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clyfford still | museum
Two women look up at an abstract blue, white, black and orange painting and smile
Photo by Brent Andeck Photography

Spotlight: Inside Collections Care and Conservation

Sep 15, 2023–May 5, 2024

As CSM’s first complete chronological installation in more than two years and the third installment in CSM’s “Spotlight” series, this installation seeks to reacquaint visitors with a thorough overview of Clyfford Still’s sixty-year career—with a twist. Conservation-themed “spotlights” are integrated throughout all of CSM’s nine galleries to delve into the theory, process, and conservation techniques as they relate to the work of Clyfford Still.

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Each conservation vignette explores a specific issue or topic relevant to CSM’s collections, offering viewers an enhanced understanding of Still’s process, materials, and artwork through a conservator’s lens at the Clyfford Still Museum. Spotlights are revealed through interpretative gallery text, scientific imagery, and related artworks and build in complexity over the installation. This organization provides the viewer with a linear way of understanding the technical and philosophical scope of modern conservation and preservation-related practices and how they relate to CSM’s collection.

Co-curated by CSM conservators James Squires, Pam Skiles, and associate curator, Bailey Placzek, this exhibition includes never-before-seen works by Clyfford Still, behind-the-scenes views of museum collections and conservation practices, and archival objects illustrating Still’s art-making process and preservation philosophy.

Fluttery white forms fill this composition, intermingling at the top center quadrant with a black form that has been covered entirely by fatty acid bloom or translucent white paint. An orange lifeline runs through the center of the composition from top to bottom edge.
Clyfford Still, PH-1026, 1959. Oil on canvas, 83 5/8 x 67 in. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO. © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY

Digital Guide

Enjoy more ways to connect to the collection and our Museum with the new Clyfford Still Museum mobile guide, available on the free arts and culture app Bloomberg Connects, available via Google Play or the App Store. Scan the QR code to download Bloomberg Connects and find CSM’s digital guide. Access behind-the-scenes audio and video content and commentary from curators and our community in the digital guide.

QR code

A woman's hand holds a phone and takes a picture of a QR code on a black wall
Photo by Brent Andeck Photography

Behind the Scenes: Conservation of PH-1026, Part I

Clyfford Still painted PH-1026 in 1959, but the painting looks very different in our collection today. Watch as CSM’s chief conservator James Squires and senior paintings conservator Pam Skiles take a close look at the painting and discover what has occurred as it has aged.

Behind the Scenes: Conservation of PH-1026, Part II

There are many ways to bring PH-1026 closer to the condition Clyfford Still imagined in 1959. Listen in as CSM’s chief conservator James Squires and senior paintings conservator Pam Skiles present their findings to director Joyce Tsai and curator of collections Bailey Placzek and discuss strategies to prepare PH-1026 for exhibition.

Behind the Scenes: Conservation of PH-1026, Part III

Take a peek into the treatment process of PH-1026 with CSM’s chief conservator James Squires. Using both mechanical and physical conservation techniques on a portion of the painting, PH-1026 returns to its original state before our eyes.