Denver Art Museum and Denver Zoo team up to restore 367-year-old painting

With the help of Bank of America, the Denver Art Museum and Denver Zoo recently teamed up for a project to conserve a an 18th-century Cristóbal de Villalpando painting, “The Virgin of Va Ivanera.”
De Villalpando is one of the most accomplished artists of the colonial period in Mexico.

The Denver Art Museum borrowed a mobile x-ray, usually used for large animals, from the Denver Zoo to look at what lies underneath the centuries old large-scale oil painting. In addition to the x-ray machine, a radiologist and a veterinarian helped museum employees understand what they were seeing. Watch the process in action on Denver’s CBS 4 News.

The analysis results will assist conservators through the conservation process. Once conservation is complete, the museum will put the painting on view, accompanied by printed and electronic interpretative materials that will tell the story of the conservation process from beginning to end.

Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project funded the analysis and conservation of the painting.

Through programs like the global Art Conservation Project, the bank promotes art and culture in communities all over the world. The Art Conservation Project helps protect artistic treasures for future generations and in turn makes it easier for more people to enjoy them.

In December, the bank announced that it would provide funding for 21 major conservation projects in 2017, including the project at the Denver Art Museum.

To date, the Art Conservation Project has helped restore over 85 artworks in 28 countries around the world.

This program is one of the many ways Bank of America has demonstrated longstanding support of the arts. In Denver specifically, the bank was the presenting sponsor of Wyeth: Jamie and Andrew in the Studio, loaning three corporate collection Andrew Wyeth pieces to the exhibition and launching the Museums on Us® partnership with the Denver Art Museum in 2015. Coming up in 2017, the bank will also sponsor Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, featuring the work of 13 emerging and mid-career Latino artists and their unique points on view of the definition of place for the Denver community to engage and enjoy.


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