Minneapolis Institute of Art Named as One of Bank of America Art Conservation Project Recipients to Conserve 17th-century Italian Painting

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MINNEAPOLIS—The Minneapolis Institute of Art announced today it has been selected as one of the 2022 Bank of America Art Conservation Project awardees to conserve Domenico Passignano’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise this year. The Italian painting is one of 19 Art Conservation Projects selected by the bank for 2022.

Support from Bank of America will fund conservation work needed to stabilize, clean, and renew the appearance and legibility of The Expulsion of Adam and Eve. Under the supervision of Mia, the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC), a non-profit regional center for the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts, will conduct the restoration. The MACC conservation facility is housed within the museum. Video documentation and a behind the scenes look at the conservation process are also in the works for Mia’s digital and social channels.

Passignano’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve was acquired by Mia in August 2020, along with two other paintings, all of which were commissioned by the prominent and influential Barberini family in Rome in the 1620s during the pontificate of the pontificate of Maffeo Barberini (reigned as Pope Urban VIII, 1623-44). The paintings–The Archangel Michael (c. 1624-26) by Cavaliere d’Arpino, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (early 1620s) by Cristoforo Roncalli, and The Expulsion of Adam and Eve–evoke the splendor of Baroque Rome in the seventeenth century and the triumphant message of the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation. The work by Arpino, acquired in pristine condition, is currently on view at Mia. Roncalli’s painting recently underwent conservation, leaving just the Passignano in need of restoration in order to be displayed in full brilliance in Mia’s galleries. These three paintings will be displayed near three other important paintings in the museum’s collection also from the Barberini collection: The Death of Germanicus (1627) by Nicolas Poussin, Adam Discover the Body of Abel (c. 1630-43) by Andrea Sacchi and his workshop, and Crucified Christ Triumphant over Death, Evil and Sin (1621) by Paolo Guidotti.

“The paintings by Arpino, Roncalli, and Passignano, all monumental in scale, are unusual for having remained together into the twenty-first century with direct descendants of the original patrons. Conservation of Passignano’s Adam and Eve will allow the painting to resume its place alongside the works by Arpino and Roncalli, where it has been for more than 400 years,” said Rachel McGarry, Mia’s Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings and Works on Paper. “Together, these three paintings will transform Mia’s Baroque gallery, giving visitors a new appreciation for Italian seventeenth-century art and emphasizing the central role art played in society, politics, and life during that period.”

This is the third time a piece in Mia’s collection has been selected for the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Mia previously was chosen for the Art Conservation Project for the conservation of Max Beckmann’s Blind Man’s Buff (1945) in 2013 and the conservation of Frank Stella’s Tahkt-I-Sulayman Variation II (1969) in 2017. Bank of America is one of Mia’s long-standing partners and has been involved with many projects, including as the Major Sponsor of Mia’s Family Day programming, Major Sponsor of the 2020-2021 exhibition “In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” and as Major Corporate Sponsor for the exhibit “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” in 2019.

“At Bank of America, we believe in the power of the arts to help our economy to thrive, to educate and enrich our community, and to create greater cultural understanding,” said Katie Simpson, President, Bank of America Twin Cities. “Mia is a world-class museum located right here in the Twin Cities and we support the essential work they are doing in our community to make art accessible to everyone.”

About Bank of America Art Conservation Project
The Bank of America Art Conservation Project provides grants to non-profit museums to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration, including works that have been designated as national treasures. Since 2010, Bank of America has funded the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces of art through more than 200 projects in 39 countries across six continents.