recipient to conserve its recent acquisition Triumph of Washington by Gardner Hale. The grant funding will help preserve the monumental mural executed in 1931 for future generations.

This large-scale painting—measuring 165” x 293”—has not been exhibited publicly since George Washington’s Bicentennial exhibition in 1932. Upon unrolling, abrasions and losses to the paint surface, stains, tears to the canvas, and water damage were discovered that require treatment before it can be publicly displayed in the upcoming exhibition Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression, opening November 2, 2019.

“The Museum’s holdings in the area of American art of the Great Depression remains one of the strengths of its collection, beginning with twenty-eight works created as part of the W.P.A.’s relief efforts during the second half of the 1930s,” said Dr. Michael Anderson, Interim President and C.E.O. “Completed during the early stages of the Great Depression, Hale’s Triumph of Washington features General Washington on horseback, leading his troops before a modern cityscape. Thanks to Bank of America, the conservation of this work will further a preexisting area of strength in the Museum’s collection—providing new avenues for interpretation of both Washington’s legacy and the role of the arts in the Great Depression.”

This project comes ahead of OKCMOA’s fall 2019 exhibition, Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression. Conservation of the artwork is imperative as it will stand as one of the headlining works of art in the exhibition. This grant award adds to the long list of significant ways Bank of America has been a loyal supporter of the Museum, with a partnership spanning two decades. Bank of America has sponsored educational programs such as Drop-In Art and Gallery + Studio, and continues to serve as a “Museums on Us” partner, providing free admission to Bank of America cardholders the first full weekend of each month.
“The Museum has long stood as a vibrant cultural beacon connecting our community to art and art history,” said Tony Shinn, Oklahoma City market president, Bank of America. “It speaks volumes to the prestige of the Museum and its collection that it was selected for the bank’s global Art Conservation Project, and our local team is exceedingly proud to add to their legacy of excellence in preservation and creating access to the arts.”

The conservation of Triumph of Washington by Gardner Hale is one of 22 Art Conservation Projects announced at this year’s recipient announcement event hosted by Bank of America on October 16 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Recipients in 10 countries and 11 U.S. cities are receiving grant funding through the 2019 Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Triumph of Washington by Gardner Hale is in select company as a 2019 recipient. The selection of works being recognized as 2019 ACP recipients includes The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh and The Bather by Paul Cezanne – The Museum of Modern Art, New York.