Adopt An Artwork

JJ at Speed Aug 2017
Jamye Jamison examining a study for a stained glass window by Elihu Vedder, entitled, “Morning” (ca. 1888). Image courtesy of the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.

Since 2017, Jamison Art Conservation has collaborated with the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on their Adopt An Artwork program. The curators at the Speed, working with conservators like Jamye, assessed their collections and identified objects in particular need of care. The museum then created a website that allows members of the public to review a list of the objects, together with a description of the type of conservation each item requires, and its estimated cost. The Speed invites its supporters to “adopt” an individual piece by underwriting the cost of its conservation. Those who adopt works in the Speed collection receive:

  • A short dossier on the work chosen.
  • An opportunity to discuss with the curator the issues surrounding the object, why it needs repair or restoration, and the conservation process.
  • A color photo of the sponsor with the adopted object installed in the gallery.
  • A credit line on the gallery label giving recognition to the adoptive sponsor, good for five years.

Nearly 20% of the objects initially identified have already been adopted. The Speed Art Museum has crafted an innovative program that both ensures the long-term health of its collections and also engages the public as stewards of our common cultural heritage.