The Kress Program in Painting Conservation was established to provide conservation and research for the approximately one thousand paintings in the dispersed Samuel H. Kress Collection↗, now part of the holdings of eighteen museums, twenty-three study collections, and assorted gift locations across the United States. The other, no less important, objective was to provide a unique opportunity to offer training to graduate art conservation students in the study and conservation of Old Master paintings. Hosted by the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University↗, over 220 Kress Collection paintings have received full treatment and documentation since the inception of the pilot program in 1989.
This website was created to house and freely share the reports, images, technical studies, and scholarship gathered over more than 30 years of research and conservation treatment. Open access examination reports, technical images (e.g. infrared reflectograms, x-radiographs), and pigment analyses are just a few of the resources that have been made available on the site in support of the mission of the Kress Foundation to advance the study, conservation, and general knowledge of European art. Past and future projects will continuously be updated on this site.
The Kress Program in Paintings Conservation has also supported publications in the field of Italian paintings history, technology, and conservation treatment, which are available on this site. One of the distinctive features of the Kress Collection is the abundance of Italian works, including artists and schools that are not well represented in American museums. This reflects the influence of Roberto Longhi, whose interests were not confined to the High Renaissance and the traditional Rome/Florence/Venice axis but ranged widely across the Italian peninsula and over later centuries, particularly the Baroque, which was not highly regarded by more traditional art historians, such as Bernard Berenson.