Press Release

New Foundation Dedicated to Art Historical Research and Digital Archiving Projects Announces First Initiatives

New York, NY

Elizabeth Gorayeb Appointed Executive Director of New Institute

The Wildenstein Plattner Institute (WPI), a new foundation dedicated to advancing art historical scholarship by fostering the accessibility, cataloguing, and digitization of primary sources, was publicly launched today. The WPI was cofounded by Guy Wildenstein, president of Wildenstein & Company, and Hasso Plattner, a leading entrepreneur in digital technology and an international benefactor of arts and education.

Elizabeth Gorayeb has been appointed executive director of the WPI. Gorayeb previously served as the senior vice president and director of research at Sotheby’s. She has led many significant research projects over the course of her career and has lectured internationally on research and attribution practices. She will be based in the WPI’s headquarters in New York and is building a team of researchers, technology experts, and administrators to support the Foundation’s work.

The WPI will collaborate with scholars, artists, and archivists to advance important art historical research projects and new scholarship, through the production of publications and the digitization and cataloguing of primary sources. Among the WPI’s first major initiatives will be the launch of its publishing imprint, with the publication of the Jasper Johns catalogue raisonné of painting and sculpture. The unprecedented volume is authored by Dr. Roberta Bernstein, author of Jasper Johns’s Paintings and Sculptures, 1954‐74: The Changing Focus of the Eye, which is regarded as the most comprehensive study of the first 20 years of the artist’s career. Conceived and initiated by Guy Wildenstein, the project is being produced in close collaboration with the artist.

In addition to the launch of its publishing imprint, the WPI is developing a long-term strategy and implementation plan to digitize primary source materials and establish a robust digital inventory that will support new research and increase the accessibility of these materials to scholars. Through symposia, lectures, and other public programs around the world, the WPI will convene scholars, museum professionals, students, and the public to promote advancements in provenance research and present significant contributions to the field of art history.

“I am honored to be leading WPI’s development and spearheading our first projects to launch WPI’s publishing imprint and improve access to primary archives,” said Gorayeb. “Throughout my career, primary source material has been of fundamental importance in provenance research and building greater understanding of artists and their practices, yet it is so often not readily accessible. The Jasper Johns catalogue raisonné is the first of many essential publications to be supported by WPI, and I also look forward to exploring digital strategies that may facilitate and enhance the work of scholars for years to come.”

About Elizabeth Gorayeb

Elizabeth Gorayeb has specialized in art historical research on the provenance and attribution of works of art for nearly two decades. As the senior vice president and senior specialist in the Impressionist and Modern Art department at Sotheby’s and as director of research for 17 years, Gorayeb led provenance research and restitution projects in the London, Paris, and New York offices. Her research has facilitated the reattribution of major works of art, including an important sculpture by Gauguin, and led to the rediscovery of a painting by Venezuelan artist Arturo Michelena deemed lost for 70 years. Gorayeb has lectured internationally about attribution and provenance research, including presentations at Columbia University Law School, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires; Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal; and National Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; among others.

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Elizabeth Gorayeb

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Catalogue Raisonné of the Painting and Sculpture of Jasper Johns To Be Published in April 2017
13 December 2016