Denver Art Museum to conserve Acoma Pueblo textiles

During the initial curatorial consultation, John Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon curator of Native arts, and Dakota Hoska, assistant curator of Native arts, joined Sarah Melching, Allison McCloskey, and Marina Hays from the Denver Art Museum conservation department to examine a selection of the Acoma Pueblo Textiles that will receive conservation treatment.
During the initial curatorial consultation, John Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon curator of Native arts, and Dakota Hoska, assistant curator of Native arts, joined Sarah Melching, Allison McCloskey, and Marina Hays from the Denver Art Museum conservation department to examine a selection of the Acoma Pueblo Textiles that will receive conservation treatment.
(From left to right) John Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon curator of Native arts, Dakota Hoska, assistant curator of Native arts, and Marina Hays, Mellon Textile Conservation Fellow, closely examine an Acoma Pueblo shawl.
courtesy Christina Jackson and Eric Stephenson
courtesy Christina Jackson and Eric Stephenson
courtesy Christina Jackson and Eric Stephenson

In an effort to preserve artistic traditions and support the Acoma Pueblo community, the Denver Museum of Art (DAM) is restoring one of its most culturally significant collections, the Acoma Pueblo Textiles.Through the 2021 Bank of America Art Conservation Project (ACP), the Denver Art Museum will conserve 12 mantas (or shawls), made by Acoma Pueblo artists between 1850 and 1935. The textiles were acquired either by purchase or by bequest between 1936 and 1983.

The textiles exhibit a range of condition issues that significantly impact their appearance, prevent their safe display, and threaten their long-term preservation. If not addressed, their damage and soiling will contribute to fiber degradation and increase the risk of pest activity. The conservation project will take place between August 2021 and May 2022 and work will be conducted on site at DAM.

The private sector has a role to play in keeping the arts thriving in our communities, especially after the challenges faced by museums over the past year with closures and severely limited in-person visitor options. Through the ACP program, the bank provides grants to nonprofit museums across the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration. Acoma Pueblo Textiles are one of a select group of 23 Art Conservation Projects announced this year by Bank of America. Recipients are based in 13 countries and nine U.S. cities.

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