The Kimbell Art Museum announced today the hiring of Shan Kuang as Conservator of Paintings. Kuang previously served as Associate Conservator and Research Scholar at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she worked on Old Master paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Shan Kuang to the Kimbell. She takes a place in the long lineage of outstanding conservators who have worked in one of the first purpose-built museum conservation studios in the U.S.,” said Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell. “We look forward to the remarkable projects Shan will take on at the museum and her future scholarly contributions to the field of conservation.”
Prior to joining the Kimbell in summer 2022, Kuang researched and conserved Italian works from a range of schools and periods, including paintings by Lippo di Benivieni, Vittore Carpaccio, Sebastiano del Piombo, Jacopo Pontormo, Guido Cagnacci and Canaletto. She additionally taught conservation graduate students in studio-classrooms and worked to create an interactive, open access website to house conservation images and technical studies of paintings from the dispersed Samuel H. Kress Collection, one of the most important collections of Old Master pictures in the United States.
“I look forward to working in a collaborative environment, for which the Kimbell is notable,” said Kuang. “It is a privilege to continue working on paintings of great quality, an opportunity afforded by the Kimbell’s incredible permanent collection and special exhibitions.”
Kuang holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Yale University and completed her graduate training in the conservation of easel paintings at the University of Cambridge’s Hamilton Kerr Institute. She held a post-graduate internship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and work placements at the Royal Collection Trust, Simon Bobak Conservation, and Yale University Art Gallery. Kuang will continue to build on her expertise in Old Master paintings – including the present conservation and study of Jupiter Among the Corybantes by Giuseppe Maria Crespi – and will help assume the care of American paintings from peer institutions.
While the Kimbell’s conservation studio primarily cares for the museum’s internationally renowned permanent collection, it also serves as a critical resource for the North Texas museum community and other museums and private collections across the country. The department’s setup comprises specialized equipment used for technical analysis of art works, including a camera for infrared reflectography and an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanner. Kuang joins Peter Van de Moortel, who joined the Museum in 2017 and was appointed Chief Conservator in 2021.
“Shan Kuang has distinguished herself in the field of paintings conservation and is a key addition to the department,” said Van de Moortel. “She brings not only experience and valuable insight to the role of conservator, but enthusiasm and warmth. It is a pleasure to welcome her to the Kimbell and the Fort Worth community.”
The Kimbell is supported in part by Arts Fort Worth, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Promotional support is provided by American Airlines, NBC5, and PaperCity.
Admission to the museum’s permanent collection is always free. Special exhibition admission is $18 for adults; $16 for seniors, K–12 educators, students and military personnel; $14 for ages 6–11; free for children under 6; and $3 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Admission is half-price all day on Tuesdays and after 5 p.m. on Fridays.
The Kimbell Art Museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fridays, noon–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m.; closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For general information, call 817-332-8451.
ABOUT THE CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT
Prior to the construction of the Louis I. Kahn Building, founders Kay and Velma Kimbell envisioned a conservation program to “preserve for future generations what has been entrusted to its care.” The pre-architectural program, dated 1966, called for a conservation studio with an “open studio work area” with the caveat: “must face north, with entire wall glazed; it is impossible to get enough light in this room!” With the building’s completion in 1972, the paintings conservation studio became one of the first purpose-built museum conservation studios in the United States.