ChapterPDF Available

“Con Titolo”: the conservation treatment of a gouache painting on plywood (1986) by Gino De Dominicis. A comparative study of selected adhesives to carry out a fixing intervention on matte paint film.



Brief abstract of my Master's thesis project on a gouache painting on plywood (1986) by the Italian artist Gino De Dominicis: characterization of the constituent materials, analysis of the artwork, and conservation treatment (fixing and filling interventions).
Modern Materials - Contemporary Art
Triennium 2020 - 2023 / Newsleer 1
Modern Materials - Contemporary Art is the ofcial newsletter of the ICOM-CC Working Group
Modern Materials and Contemporary Art (MMCA)
June 2021
Modern Materials - Contemporary Art Newsleer
Newsleer of the ICOM-CC Working Group Modern Materials and Contemporary Art (MMCA)
Triennium 2021-2023 / Newsleer No 1 / Issue 12 / July 2021
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
the Coordinang Team
Conferences, Events and Courses
Conferences, Events and Courses
20 NEW
Research Projects and Programs
Friederike Waeng, Franziska Timmerman and
Hannah Schuermann
Publicaons and Resources
of ICOM-CC and Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art Working Group
ICOM-CC Modern Materials - Contemporary Art is the ocial
newsleer of the Working Group specialized in Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art from the Internaonal Council
of Museums Commiee for Conservaon (ICOM-CC).
Anna Laganà
Julia Langenbacher
Kendra Roth
Julia Langenbacher
Helena Ernst
ISSN number 2708-6682
Copyright © ICOM-CC 2021
Facebook page
Cover image
Super Nurse, free download via highsprayonpaint.
© “FAKE Art”
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Dear Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group members,
I would like to welcome you all to the rst Newsleer of
this 2020-2023 Triennium, and my rst Newsleer as
Coordinator. I am delighted and very excited to have the
opportunity to coordinate such a dynamic working group!
I am taking over from Rachel Rivenc, who has done a
fantasc job as Coordinator for two triennia and I would
like to greatly thank her and her team for the signicant
contribuons to this Working Group. During this me
they achieved a remarkable increase in the membership,
created a Facebook page, published amazing Newsleers,
and organized a very successful Interim Meeng. A special
thanks also to Lydia Beerkens who stepped down as
Assistant Coordinator aer three terms - 9 years. Thanks,
Lydia, for the great work!
This Triennium, the team of Assistant Coordinators is just
as incredible. Julia Langenbacher and Kendra Roth who
previously served as Assistant Coordinators are staying
on, and are joined by Helena Ernst, Ellen Jansen, Pia
Goschaller, and Flavia Perugini. The new Coordinang
Team will be introduced later in this Newsleer along
with our 2020-2023 Triennial Programme. This issue also
reports on the many and amazing outcomes and events
created in our eld during this pandemic, and aims to
reect on its impact to educaon in a very interesng
interview with professor Friederike Waeng and Masters
students Franziska Timmerman and Hannah Schuermann
from the Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences at the
University of Applied Sciences Cologne in Germany.
This last one and a half years has been challenging for all
of us. The pandemic deeply touched and altered our life
and work. However, the current Newsleer clearly shows
how our eld has navigated its way through these dicult
mes by adopng new technologies, nding alternave
soluons, and developing new ideas to create a variety of
projects and acvies, educate future professionals, oer
conferences, workshops, webinars and more.
In this Newsleer you will also nd announcements of
upcoming events and courses, three fascinang case
studies, recent publicaons, open posions, as well as a
new secon dedicated to current theses and dissertaons
on modern and contemporary art conservaon. We wanted
to create this secon to inform our members of the many
interesng research projects carried out every year in our
eld by students and PhD researcher, and to provide the
laer an opportunity to introduce their work to our larger
community, and hopefully facilitate connecons.
In fact, as Coordinator my goal is to increase the
involvement of students and young professionals, improve
the connecon between members, and promote and
facilitate exchanges of praccal experiences, research
ndings, ideas and quesons. I also aim to increase the
FROM YOUR COORDINATOR awareness of our group internaonally. Moreover, due to
the complexity of materials and overlapping disciplines
in the conservaon of contemporary art, I would like to
build collaboraons with other Working Groups to create
exchange and advance knowledge through joint acvies
and Interim Meengs.
Finally, I am glad to report on our ICOM-CC 19th Triennial
Conference Beijing Transcending Boundaries: Integrated
Approaches to Conservaon which was held May 17-
21, 2021 online. It was an incredible conference which
oered an amazing program and despite being virtual,
it was a wonderful moment of sharing, discussing and
connecng with professionals from all over the world.
Overall, 159 peer-reviewed papers and 99 posters were
presented across the 21 Working Groups. Our Working
Group had nine papers and ve posters focusing on ethical
consideraons in contemporary art, praccal and scienc
research, and case studies. On the last day, we had a fruiul
Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group
Planning Meeng (previously called Business Meeng)
in which we presented and discussed our Triennial
Programme for 2020-2023. A brief review of the sessions
at the conference and our Planning Meeng can be found
on page 12 of this Newsleer. Note that all papers from
the Triennial Conference Beijing will be open access on the
Publicaons Online Plaorm from 1 October 2021.
The 20th ICOM-CC Triennial Conference with the theme
Working Toward a Sustainable Past will be held in Valencia,
Spain, in September 2023 and I am looking forward to
meeng you there!
I would like to conclude by thanking our amazing Newsleer
Team, Assistant Coordinators Julia Langenbacher and
Kendra Roth for their incredible work on coordinang and
designing this Newsleer, and Helena for her tremendous
contribuon in this beauful design, as well as to all our
valuable contributors of this issue.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your comments,
quesons, feedback and suggesons, and follow us on
I hope you enjoy the Newsleer and wish you all a great
Anna Laganà
ICOM-CC Modern Materials and Contemporary Art
Working Group Coordinator
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
MEET the Coordinating Team
Working Group Coordinator
Anna Laganà is a modern and contemporary art conserva-
tor and researcher, specializing in the conservaon of plas-
cs. She earned a diploma in the conservaon of painngs
and modern and contemporary art from the Istuto Supe-
riore per la Conservazione e il Restauro in Rome.
