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Innovations: The Harvard Rothko Murals Project

Mark Rothko, Panel Five (Harvard Murals), 1962. Egg tempera and distemper on canvas. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from Harvard University, Gift of the Artist, 2011.638.5.
© Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Digitally restored scan of a 1964 Ektachrome transparency.

Special Event

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This roundtable discussion will examine the main proposition behind the museums’ current special exhibition, Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals. Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, will lead a conversation about the history, technology, and issues related to the digital projection conservation tool developed for the exhibition.

Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals presents a novel, noninvasive system of projected color compensation devised by conservation scientists from the museums’ Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies along with scientists from the MIT Media Lab and the University of Basel, Switzerland. This system returns color, pixel by pixel, to the Rothko murals once installed in the Holyoke Center (now the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center) at Harvard. The exhibition not only brings back the mural series to public view and scholarship, but encourages study and debate of the technology.

Joining curator Mary Schneider Enriquez will be members of the Rothko exhibition team, including Narayan Khandekar, senior conservation scientist in the Straus Center; Jens Stenger, conservation scientist in the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University; and Christina Rosenberger, research coordinator in the museums’ Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art.

Following the lecture, attendees are invited to visit the Rothko exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for lecture attendees until 8pm.

Free and open to the public; seating is first come, first served. Please enter the museums via the Broadway Street entrance.

The event will be held in Menschel Hall, Lower Level.

Support for this event is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.