The Blanton Museum of Art recently announced via social media that Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin will close from September 7 through November 1, 2022 for conservation purposes.
According to the museum’s website, black streaks of mold have developed on the exterior of the limestone building. A representative for the museum told Glasstire that the mold was first identified in 2020, two years after the building opened to the public. However, the conservation was timed to coincide with construction on the museum’s new grounds as infrastructure to complete the work will already be in place. Austin will undergo other conservation work during this time too, including the cleaning of its floors and windows, the repainting of its interior walls, and care for the space’s wood totem.
Mold growth is a common occurrence on limestone buildings, and also affects other limestone buildings on the University of Texas campus, where the Blanton is situated. With the guidance of an architectural conservator, the museum has identified materials that will safely remove the mold. Following the mold removal process, a water-resistant coating will be applied to the exterior of the building to protect it in the future. The coating will need to be reapplied in five years.
Though the museum does not have any in-person reopening events planned for this fall, on November 9, it will host an online Curated Conversation about Mr. Kelly’s process of creating postcard collages. The talk is in coordination with the upcoming exhibition Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards, which will be on view from August 27 through November 27, 2022. Additionally, the museum is in the process of planning a celebration next year for the 5th anniversary of Austin, and what would have been Mr. Kelly’s 100th birthday.
As noted on the museum’s website, the closure dates are subject to change.