Since 2016, Anna works as a Senior Research Specialist
at the Gey Conservaon Instute (GCI) within the
Modern and Contemporary Art Iniave, where she leads
projects, including the invesgaon of treatment opons
for plascs in collecons, and she develops workshops on
their conservaon. Before joining the GCI, Anna had the
opportunity to manage her own company and work within
larger instuons in varied roles, including as Coordinator
of the Contemporary Art Conservaon Laboratory at the
Centro Conservazione Restauro la Venaria Reale in Turin,
as a conservator/researcher at the Cultural Heritage
Agency of the Netherlands conducng research on
plascs conservaon, and as a lecturer at the University of
Amsterdam coordinang the Postgraduate program 1 (PI1)
in Conservaon of Modern and Contemporary Art.
She has served as Assistant Coordinator for the Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group since
Email: ALagana@ge
Assistant Coordinators
Ellen Jansen is an art historian and an independent
conservator of modern and contemporary working for
Dutch museums and instuons. She has a long history in
museum pracce at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam,
mainly focusing on analogue and digital imagery.
In 2012 she received a Professional Doctorate in
Conservaon and Restoraon of Modern and Contemporary
Art at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). That same year,
she started as a lecturer in conservaon pracce and
coordinator within the contemporary art training program
at the UvA. She is parcularly interested in me-based
media, especially born digital art. 
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Ellen will assist with the
administraon of the Facebook page, help in engaging with
training schools and instuons, organize Zoom chat(s) on
highlighted topics, and assist with grading of contribuons
for the Triennial Conference.
Dr Pia Goschaller is a Senior Lecturer in the Department
of Conservaon at the Courtauld Instute of art, London.
Prior to joining the Courtauld, she was a Senior Research
Specialist at the Gey Conservaon Instute, Los Angeles,
and a painngs conservator at Tate, the Whitney Museum
of American Art, and The Menil Collecon. She was also
an Associate Curator at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich,
Assistant Fine Arts Director at the German Academy Villa
Massimo in Rome, a Postdoc Research Fellow at Bibliotheca
Hertziana, Rome, and a Caroline Villers Research Fellow at
The Courtauld.
Her publicaons focus on the painng pracce of postwar
European, North American and Lan American arsts. She
is a Gey Conservaon Guest Scholar 2020-21.
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Pia will assist with publicaons
related to acvies/meengs during the Triennium
including the Triennial Conference and organize Zoom
chat(s) on highlighted topics.
Email: pia.go
Julia Langenbacher is the Associate Conservator of
Contemporary Art at the Hamburger Kunsthalle and runs a
studio for the conservaon of modern and contemporary art
in Hamburg, Germany. As a researcher in art conservaon
she focuses on plascs and modern paints.
Prior to joining the Kunsthalle in 2019 Julia worked at
the Sprengel Museum Hannover, the Gey Conservaon
Instute, the Museum Ludwig Cologne, and the Schng
Restaurae Atelier Limburg among others.
Julia holds a Diploma in Conservaon of Painngs and
Polychrome Wooden Sculptures from the Stugart State
Academy of Art and Design.
She has served as Assistant Coordinator for the Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group since
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Julia will help with the
Newsleer preparaon and publicaon, assist in organizing
the Joint Interim Meeng and assist with grading and
selecon of contribuons for the Triennial Conference.
Kendra Roth is the Sculpture Conservator of Modern
and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from
Tus University, a Master’s degree in Art Conservaon
from the State University of New York at Bualo, and did
postgraduate work at the Straus Center for Conservaon
at Harvard University. In addion to being Assistant
Coordinator for this group, she also serves as part of
the Conservaon Advisory Group for the Public Design
Commission of the City of New York and is a Professional
Associate of the American Instute for Conservaon (AIC).
Kendra has served as Assistant Coordinator for the Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group since
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Kendra will help with the
Newsleer preparaon and publicaon, assist in organizing
the Joint Interim Meeng, and assist with publicaons
related to acvies/meengs during the Triennium
including the Triennial Conference.
Flavia Perugini is a Senior Project Specialist at the Gey
Conservaon Instute (GCI) as part of the Modern and
Contemporary Art Iniave, overseeing the development
of programs and the disseminaon of resources for
preservaon professionals.
Before joining the GCI Flavia worked at the Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston, Tate, and historic houses in the United States
and United Kingdom. Since 2000 she has also managed her
own conservaon pracce with a focus on modern and
contemporary art, and decorave arts.
Flavia is Fellow member of Internaonal Instute for
Conservaon (IIC) and American Instute for Conservaon
(AIC), and a member of INCCA. Flavia holds graduate
degrees in conservaon of decorave surfaces and in
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Flavia will assist coordinators
with the Working Group direcon and programming,
organize Zoom chat(s) on highlighted topics, and assist
with grading of contribuons for the Triennial Conference.
Email: FPerugini@ge
Helena Ernst is a conservator for modern and contemporary
materials at Die Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum
(Munich, Germany). Currently she is also working as a PhD
researcher in the internaonal project German Democrac
Plascs in Design focusing on the material memory and
how signs of manufacturing, usage and ageing are related
to the respecve material properes.
Helena studied Restoraon, Art Technology and
Conservaon Sciences at the Technical University Munich
from 2009-2015. During her studies she worked in several
conservaon studios, including a seven months internship
at Modern Art Conservaon (MAC) in New York. Her
Master’s Thesis dealt with the conservaon possibilies of
the installaon The Keep by Mike Kelley.
Assistant Coordinator tasks: Helena will monitor
and administrate the Facebook page, assist with the
Newsleer preparaon and publicaon, help to organize
any acvies benecial for emerging professional and
students, and assist with grading of contribuons for the
Triennial Conference.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Specic themes for invesgaon/ideas
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group is interested in focusing on the following themes
during the 2020-2023 Triennium:
• Semi-synthec and synthec texles, conservaon and
preservaon - this theme will be explored in collaboraon
with the Texles Working Group.
• 3D printed objects, conservaon and preservaon.
• Street art, conservaon and preservaon.
• Time-based media, conservaon and preservaon.
• Prevenve conservaon strategies for modern materials
and contemporary art - connecons with the Prevenve
Conservaon Working Group will be explored and could
develop into joint discussions.
• Ethical and theorecal aspects in the conservaon of
contemporary art -connecons with the Theory and History
of Conservaon Working Group will be explored and could
develop into joint discussions.
