SF Museum of Modern Art hosts iPhone preservation initiative

Historians in the News
tags: historic preservation, iPhones




Putting an iPhone on display in an art museum is an easy, if still unusual, decision to make. Preserving an iPhone in such a way that museum-goers of the 22nd century will be able to appreciate its form and its function, as well as its role in cultural history, becomes somewhat trickier.

That’s one of the challenges that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is tackling through a new, curatorial-driven, artist-centric conservation program, The Artist Initiative, started this month with a $1.75 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program focuses on five separate areas within the museum’s collection, including high-tech product design....

Jill Sterrett, who oversees the new initiative as the museum’s director of collections and conservation, said the Mellon funding would be used to hire three additional staff members, including a program director, and to fund research.

The research is designed to be collaborative, bringing curators, conservators, artists or designers and scholars together. For example, Ms. Sterrett said, “We have a longstanding relationship with Ellsworth Kelly and do expect him to be involved. We’d also like to expand the circle of voices to include people who worked in his studio and conservators.”...




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