The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University has been awarded two major federal grants totaling $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the conservation of the landmark mural and masterpiece by modern artist Joan Miró.
The announcement of the Ulrich Museum as a grant recipient from both organizations this year is significant because the Ulrich is the only Kansas museum to receive both the NEA and IMLS grants in 2012 and is the only Kansas museum to receive the maximum grant amounts from the NEA ($100,000) and IMLS ($150,000).
The funds from the grants, written and submitted by Ulrich Museum director Patricia McDonnell, will support the second year of the five-year undertaking to conserve "Personnages Oiseaux" ("Bird People"), the 26-by-52-foot glass-and-marble mosaic. The mosaic was created specifically for the Ulrich Museum and installed on its facade in 1978.
The mosaic was taken down in fall 2011 in preparation for treatment; 33 years of exposure to extreme weather in Kansas has taken its toll on the 80-panel mosaic.