Educaon in conservaon of contemporary art: current
state and needs - connecons with the Educaon and
Training in Conservaon Working Group will be explored
and could develop into joint discussions.
• Sustainability within modern materials and contemporary
art conservaon and preservaon: sustainable approaches
in conservaon cares and prevenve conservaon (for
example packing, storage, climate control), sustainable
pracces in the work space (for example waste management,
recycling, conserving energy), and environmentally friendly
materials and methods for treatments.
Joint Interim Virtual Meeng
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group and the Texles Working Group will organise a
joint Interim Virtual Meeng focusing on semi- synthec
and synthec texles found in collecons. We would like
to involve The Internaonal Commiee for Museums and
Collecons of Costume (ICOM Costume). The meeng is
proposed to take place late 2022 to early 2023. We aim to
record the meeng for the ICOM-CC YouTube channel and
publish the contribuons online.
Zoom Chats on highlighted topics - ‘Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art Topics Series’
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group will hold a series of virtual chats -- the Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Topics series’ -- over the
Triennium on specic themes to create opportunies for
sharing projects, experiences, experse and ideas, posing
quesons, and discussing issues related to each theme.
Some of these chats will be organised in collaboraon with
other ICOM- CC Working Groups.
Virtual Coee Chats ‘Modern Materials and Contemporary
Art Network Gatherings’
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group will hold Virtual Coee Chats -- the ‘Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Network Gatherings’ --
to create a moment and space in which our members can
connect and network. Some of these virtual gatherings will
be organised to increase connecons between students in
modern and contemporary art conservaon and to provide
opportunies for emerging professionals and students to
network with experienced professionals.
Joint ‘Internaonal Network for the Conservaon of
Contemporary Art (INCCA) - ‘Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art Speed Mentoring Session(s)’
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group will join the Internaonal Network for the
Conservaon of Contemporary Art (INCCA) ‘Mentoring
Programme’ which aims to connect emerging conservators,
or those new to
the conservaon of contemporary art, with recognised
and established conservaon professionals. The Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group and
INCCA will organise virtual and/or in-person Joint Speed
Mentoring Session(s).
Triennial Conference
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group will contribute to the ICOM-CC 20th Triennial
Conference by organising the Working Group’s Session for
the conference.
ICOM Solidarity Project with ICOM Costume Group
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group together with the Texles Working Group will
collaborate on the ICOM solidarity project ‘Clothing the
Pandemic: Bringing Repository and Collecon online.
Resiliency, Community, Unity: Creang Networks through
an Online COVID-19 Facemask Exhibion,’ which is led
by the ICOM Costume group. The Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art and Texles Working Groups have been
invited to contribute to the project’s virtual workshop,
virtual conference and praconer’s guide. The theme will
be issues and soluons for collecng face masks from the
pandemic. To be completed in 2021.
ICOM-CC Publicaon Online Plaorm Project
Assist with gathering informaon for the Publicaons
Online Plaorm Project related to the Working Groups’
past publicaons, as well as any further work required to
place publicaons generated in this triennium.
The Working Group will produce an annual Newsleer
to present new research, projects by our members,
conferences, workshops etc. In addion, the Working Group
will use our emails, website and social media plaorm to
circulate important announcements, communicaons,
relevant acvies and free online publicaons including
our Newsleers. Check out our Facebook page.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
RECENT Conferences, Events and Courses
CO-TALKS, by 20|21 Conservação e Restauro
May 2020
The iniave CO-TALKS: Conservaon Talks during
Quaranne Times was created last year, during our 1st
lockdown in Portugal. We had been home for one month
-- just like the rest of the world -- living this COVID-19
pandemic situaon with no idea when we would return
to work. Our Masterclasses had been postponed, but we
wanted to do something with our exisng network and
decided to host some informal conversaons with some of
our friends, teachers, and colleagues.
Aer determining the format of the CO-TALKS, we invited
our speakers who were all available and opened up the
talks to our network. We sent emails to our mailing list,
published it in our social media, and watched as people
began to register. The simple idea of gathering some friends
to chat was geng serious, and suddenly we had dozens
of people watching it live -- every talk, every week -- and
sending quesons for our guests. Our original plan was to
have one CO-TALK per week in English, but later decided
on including a second one in Spanish. This allowed us to
include our large Spanish-speaking community and make
the talks accessible to even more people.
6th CO-TALK, with Anna Laganà.
The CO-TALKS lasted approximately one month - the rst
one was with our dear colleague Rachel Barker on the
17th of April and centered on her transion from Tate
Gallery, London to her private business. The 10th and
last CO-TALK was held on the 22nd of May with Caitlin
Southwick from SiC Sustainability in Conservaon - and
her project centered on sustainability in conservaon. The
guests were from dierent conservaon elds and with
dierent approaches - from Virginia Costa talking about
the challenges of modern metals conservaon, Will Shank
reviewing his long career as a painng conservator, Laura
Fuster describing some of the internaonal projects in
which she parcipated, like the Collecon Care Project,
and Anna Laganà with a complete overview of plascs
We considered connuing the CO-TALKS aer our lockdown
was lied, but the condions were no longer conducive;
our community was no longer at home, nor did we have
the me to properly prepare as our pre-pandemic lives
returned. However, The CO-TALKS now have a second life
on our YouTube channel, and some of them have been
watched by hundreds of people, so our mission has been
Marta Palmeira
Every Disc, Every Bit of Data: Conservaon of Jennifer and
Kevin McCoy’s Every Shot, Every Episode
November 9, 2020
The presentaon by Jonathan Farbowitz and Sasha Arden
covered the mul-year, interdepartmental endeavor to
conserve Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s Every Shot, Every
Episode, 2001—a custom digital video playback installaon
with 277 video compact discs—and to return it to exhibion
readiness for the rst me in more than a decade. The
presenters were also joined by arsts Jennifer and Kevin
McCoy as well as Doug Eklund and Virginia McBride (co-
curators of Pictures, Revisited) and Conservator in Charge
Nora W. Kennedy, for the Q&A session.
