Jackson Pollock’s seminal work Mural (1943) speaks to a critical early moment in his career. Thanks to a two-year collaborative project undertaken by the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, the painting’s aesthetic impact and physical structure have been improved, and we now better understand the materials and techniques Pollock used.

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TOM LEARNER: In 1943, Jackson Pollock painted this extraordinary painting behind me, Mural. The painting was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her apartment in New York at the time. It was supposed to be an actual mural on the wall, but Pollo...