The Kimbell Art Museum has announced 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,” said Eric M. Lee, director of 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. We look forward to the remarkable projects Shan will take on at the museum and her future scholarly contributions to the field of conservation.”
Kuang has 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 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 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.”
Information for this article was provided by the Kimbell Art Museum.