You can rewatch the presentaon on the website of the
Plascs in Peril: Focus on Conservaon of Polymeric
Materials in Cultural Heritage
November 16 – 19, 2020
The conference, originally scheduled to take place in
the spring of 2020 in Cambridge, was postponed due to
Covid-19 restricons. It was jointly re-organised for a virtual
plaorm by the University of Cambridge Museums and the
Leibniz Research Museums in Germany, parcularly the
Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Deutsches Museum
für Naturkunde in Berlin and the Deutsches Bergbau-
Museum in Bochum. The conference merged speakers
and parcipants from the University of Cambridge
Museums’ Plascs in Peril conference and a workshop of
the Leibniz Associaon of Research Museums within the
series Conservaon in Focus. This miraculously allowed for
unlimited parcipaon and free access to virtual lectures,
discussions and meengs in several dierent formats.
About 1000 colleagues from six connents were thus
able to aend. One of the innovave features that were
implemented were the Breakout-Rooms for meeng in
small groups: i) meet the speakers; ii) chat about a specic
topic; iii) meet for a coee; Another innovaon was the
use of a Virtual Message Board where informaon could
be connected, collected and shared independent of me
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
A total of 26 presentaons and three keynote lectures by
speakers from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Germany,
Netherlands, Portugal and more, provided us with a
wide array of research on philosophical, analycal and
praccal topics and examples of their implementaon.
The presentaons were wonderfully moderated by Katja
Zelljadt and were structured under the following themes:
1. “What am I?” – Idencaon of plascs, 2. “A goal
without a plan is just a wish” – Collecon management,
3. “Today’s and tomorrow’s sorrows” – Storage and global
warming, 4. “From pop to blob” – Science driven decisions
in plascs conservaon, 5. “Pop, blob and back again” –
Treatment techniques, 6. “Fit for the future” Treatment
opons over me, and, nally 7. “A good atmosphere”
Packaging and micro-pollutants. The tles reected
the generally fun ambience at this gathering of hearelt
like minds and spirits, of those with the dicult task of
working with plascs in collecons on a regular basis. The
mixed feelings about plascs were reected upon during
the panel discussion “A blessing and a curse – plasc
collecons in the modern world”, which was moderated by
Katherine Curran (UCL Instute for Sustainable Heritage,
London), with Tim Bechthold (Die Neue Sammlung The
Design Museum, Munich), Mary Coughlin (The George
Washington University, Washington, DC), Joy Mazurek
(The Gey Conservaon Instute, Los Angeles) and Stefan
Simon (Rathgen-Forschungslabor, Staatliche Museen zu
For each of the lectures there is an entry in the Book
of Abstracts, provided with the conference as a free
download. The recording of 25 talks and the panel
discussion are available online at:
Aendees responded that the success of the conference
was due in part to the long discussions and chat sessions,
the interacon opons, the range and quality of the talks,
accessibility to aend independent of locaon and cost,
the sharing of knowledge, and the possibility to learn
more about the conservaon of plascs. Next wishes for
our community are: further collaboraon and a lasng
network – for which ferle grounds are denitely in place.
Claartje van Haaen
Workshops in Time-based Media (TBM) Art Conservaon
at New York University, Instute of Fine Arts, Conservaon
November 2020 / January 2021
The pandemic upended almost every aspect of daily life,
but it is perhaps no surprise that those passionate about
me-based media art have been quick to adapt to our new
online world. This academic year, the NYU Instute of Fine
Arts Conservaon Center held three virtual workshops
as part of its Time-Based Media conservaon program:
Fundamentals of Moon Picture Film and Slides in
November 2020 as well as Art with a Plug - Introducon to
Electricity and Electronics and Arst Interviews in January
Le: Building a circuit board. Photo: Josephine Jenks.
Right: Arduino microcontroller to acvate LED bulb. Photo:
Josephine Jenks.
Film and Slides consisted of a three-day course led by
John Klacsmann, Archivist at Anthology Film Archives, and
featured talks from Tommy Aschenbach of Colorlab, Inc.,
Julian Antos of the Music Box Theater and Chicago Film
Society, and Sasha Arden, a third-year student in the NYU
program. Parcipants were sent physical lm samples to
aid in learning about the medium’s variety of substrates
and gauges, as well as the disncons between reversal
stock and the negave-posive system. A discussion of
conservaon issues included how to idenfy and address
color fading, mold growth, and the unfortunately common
vinegar syndrome, while presentaons on moon picture
prinng, scanning, and restoraon provided aendees
with the knowledge and condence to communicate with
lm lab specialists.
Art with a Plug was led by Sco Fitzgerald, co-director of
the Integrated Design & Media program at NYU Tandon
School of Engineering, and Tamanda Msosa, an arst
and alumni of IDM, with a guest lecture by media arst
Roopa Vasudevan. The workshop took place over three
consecuve weekends and adopted a ipped classroom
structure. During the week, parcipants watched short
videos and used toolkits to complete assignments; they
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
then came together in virtual meengs each weekend
to discuss, ask quesons, and troubleshoot. Aendees
were challenged to build a circuit with a switch acvated
by something other than their hands, solder together
a classic Atari Punk Console, and program an Arduino
microcontroller to acvate a motor and an LED bulb.
The Arst Interviews workshop was a collaboraon
between NYU and Voices of Contemporary Art (VOCA). Led
by curator Jen Mergel and UMass Amherst Professor Sam
Redman, the event also featured lectures by MoMA media
conservator Peter Oleksik and Northeastern University
Professor Gloria Suon. Over the course of the three-
day program, parcipants went into breakout rooms to
pracce interviewing each other about their biographies,
a specic event in their lives, and an object with personal
signicance. Workshop speakers emphasized themes of
knowing oneself and one’s environment, conducng in-
depth research, keeping an open mind, and building long-
term relaonships with a foundaon of trust.
While it is excing to think learning opportunies like these
might soon be able to take place in person once again, it
is impressive and grafying to look back on all of the
innovave strategies these three workshops drew upon,
from sample shipments to Slack channels. Creavity and
recepvity to the virtual format on the part of coordinators,
speakers, and parcipants allowed for an exceponal level
of collaboraon across organizaons, disciplines, and even
Josephine Jenks
Treang PMMA: Filling Scratches and Chips
The rst GCI online workshop on treatment methods for
the conservaon of plascs
March 2 / 4, 2021
In March 2021, the Gey Conservaon Instute (GCI)
oered its rst online workshop on treatment methods for
the conservaon of plascs tled Treang PMMA: lling
scratches and chips. Facing the challenges of distance
learning posed during the pandemic, GCI instructor Anna
Laganà, together with GCI facilitators Flavia Perugini and
Ellen Moody, succeeded in organizing this three-hour
workshop oering an instance of training within the
complicated world we have been living in this past year.
