February 2016: News from the Gabo Trust

Conference grants currently available:

Keep it Moving? Conserving Kinetic Art

30 June & 1 July 2016 at Palazzo Reale, Museo Del Novecento, Milan
Presented by Getty Conservation Institute, Museo Del Novecento, and Modern Materials and Contemporary Art working group of ICOM-CC, in partnership with International Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA) 

A two-day conference exploring the ethical dilemma and practical challenges associated with the conservation of kinetic works of art.

For further details, please visit the conference website
Deadline for application to Gabo Trust: 31 March 2016


Saving the Now: Crossing Boundaries to Conserve Contemporary Works

presented by IIC in collaboration with INCCA
12 –16 September at Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles

This congress will explore the challenge to conservators of the diverse concepts, materials and technologies used in the production of contemporary artworks.

For further details, please visit the conference website
Deadline for application to Gabo Trust: 31 May 2016
NOTE: initial enquiries should be made well before this date, to ensure there is sufficient time for the Gabo Trust to provide you with full application forms, if your enquiry is agreed to be relevant to the remit of the Gabo Trust.


To apply for grant aid from the Gabo Trust to attend either of these conferences, please contact the Gabo Trust secretary

Above: Museo Del Novecento, Milan


Recent Grant Recipients

Liesa Brierley (Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, London), Meng Ken Lee (Art Center, Cheng-Shiu University, Taiwan), Serena Vella (freelance conservator, Italy) and Agnieszka Wielocha (Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw) received grants from the Gabo Trust, to attend the conference, SPark: Conservation of Sculpture Parks, in Sisak, Croatia, last September. All four grant recipients gave presentations at the event, followed by informative reports to the Gabo Trust. Meng Ken Lee reported on how useful it was for him to attend, ‘My colleague and I were the only two presenters from Asia... the only participants located in a subtropical climate. The art of Taiwan will encounter many problems... I was pleased to share this and also get advice,’ 

Martha Singer (Atelier de Conservation LLC, New Jersey), was awarded a grant to attend the four-day masterclass, Identification, Degradation and Conservation of Plastics, in Amsterdam last September. Martha reported to the Gabo Trustees that ‘this course fulfilled my need for obtaining practical knowledge about how to understand, clean, and treat many plastics/ rubbers. It also gave an overview of treatments. And, most importantly, I was able to connect with a group of people who are practising in this field’.
Mark Kearney was able to complete his V&A internship through a six month Gabo Trust grant, during which he finalised his research into a protocol that can be used by conservators for cleaning plastic objects. The protocol was tried out on two synthetic plastics: Perspex and fibre-reinforced polyester (GRP), commonly found in modern sculpture collections.  

The Gabo Trust continues to give an annual bursary to a City & Guilds University of London student on the Sculpture Conservation course. This bursary is currently held by Trevor Boyd, who has just entered the third year of his BA course.
The Gabo Trust also regularly gives grants to conservators to attend the Conservation of Plastics course at West Dean. Lizzie Miller (Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery) has received a grant to join the February-March 2016 course. 

Surveys of modern and contemporary sculpture collections

Museums in the UK have a shortage of expert conservators of contemporary sculpture. In response to this need, the Gabo Trust has created a grant for specialist sculpture surveys of museum collections of modern and contemporary sculpture. The Trust has awarded grants to National Galleries of Scotland, Southampton City Art Gallery and Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, all of which have benefitted from the project. As a result of the advice from the survey, the Conservation Officer at Southampton City Art Gallery has successfully applied to the Henry Moore Foundation and the George Dannatt Trust for grants for the conservation of specific sculptures.  

Equipment grants for galleries, museums and associated institutions

The Gabo Trust also offers grants towards the purchase of equipment for museums and galleries with modern and contemporary sculpture collections, and to relevant educational institutions. For instance, the Trust awarded a grant to the Royal College of Art to create a Patination Room at its Foundry, and a further grant for a hoist in the Patination Room. The Bronze Foundry at the Royal College of Art remains one of its strongest assets. 

For further information about grants for sculpture surveys and equipment, as well as all other types of funding available from the Gabo Trust, please visit the 'grants' section of our website.