Modern architecture + art : an analysis of preservation strategies for installed art



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The purpose of this Master’s Report was to determine an appropriate preservation strategy for a particular set of buildings and their accompanying art from the Modern Architecture Movement. The research question was: What type of strategy is best suited for the preservation of installed art created for Modern style buildings? The study analyzed preservation strategies afforded to Modern art and architecture during rehabilitation of the buildings. The case studies are Modern Movement office or bank buildings with art commissioned for the space by the architects or owners. An analysis of the main case study’s preservation strategies looks at all the actions taken and proposed to protect, not only the material fabric of the art, but the primary interior space. The main case study was the American National Bank building in Austin, Texas designed by Kuehne, Brooks and Barr Architects with a mural by Seymour Fogel. The secondary case studies were: Harry Bertoia sculpture + Manufacturers Trust Building, New York City, Pietro Belluschi mural + Equitable Building, Portland, Oregon, Richard Lippold sculpture + Inland Steel Building, Chicago, and Roger Darricarrere dalle de verre + Columbia Savings Buildings, Los Angeles. After study and analysis, the preservation strategies were categorized in four categories: in situ conservation, removal, recreation/replacement and demolition/destruction. It was concluded that there is not a general approach for these projects, and each should be analyzed through various factors (Design Intent, Intrinsic Value, Collaboration and Context) to determine the appropriate intervention.