The theorecal and praccal workshop was free of cost
and focused on the treatment methods developed by GCI
to repair surface damages on sculptures, objects and face-
mounted photographs made of poly (methyl methacrylate)
(PMMA). The workshop was oered twice on March 2nd
and March 4th and included twenty parcipants. The
limited number of parcipants was chosen to allow a more
personal experience. Parcipants included professionals
from Europe, North America, South America and Africa
represenng a variety of instuons, private pracces,
museums, conservaon programs, and universies.
Prior to the workshop, a specially designed tool kit -
containing damaged PMMA samples and all necessary
tools (brushes, needles etc.) to perform the lling
treatments - was sent to parcipants, eliminang the
possible errors that could arise from the use of unsuitable
tools while facilitang the learning of the technique. We
also received access to a virtual learning plaorm oering
suggested readings, materials list, and mixing instrucons
for preparing the ll materials.
Damaged PMMA samples and face-mounted photograph half
treated by Luciana Murcia during the workshop.
The workshop began with a presentaon on the GCI’s
research on ll materials and methods to repair surface
damages on PMMA, followed by two video demonstraons
prepared in the GCI lab ahead of me to replace in-
person demonstraon of treatments by the instructor. In
the videos Anna Laganà showed in detail how to use the
methods developed for lling scratches and chips, which
resin should be used for lling, how to prepare them,
which tools are suitable to apply the resins, and how to use
them. The videos also gave useful informaon on pros and
cons of each ll material suggested, and guidance on how
to address issues that can occur during treatments such as
eliminang bubbles and removing resin that inadvertently
spreads onto the PMMA surface.
Screenshot from the online workshop: Parcipants praccing with
instructor Anna Laganà a lling treatment on scratched PMMA
samples. Photograph: Courtesy, J. Paul Gey Trust
Aer the videos the praccal session began. Following
the step-by-step instrucons, we delved into the use of
Regalrez® 1094 and HXTAL-NYL-1 resins by performing the
lling treatments on the PMMA samples provided. During
this session Anna performed the treatments live, and we
were able to ask quesons and show our samples to her.
Final evaluaon and comparison of the treatment results
completed the workshop.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
This workshop showed that learning online praccal
components such as treatment methods is possible and
can expand the learning possibilies moving forward. It
oered us the refreshing opportunity of being able to
share praccal experiences with our colleagues, briey
overcoming the limitaons imposed by the pandemic.
Incorporang online tools further broadens the scope,
since it allows bringing the knowledge closer to all
conservators contribung to the equal disseminaon of
knowledge beyond borders. This point was very important
for me, being an art conservator in Argenna, in which
access to new knowledge and materials always represents
a challenge.
Luciana Murcia
22nd Contemporary Art Conservaon Conference, Reina
Soa Museum
March 16 / 17, 2021
This year the 22nd Contemporary Art Conservaon
Conference, organized by the Reina Soa Museum, was
held virtually. The event was opened by Mabel Tapi (Deputy
Director), Jorge García (Head of Conservaon-Restoraon),
Leyre Bozal (Curator,Fundación Mapfre ) and Mayte Ortega
(conference coordinator).
Given the online format, only thirteen papers were
presented. Each presentaon was followed by a period for
quesons. These could be asked through a translaon team
in either Spanish, English, French, Italian or Portuguese and
contact informaon of the speakers was provided to those
wishing to connue the discussion.
This conference was made possible by help from the
scienc commiee, the restoraon team, the GE-IIC as
a collaborang instuon, and the Fundación Mapfre, as
sponsor of the Department of Conservaon-Restoraon.
The recorded presentaons -- subtled and translated into
English and Spanish -- are available here. The reviewed
papers will be collected in a subsequent publicaon that
will also be digitally available on the Reina Soa Museum
Mayte Ortega Gallego
Transformaon Digital Art 2021
March 24 – 26, 2021
The symposium Transformaon Digital Art, organized by
LIMA, took place online for the rst me this year on March
24 – 26th. Arsts, conservators, curators, art scholars, and
archivists came together to discuss current challenges in
the documentaon of digital and soware-based art. For
the full program please visit: hps://
Image courtesy of Driessens & Verstappen.
The complex and mul-layered conference, which took
place over the course of three days, was meculously
planned and presented in a variety of formats including
lectures, workshops, discussions, and performance-
presentaons. The dierent formats, with their recurring
encounters, moderaon, and interacve chats, gave
the impression of a real conference, with online content
switching, for example, from live streaming to internal
working groups.
This year’s focus was on the documentaon of digital
and soware-based art. With an overview on historical
documentaon pracces and their development in the
eld of conservaon, current pracces were presented and
the need for new documentaon methods was expressed.
Documentaon case studies were presented by instuons
such as Haus der Elektronischen Kuenste Basel (HeK),
Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris, San Francisco Museum
of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Zentrum für Kunst und Medien
Karlsruhe (ZKM), and Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.
Based around performance-presentaons and arst’s
lectures, experts on their respecve topics discussed
challenges to documentary pracces. Themac strands
included current approaches to live art in digital art,
followed by presentaons of workshops and results with
guidance for new forms of documentaon. Research
projects conducted at or by LIMA were presented, such
as on the documentaon of post graphic culture and the
signicance of digital disseminaon. Case studies were
also discussed, and potenal soluons developed in the
various Q&A sessions. Live collaborave documentaon
of quesons, commands and notes enabled parcipants to
not only document but also exchange ideas interacvely.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
In view of current challenges for the documentaon and
preservaon of digital and soware-based art and in order
to enable targeted prevenve acon to preserve mul-
media, network-based, performave and interacve works
of art, the symposium oered a plaorm for discussion
across disciplines with much needed input by arsts,
computer sciensts, cultural sciensts, lm scholars,
and material sciensts. Through this close-knit dialogue,
the network of all those involved was strengthened and
synergies with parcipang instuons formed.
LIMA is a pioneer for this pracce and this kind of dialogue,
creang the technical logiscs, iniang the theorecal
discourse, and providing links to museums and collecons.
