Carol Mancusi-Ungaro
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For this episode we are back in the conservation lab, visiting with Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Melva Bucksbaum Associate Director for Conservation and Research at the Whitney Museum of American Art. If you were to visit the Whitney today and see the lab and the department that Carol leads, you might find it hard to believe that none of it existed back when she joined the Whitney. In 2001 Carol not only became the museum’s first director of conservation, but also its first staff conservator. In our chat we hear all about the incredible work that Carol has done over the past 20+ years at the Whitney, but the story goes much further back, prior to arriving at the Whitney, Carol spent a prior 20+ stint as the first conservator at the Menil Collection in Houston. Having originally trained and studied art that was centuries old, at the Menil Carol suddenly found herself dealing with modern and contemporary art and all the special and unique challenges that emerge when a conservator is faced with art where the paint has barley just dried. Carol found that talking directly to artists and their collaborators about the practical and technical aspects of their work was crucial in her work as a conservator — long before this was a common thing for conservators to do. This interview practice was eventually formalized and became the Artist Documentation Program, generating hours upon hours of footage of Carol and her former colleagues chatting with artists like Ann Hamilton, Ed Ruscha, Sarah Sze, Josh Kline, just to name a few. Today artist interviews have become a central part of conservation practice, so I was very excited to sit down with Carol, to interview the interviewer and hear what she has learned over decades as a leader the field of conservation. Links from the conversation with Carol > Artist Documentation Project: > The Whitney Replication Committee: Get access to exlusive content - join us on Patreon! > Join the conversation: Support artists Art and Obsolescence is a non-profit podcast, sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, and we are committed to equitably supporting artists that come on the show. Help support our work by making a tax deductible gift through NYFA here:
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