13 November 2019 / 4:30 am - 5:30 am

“Restoration must aim to re-establish the potential unity of the work of art, as long as this is possible without producing an artistic or historical faux and without erasing the passage of time”
-Cesare Brandi  

CIMA members who join us on November 13th, 2019 for a private tour of the Whitney’s conservation studio will have the chance to get a unique “back of the house” glimpse of where artwork is studied, cared for, and restored by conservation professionals before being displayed at exhibitions. The Whitney’s conservation department was founded in 2001, since then, the department has been extremely involved in the preservation and long-term care of works of art in the museum’s collection. The department embraces the multi-face approach to conservation, incorporating innovative approaches to the treatment and technical study of the works of contemporary and modern art that includes historical and scientific research, technical examination, and artist interviews.  

Guiding us on this tour of the conservation studio will be Carol Mancusi-Ungaro and Whitney conservation staff members. Carol serves as the Melva Bucksbaum Associate Director for Conservation and Research at the Whitney Museum of American Art and for over a decade as Founding Director of the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art at the Harvard Art Museums. For nineteen years she served as Chief Conservator of The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. During that time, she founded the Artists Documentation Program (ADP) wherein she interviews artists about the technical nature of their art. She has contributed to monographs on Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly, among other artists, and co-authored the catalogue raisonné of Barnett Newman. In 2004 she received the College Art Association/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation. In 2009 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, marking the Academy’s first recognition of art conservation. In January 2016 her work was featured in a New Yorker profile entitled “The Custodians” and later that year she was awarded the Forbes Prize by the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, its highest honor. She continues to engage in research documenting the materials and techniques of living artists as well as other issues pertaining to the conservation of modern art. 

On this tour, members will learn about the unique challenges faced in the conservation of contemporary art, and how conservationists address these problems and are proactive in the upkeep and care of the works of art.

Please note this tour is limited to 15 people. CIMA members will receive an email invite to the guided tour, and are invited to RSVP by email. Slots will be allotted on a first come basis.


Members receive free admission to CIMA, access outside of regular public hours, a copy of the annual catalogue, and invitations to exclusive events and receptions.