The Cy Twombly Foundation has pledged funding for a conservatorship to be endowed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the site of Twombly’s first New York museum show. The newly created position—to be named the Cy Twombly Conservator of Paintings and supported by a gift of $2.5 million, according to Artnet News—will go to Matthew Skopek, who was joined the museum as an assistant conservator in 2007 and was promoted to associate conservator in 2015.
In a statement, Whitney director Adam D. Weinberg said, “This generous gift from the Cy Twombly Foundation is profoundly meaningful to the museum. … It is a deeply forward-looking and far-reaching commitment that will make a great difference to the Whitney not just over the next few years, but far into its future.”
The Whitney is also home to Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, a decorated conservator, who leads the museum’s department. She collaborated with Twombly for two decades and is currently at work on “a book about Twombly that explores the relationship between artist and conservator,” according to a press release.
Twombly Foundation president Nicola Del Roscio said, “Cy Twombly, like many other artists, was concerned about how art is restored, especially the treatment of paintings on canvas. I am sure that he would be very happy about our endowment of a position for restoration under the good auspices of Carol, and particularly at the Whitney, which sponsored the first retrospective of Twombly in America.”
Mancusi-Ungaro, who worked with the artist on the development of his namesake gallery at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, when she was a conservator there, added, “Exchanges with artists are central to our work, and recurrent conversations with Cy Twombly were instrumental in shaping our approach.”