Insider Focus: Television in the Whitney’s Collection

THU, Sep 17, 2015
4:30–5:30 pm

Insider Series Members in the Curate Your Own Program

In this presentation Whitney senior technician Richard Bloes and consulting conservators Reinhard Bek and Christine Frohnert speak about ongoing research and preservation projects at the Museum and discuss the efforts required to display television-based works in America Is Hard to See. The exhibition includes many examples of film and video art, illustrating artists’ ongoing engagement with time-based and electronic image media. Nam June Paik’s Magnet TV (1965) is an important early example of his “prepared televisions” that paved the way for his revolutionary, multichannel video sculptures, including V-yramid (1982). Earl Reiback’s Thrust (1969) also deconstructs the composition of a television set by manipulating its cathode ray tube to almost psychedelic ends. Both Paik and Reiback transformed televisions into sculptural objects, setting important precedents for later artists. Displaying these iconic works, as well as other electronic media pieces, is impossible without continuing conservation. 

Richard Bloes is a senior film and video technician in the Whitney’s exhibitions department as well as a practicing artist. Reinhard Bek and Christine Frohnert, consulting conservators at the Whitney, are partners at bek&fronhnert LLC, a New York–based art conservation studio focused on modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, and kinetic and electronic media art.

Insider Series members are invited to select one of two options on Thursday, September 17:

Option 1: 
4:30–5:30 pm
Option 2: 7–8 pm

Open to Insider Series members. Become a member, or upgrade your membership by calling (212) 570-3641 or emailing

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