Most importantly, they ensure the inclusion of arsts and
that their performance-presentaons are just as relevant
as any documentaon models. The ongoing dialogue
between arsts, curators and conservators is essenal for
the preservaon and documentaon of digital art in the
Almost all videos are now available online.
Carolin Bohlmann
CAN! Conversaons: Contextualizing decision-making
models in contemporary art conservaon
April 9, 2021
CAN! Conversaons is a new discussion series on the
quandaries of conserving contemporary art, launched by
AIC’s Contemporary Art Network (CAN!).
Decision-making in conservaon literature is oen based
on the implicit assumpon that an artwork is owned and
located at an instuon. In theory, an established team of
curators, conservator and arst represent various points
of view. The artwork is seen as a permanent part of the
collecon with a sense of indenite belonging, where
conservators can care for artworks over long periods
of me, possibly develop research projects, or may be
able to wait for an opportunity to treat a work. Usually,
conservaon aims to preserve a work’s symbolic meaning
and its display funcon.
In our rst CAN! Conversaon we wanted to explore
how conservaon occurs in other contexts such as
private collecons, galleries or aucon houses. How
do conservators respond to stakeholders with these
commercial interests? How are conservators developing
appropriate preservaon strategies when there is no
interdisciplinary team available? What if the insurance is
unwilling to pay for complex intervenons? And what if
the work is for sale – for whom should a work be treated?
For the current owner of the artwork, this could mean the
conservaon treatment focuses on visual integrity. A future
owner may be just as interested in stability and longevity
of the work’s inner structure – but is the current owner
interested in invesng in the future? 
The 1st CAN! Conversaon panelists, TL to BR: Joy Bloser, Martha
Singer, Mareike Opeña, Miroslaw Wachowiak, Julia Betancor, and
AIC/FAIC admin Ryan Wineld.
The panel discussion consisted of four speakers: Beginning
with Joy Bloser represenng the most classic posion as a
conservator with experience from three dierent American
museums, she reected on the 1999 Decision-Making
Model and its recent revised version to her praccal
Miroslaw Wachowiak spoke about typical complexies for a
conservator within the kunsthalle in Torun (Poland) where
his conservaon care of art focuses solely on the me span
of an exhibion, without knowledge of the work’s history
or its future. He oen works directly with arsts who are
installing works never seen before. 
Julia Betancor represented a private conservator working
predominantly for an expanding private collecon in
Madrid (Spain). Her conservaon consideraons are
focused mostly on incoming, complex artworks and
their requirements for proper long-term care, which are
not always heard or followed. In addion, the private
collecon where she works acquires works of art that are
commissioned and fabricated onsite.
Lastly, Mareike Opeña spoke about her experience of
conservaon for the art market in New York City, where
artworks come and go through the conservaon studio
at a fast pace. Here, stakeholders invested around the
artwork are as inuenal to conservaon decisions as its
materiality itself.
The panel was moderated by Martha Singer, who, with a
hybrid posion of working as a private conservator and in
instuonal sengs around NYC, guided the conversaon
and moderated quesons from the audience.
The panel is available online.
Mareike Opeña, Martha Singer
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Webinar Materials and Methods for Public Art
Conservaon. Strategies for contemporary murals
April 8-10, 2021
The informave 3-day virtual webinar was organized
by Cesmar7, an Italian associaon focused on the
study of materials and disseminaon of informaon for
conservators, in the context of CAPuS (Conservaon of
Art in Public Spaces). The webinar was simultaneously
translated into English and is sll available for viewing
through the Cesmar7 website.
The event explored the conservaon of public art, providing
informaon on problems associated with its degradaon,
as well as materials and techniques employed in the
making and treatment.
During the three days nine comprehensive presentaons
and a multude of case studies were delivered by a
variety of professionals, including conservators, curators,
historians, and sciensts.
The rst day focused on the subject of public art and its
evoluon through history as a means of communicaon.
The denion of public art’s legality or illegality sll
appears to be connected to its locaon, its context, and its
acceptance by the locals and the viewers.
The speakers described arsts’ interviews as a necessary
step in the documentaon of contemporary art.
Furthermore, the artworks’ context and the arsts’ intent
were also addressed.
The context of the works within urban sengs was also
discussed. The parcipaon of and feedback by residents
in the documentaon process created a support network.
A presentaon on the materials, like spray paints, brushed
or rolled house paints, sckers and posters and some of the
more tradional techniques used by arsts were described
in detail. Other forms of public art, such as moss gra,
yarn bombing and street poetry, were briey introduced.
The second day converged mainly on the degradaon,
cleaning and consolidaon processes.
Case studies were used to describe the documentaon of
various types of damage intrinsic and anthropic - caused
by moisture, sunlight, fungi, incompability of materials,
and human interacons. Mock-ups were created to study
the performance of paints that were exposed to a weather-
ometer. Dierent changes, such as fading, bubbling, and
loss of cohesion were noced on paints either applied over
a primer or directly onto a surface.
The limitaons of consolidaon were addressed.
Reversibility and permanence were idened as
determining and mutually exclusive factors. The suitability
of resins commonly used to conserve wall painngs, and
their solubility requirements, was discussed but seem to
need addional research and tests.
Cleaning of murals seemed to focus mainly on the removal
of “tagging”, or gra applied over the mural. A variety of
methods, dry and wet, was tested and evaluated.
The topics addressed during the third day were bio-
deterioraon of and protecve coangs for murals - two
very important points that are of high interest to many
The biodegradaon of stone and wall painngs may create
irreversible biolms resistant to chemical and physical
stress. Various approaches to their removal or containment
were discussed, as ranging from biocides, enzymes, to
chemical, laser or heat treatments. This topic could benet
from addional research and more case specic tests.
With regards to consolidaon of murals, there was much
ancipaon for the results of the tests carried out on
mock-ups. Three types of coangs, specically a water-
based polyurethane coang, a water-based acrylic coang,
and a commercial an-gra coang were tested. Each
coang appeared to have its advantages. All coangs
showed to change the appearance of the mural’s surface.
The polyurethane coang appeared to be the most stable
overall, and the acrylic one the least, although the acrylic
coang appeared to withstand aging beer. All coangs
proved to have drawbacks, such as yellowing, blanching,
and the inability to prevent overpainng. No coang
provided protecon from discoloraon or wetability.
