Conservator Jim Coddington Joins Joan Mitchell Foundation Board

Jim Coddington doing restoration work on a large Jackson Pollock painting
Photo: Ruth Fremson / The New York Times

We are pleased to announce the appointment of conservator Jim Coddington to the Joan Mitchell Foundation's Board of Directors for a three-year term. Coddington recently retired from the Museum of Modern Art where he was chief conservator from 1996 to 2016. Prior to his appointment to the Foundation’s Board, from 2019 to 2020, Coddington served as an advisor to the Foundation’s Legacy Committee, a group of board members who work closely with staff to support planning around the preservation, documentation, and research of the Foundation’s artwork and archival collections as well as other aspects of stewardship of artist Joan Mitchell’s legacy. The announcement follows the appointments of finance specialist Marc Chennault and artist Paul Ramírez Jonas to the Board in 2020.

“Jim brings to our Board a real grounding in the care and stewardship of collections—knowledge that is essential to the Foundation’s work in preserving and enhancing knowledge of Joan Mitchell’s art and legacy. His understanding of how organizations engage with and uphold their missions is equally valuable,” said Christa Blatchford, Executive Director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. “I look forward to having his voice at the table as we continue to cultivate scholarship on Mitchell's career and expand our support for artists. The Board is integral to ensuring the Foundation lives up to its vision and goals, and I want to thank all of the members, past and present, for their commitment and for sharing their expertise and time.”

Jim Coddington first joined the conservation department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1987 and most recently served as the Agnes Gund Chief Conservator. He also recently served as the Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor of Conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU (2019) and as a visiting conservator at the Courtauld Institute (2010). He has published widely on a spectrum of subjects, from important technical topics such as structural restoration of paintings, development of color accurate documentation of art, and multi-spectral analysis of paintings, to more broad-based texts on the theory and practice of conservation and the common methodologies of art history and conservation. He has also published studies of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Miro, among others. Coddington holds a degree in conservation from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree from Reed College. He is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation, and an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts.

I am very pleased to be joining the Joan Mitchell Foundation Board and to work with the staff and Board to further its mission. As a conservator of modern art, the Foundation's dual purposes of preserving an artist’s legacy and furthering the work of contemporary artists have been core to my professional life as well. I look forward to bringing that experience to the Foundation and its work,” said Coddington.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Joan Mitchell Foundation serve three-year terms, with a maximum of two consecutive terms. Effective January 1, 2021, three long-serving members are departing the Board due to term limits: Ronald Bechet, Theodore S. Berger, and Michele Tortorelli. The current Board members and officers are: Jean Shin, President; Miranda Lash, Vice President; Linda Usdin, Dr.PH., Secretary; Sandy S. Lee, Treasurer; Marc Chennault; Jim Coddington; Kemi Ilesanmi; Paul Ramírez Jonas; and Juan Sánchez.

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