Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, today announced the appointment of Mark Leonard as the Museum’s first Chief Conservator, effective July 1, 2012. Leonard’s appointment signals the initial phase of the development of the DMA’s conservation program, which will include the addition of staff and the renovation of its onsite spaces to include a paintings conservation studio. Leonard, who stepped down in 2010 as the Head of the Paintings Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum to pursue his career as an artist, will work with Anderson and the DMA’s senior staff to establish the more comprehensive Conservation Department and further develop the Museum’s Collections and Exhibitions program, informed by his scholarship in the care and preservation of paintings from across the Museum’s encyclopedic collection.
The Conservation Department at the DMA currently has one staff conservator and a small conservation studio, devoted to the conservation of art objects. With the transformative growth of its collections over the last several decades, the Museum is taking the step to increase its in-house conservation capabilities, both to safeguard the quality of the works in its collection and to benefit from the research in materials and innovative techniques that conservation technology allows. Leonard’s appointment represents the launch of the DMA’s new conservation effort, with Leonard taking the lead upon his arrival this summer, in planning for the new paintings conservation studio and working to integrate the culture of conservation across the Museum’s collection departments.
“Mark brings tremendous experience in the conservation of paintings across a diverse range of historic periods, having previously worked with some of the most comprehensive encyclopedic collections in the nation, as well as internationally,” said Anderson. “I am delighted to welcome him to the Dallas Museum team, and I know that his knowledge of the latest conservation practices and enthusiasm for integrating conservation into the fabric of the museum experience will help the DMA meaningfully expand its conservation program for the benefit and enjoyment of our community.”
“The opportunity to work with a collection of the quality, breadth, and depth of that of the Dallas Museum of Art and to help broaden their conservation program provides me with a dynamic opportunity to impact the long-term growth not only of the Museum but of the arts community in Dallas,” said Leonard. “I am thrilled to be joining the Dallas Museum and to be part of this new venture with them.”
Leonard joined the Paintings Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1983, and served as the Head of the Paintings Conservation Department from 1998 until 2010. Prior to joining the Getty, Leonard worked in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for five years. He has restored selected paintings from the collections of the Frick Collection, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Yale Center for British Art, among many others, and has published extensively on topics relating to conservation study, treatment, technology, and technique. Leonard initially studied as an artist before pursuing degrees in art history and paintings conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Fundraising initiatives are underway for the expansion of the Dallas Museum of Art’s conservation program, and to date in excess of $1.1 million has been committed to it.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 25,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, and dramatic and dance presentations.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.