Moreover, it appears that some uorescent spray paints
are incompable with all coangs.
It was also established that their applicaon is not uniform
by nature and this characterisc makes their eecveness
and usefulness more quesonable.
Finally, several interesng case studies on projects and
iniaves regarding public art, were presented to wrap up
the webinar.
The webinar was a very comprehensive event that
thoroughly addressed the documentaon and preservaon
of public art. The analysis, tests, research, and treatments
showed the commitment of Italian colleagues and the
support of CAPuS towards the preservaon of public art.
This ephemeral type of art has gradually asserted itself
over the last four decades and is now nally receiving the
aenon it deserves.
Flavia Perugini
19th ICOM-CC Triennial Conference, Beijing, China
May 17-21, 2021
Although the current global situaon unfortunately did not
allow us to visit the host city Beijing in 2020 Conference
worked very hard to welcome us from May 17th to
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
21st, 2021 for a virtual symposium. We were oered a
wonderful program that consisted of 159 lectures with
subjects surrounding the theme Transcending Boundaries:
Integrated Approaches to Conservaon, along with their
corresponding papers and 99 posters provided via the
conference website.
All lectures were pre-recorded and parcipants could watch
them from the moment they were made available on the
website before the ocial start of the conference. They
remained available ll June 17th, so no one had to miss
any interesng contribuons. The live plenary program and
live Q&A sessions (also recorded and re-watchable), as well
as the virtual technical visits to a selecon of museums and
conservaon labs in China were built into the program to
promote valuable exchange in knowledge, tradions and
skills between professionals from the East and the West.
On the last two days the Working Group Planning Meengs
took place, as well as the Gey Internaonal Program,
the ICOM-CC Medal Ceremony and the ICOM-CC Annual
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group lectures comprised nine lectures, ve posters and
three Q&A sessions hosted by the Assistant Coordinators of
the last Triennium Lydia Beerkens and Julia Langenbacher.
While some lectures were centered around conservaon
opons for certain problemac materials or specic case-
related degradaon (Lanza, Klinkmuller, Scaturro, Laganà),
others thoughully discussed the network of stakeholders
that underlie the decision-making process (Meul, Cone,
Lawson, Beerkens, Rojas Sebesta). An interesng link
in this network is communicaon with the audience. In
the presented lectures the audience was oen involved
in lively discourse about the artwork’s identy and the
changes within its lifecycle(s).
ICOM-CC Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group Planning Meeng. ©ICOM-CC.
The Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working
Group Planning Meeng (formerly known as Business
Meeng) on Friday gave members the opportunity to
get acquainted with the new Coordinator and Assistant
Coordinators of the 2020-2023 Triennium and to discuss
the program for this Triennial.
To provide a relevant program that could reect the
needs of our eld, the coordinang team selected
themes informed by a member survey. These themes
were presented and received enthusiascally, including
opportunies for collaboraon with other Working
Groups. During the session, addional topics and mely
issues were inventoried so they could be addressed when
the opportunity arises.
To encourage lively discussion about the full range of
issues associated with modern and contemporary art, the
Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group
topics connected to the 2020-2023 program. In addion,
the new Virtual Coee Chats will help students and young
professionals with making connecons and establishing a
The full program of the Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art Working Group 2020-2023 Triennium
can be found on the rst pages of the Newsleer at hand.
Ellen Jansen
Jay DeFeo: A Symposium
May 28, 2021
From the 1950s the avant-garde arst Jay DeFeo (1929-
1989) was a member of a vibrant bohemian community
of arsts, musicians, poets and writers based in San
Francisco. Best known today for her magisterial painng
tled The Rose (1958-1966), which the arst described
as ‘a marriage between painng and sculpture’, over the
course of her long career DeFeo experimented widely, and
intensely, with a range of unorthodox materials, exploring
the parameters and expansive limits of painng, sculpture,
drawing, collage, photocopies and photography.
This one-day conference brought together a group of
scholars based in the United States, Europe, and the UK,
to discuss the work of DeFeo, shedding light on aspects
of her work from a range of new perspecves. Speakers
included Lucy Bradnock (Associate Professor University
of Nongham), Judith Delner (Associate Professor of
Contemporary Art History, Paris Nanterre University), Pia
Goschaller (Senior Lecturer, The Courtauld), Suzanne
Hudson (Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts,
University of Southern California), Corey Keller (Curator of
Photography and Acng Department Head, Photography,
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Joy Mazurek
(Assistant Scienst, Gey Conservaon Instute), and
Catherine Spencer (Lecturer, University of St Andrews).
You can rewatch the symposium on youtube.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
—  # 1. Mapping the Field
May 29-30, 2021
Performance: The Ethics and the Polics of Care —  # 1.
Mapping the Field was a two-day colloquium that took
place online May 29-30, 2021. It was organized at the
Bern University of the Arts within the research project
Performance: Conservaon, Materiality, Knowledge, which
is funded by the Swiss Naonal Science Foundaon. The
colloquium, the rst in a series of events on the topic of
the conservability of performance art and performance-
based works, gathered both leading and emerging voices
in the eld. Its goal was to advance knowledge on this
topic within the discipline of conservaon and to situate
this discourse within a broader eld of the humanies
disciplines concerned with the theories and pracces of
performance. Presenters contested the common-sense
understanding of performance as a non-conservable art
form and asked how, and to what extent, such works can
be conserved.
The colloquium focused on both theorecal and
conceptual consideraons: What does it mean to
conserve performance? What are the media and
means in performance conservaon? Is conservaon
documentaon? Is presentaon preservaon? What role
does the inial spaal and temporal context play in the
perpetuaon of historical performance? What is the role
of authencity, originality and intenon in these debates?
What, for whom and why do we conserve? A variety of
academic and praccal presentaons centred on the
care for performance at museums and instuons, the
intersecon of conservaon and curaon, on the role
and limits – of documentaon, and on various aspects of
the presentaon and preservaon, including the curator’s
role. In addion, aspects of re-making (reenactment,
reperformance, and reinterpretaon), the problem of
relics and the death and the aerlife of performance were
A discussion among panelists and organizers closed the rst day
of the colloquium.
