Conservation and Restoration

The Akademie der Künste’s conservators and restorers work to safeguard the wealth of holdings in the Archives, library and the memorial centres. The overriding aim is to preserve the holdings in the best possible condition for as long as possible for future generations.

The diversity of the mobile archival materials ranges from graphic art works and written documents to photographs, books, posters and architectural models, and includes the sculptures, paintings, clothing and furniture held in the museum collection. Since paper accounts for the largest group of materials, the focus in archival conservation is especially on restoring and conserving paper objects.

Assessing the condition of an exhibit

Preliminary study of the painting surface

Cleaning the surface of a file

Conservation treatment of a photomontage

Workspace for restoration

Assessing the condition of a typescript

Covers to store photographic items

Protective packaging for a small book

Environmental monitoring in the library

Preventive Conservation
To ensure the long-term preservation of cultural goods, effective measures to prevent or delay deterioration are essential. These include creating favourable environmental conditions, controlling light damage, drafting safety plans, and developing standards for contaminants control and transport. The conservators and restorers check and monitor the overall conditions, and work on interdisciplinary approaches to optimise them further.

Conserving and Restoring
Conservational methods and techniques stabilise endangered material structures, remove damaging substances or ensure that holdings are appropriately packaged to protect them. Applied in close cooperation with the Archives departments, such methods facilitate the comprehensive, long-term preservation of the extensive holdings without compromising the original materials.

Restoring Individual Items
In the Academy’s own restoration workshop, selected or particularly valuable objects in the holdings are restored either in-house or in cooperation with external restorers. The essential principle in all restoration work is to preserve the object’s uniqueness as an original source.

Supervising Exhibitions and Loans
The Academy Archives are an attractive partner for a broad range of exhibition projects. However, exhibition display and the transport required expose cultural goods to particular damaging effects. For this reason, supervising those exhibits on display is a further major task, carried out in close cooperation with the Registrars.