SAM has received a $3.5 million challenge grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow the Asian Paintings Conservation Center at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The only one of its kind in the western United States, the Center will be devoted to the conservation, mounting, and study of Asian paintings, serving SAM’s collection as well as institutional and private collections in the region. As part of the grant, SAM must raise $2.5 million in matching funds over four years to create an endowment supporting the Center’s operation.
“We are honored by this generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, and grateful for their stewardship and guidance as we’ve developed plans for the Center,” says Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. “This is a significant step forward for this exciting project.”
“Establishing the Asian Paintings Conservation Center will fill a critical need for the field,” says Nicholas Dorman, SAM’s Chief Conservator. “This grant from the Mellon Foundation will help SAM and numerous institutions preserve these important works and the global cultural heritage they represent.”
The Center will be a highlight of the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion, estimated for completion in 2019. The major project planned for the 1933-era building addresses critical infrastructure issues and adds muchneeded education and gallery space, in addition to creating this singular opportunity to establish a conservation center. A notable feature of the Center will be that visitors can observe the conservation facility through a viewing window, as well as displays featuring conservation projects and processes.