Duties and responsibilities
The Conservation Science Department is a scientific department dealing with topics connected to the study and preservation of objects held in the collections of the KHM and its affiliated institutions. The main tasks cover the research of artistic techniques and historic materials, the investigation of alteration and corrosion processes, the improvement of analytical techniques used in art analysis as well as the so-called preventive conservation, a topic very important to museums and collections.
Due to a close co-operation of the Conservation Science Department and the restoration departments of the museum specific concepts for the restoration and prevention of objects for future generations can be developed for single objects or groups of objects. In addition, the Conservation Science Department acts as a contact point for performing external analyses in co-operation with Austrian and international research institutes.
Results from the investigations are presented at Austrian and international scientific meetings and are published in different kinds of journals, e.g. also in the KHM’s own series called “Technologische Studien”.
The Conservation Science Department mainly deals with requests from the KHM, MVK and ÖTM. Depending on the availability of ressources investigations for external customers, e.g. other museums and collections or freelanced restorers, can also be performed when paid for by the customer. Expertises concerning the authenticity of objects or their dating are generally not done.