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Major 19th-century painting restored

Piguenit's much-loved painting is the first Australian project in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's global conservation initiative

WC Piguenit The flood in the Darling 1890 1895 Art Gallery of New South Wales

William Charles Piguenit’s The flood in the Darling 1890, painted in 1895, was chosen to be conserved through funds provided by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project. The conservation is complete and Piguenit’s much-loved painting will return to the walls of the Art Gallery of NSW on public display from Friday 21 September 2012.

The Art Gallery of NSW is the first Australian museum to be supported by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project, an initiative to help conserve important works of art and cultural treasures across the globe.

Twenty major museums around the world have benefited from the program, including the Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York; The Louvre, Paris; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London; Capital Museum, Beijing; Tokyo National Museum; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, Mumbai.

WC Piguenit was an important artist working in the 19th-century Romantic landscape tradition, capturing the form and spirit of the Australian landscape. This significant historical work depicts the momentous flood of the Darling River that submerged the town of Bourke in 1890. Rather than showing the tragic consequences, Piguenit has depicted the poetic beauty of the vast expanse of sky and water.

‘Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global art conservation initiative is a wonderful way to support the arts. This key painting in the Gallery’s collection is considered to be Piguenit’s finest work. The painting required cleaning and repair to the canvas, along with a major restoration of the magnificent original gilt frame. The project involved a number of the Gallery’s highly qualified conservators,’ said Wayne Tunnicliffe, head of Australian art, Art Gallery of NSW.

‘We are pleased to expand the Art Conservation Project in 2012 to encompass countries such as Australia and become a truly global program,’ said Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture executive at Bank of America. ‘Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes that understanding cultures through the arts is an important foundation for an increasingly more integrated world. We are fortunate to do business in more than 100 markets with employees around the world. Through the Art Conservation Project we are able to demonstrate our support for preserving the heritage of the local communities where we conduct business.’

Note to editors

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project is a major initiative to help conserve important works of art and cultural treasures across the globe. The Art Conservation Project provides grants to select institutions for the restoration of paintings, sculpture, archaeological or architectural pieces and other media in order to retain their cultural value for future generations.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project is an extension of the bank’s existing global commitment to supporting the arts, which is demonstrated through a multi-tiered program of sponsorships and grants, as well as loans of full exhibitions from its own collection at no cost to museums, through the Art in our Communities program

For a full description of each project and images, visit the Bank of America Arts & Culture website.

Conservation partner
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Media contact

Claire Martin
Tel 02 9225 1734
Mob 0414 437 588