Keynote speakers were Rebecca Schneider of
Brown University, Pip Laurenson of Tate/Maastricht
University, Gabriella Giannachi of University of Exter
and Barbara Büscher of University of Music and Theatre
Leipzig. Further perspecves were provided by Hélia
Marçal, Kate Lewis, Lizzie Gorfaine, Ana Janevski, Martha
Joseph, Erin Brannigan, Brian Castriota, Farris Wahbeh,
Louise Lawson, Rachel Mader, Siri Peyer, Sooyoung Leam,
Karolina Wilczyńska, Iona Goldie-Scot, Claire Walsh and
Ana Ribeiro.
The colloquium also included two arsc contribuons: two
performance interludes were featured by arsts Frieder
Butzmann and Gisela Hochuli. Together with a group of
performers “theallstarszoomensemble” Butzmann
performed [<zooms‘n‘spells‘n’lights> recharged], a
performance of light and sound that took advantage
of Zoom’s features as well as its bugs. Hochuli solicited
performance instrucons from the colloquium’s speakers
and aendees in advance, which she then developed into
a live performance presented over Zoom.
Performance by Frieder Butzmann & theallstarszoomensemble,
[<zooms’n’spells’n’lights> – recharged], 2021.
The ongoing research project Performance: Conservaon,
Materiality, Knowledge focuses on the conservaon
of performance-based works, their temporal specics,
the involvement of the human and non-human body,
the world of their extended trace history, memory,
and archive. Explored are noons of care, the ideals of
tradional conservaon and their relaons to tacit or
explicit knowledge, skill and technique. Taking as a starng
point the necessity for conservators to access and deepen
this area of study, and unlike queries that situate these
quesons within other disciples, this project approaches
performance as a necessarily conservable form.
For further informaon, please visit: hps://
Hanna B. Hölling, Julia Pelta Feldman, Emilie Magnin and
Valerian Maly
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
UPCOMING Conferences, Events and Courses
VoCA Arst Interview Workshops
July 19-21, 2021 and October 4-6, 2021
Online event
The Workshops will include the following as leaders and
guest speakers: curators Jen Mergel and Daisy Desrosiers,
oral historians Robin Li and Sam Redman, and conservator
Francesca Esmay, among others.
The Arst Interview Workshops aim to provide conservators,
curators, educators, and other arts professionals at all
stages of their careers with a greater understanding of
the methods and skills needed to conduct successful arst
With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundaon,
the Workshop was developed in response to a cross-
disciplinary appeal from arts professionals seeking to
engage in thoughul, guided conversaons with arsts and
to share the outcomes of these projects with their peers.
At its incepon, the program oered arts professionals a
unique learning opportunity to connect with a diverse
group of colleagues and gain some of the core skills needed
to conduct successful interviews with arsts. Over the years
the conversaon has evolved, moving beyond methodology
and the exploraon of why interviews are an essenal
component of contemporary art preservaon. Today, the
workshops invesgate the very nature of stewardship,
probe the contours of memory, review best pracces for
recording and archiving interviews, and consider the legal
frameworks for their use.
The structure of the workshops has been craed by VoCA
on a model developed by VoCA Board members Richard
Cándida Smith and Jill Sterre. Their respecve experiences
in oral history and museum-based interview programs
produced a rigorous, instrucve, and interacve agenda.
Over the course of two to three days, various presenters
conduct a series of lectures and case studies which are
then analyzed via roundtable discussion and tested in small
group exercises. Speakers also facilitate conversaons with
other presenters and aendees, addressing their own
experiences, the dierent approaches interviewers can
take, and common challenges in the process.
For further informaon, please visit: hps://
arst-interview-workshops/ and for further quesons,
please email
Internaonal conference: Space and Time - Joseph Beuys’
Installaon Art, its Presentaon and Conservaon
September 16-17, 2021
Museumslandscha Hessen (Kassel, Germany)
Joseph Beuys’ 100th birthday will be celebrated in 2021.
The planned interdisciplinary conference will deal with
the arst’s works that are both space-consuming, space-
dening and space-dependant installaons. Beuys
frequently integrated autonomous artworks and objects in
his installaons and he made changes during re-installaon.
This highlights the versale and process-oriented character
of these works. In general, key aspects of his art are
connected with their materiality as well as with the fragility,
ageing and degradaon of the material. Furthermore, the
installaons undergo visible changes when they are re-
installed in new or newly designed spaces aer necessary
relocaons and building refurbishments. A dialog between
disciplines – art technology, conservaon sciences, art
studies, and the natural sciences is intended to explore
the relaon between the inherent and “original” material
character of the artworks and the inuence of their varied
alteraons, and to discuss the ethical, conceptual and
praccal implicaons of conservaon and original or work-
appropriate presentaon.
For further informaon, please visit: hps://museum-
Icon BPG21 Conference: Mod Cons
Modern Conservaon. Modern Constraints. Modern
October 4-7, 2021
Online event
The Icon Book and Paper Group present a rich conference
that aims to progress conservaon through advocacy
and understanding soluons for our current challenges.
#IconBPG21 oers the opportunity to engage, listen and
open dialogue through 16 papers, 4 keynote presentaons,
4 workshops, mulple dynamic sessions and behind-the-
scene tours.
This third BPG conference oers an opportunity to share
and exchange ideas demonstrang how we are constantly
required to evolve within the Book and Paper specialism.
They would like to bring conservaon forward with
modern advocacy and solving current issues. How are
sustainable environmental decisions incorporated into our
work? How are we addressing the lack of diversity working
on a material that holds such diverse history and cultures?
What new tools, techniques and treatments have been
adapted or introduced to the eld? How is Book and Paper
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
analysing the relaonship between video and issues of
indisputable social relevance such as feminism, sexual
and gender diversity. The relaonship between video art
and the new instrumental strategies of conservaon will
be, therefore, the second major topic of debate of the
event, through which it is intended to establish a certain
consensus that facilitates the decision-making process
related to this type of works increasingly common in our
The themes proposed are structured along four lines:
•Video, Aesthecs and Identy
•Fugacity, Immateriality and Performavity
•Obsolescence and Reproducibility
•Preservaon Strategies
These lines are structured around two major subject axes
-Identy and Heritage- on which the reecons of the
parcipants in the communicaons will be based. At the
same me, a Creave Room will be held in the Josep Renau
Exhibion Hall of the Fine Arts Faculty of the UPV, where
both, selected videos from the conference, and from
the ARES Archive. Aesthecs, idenes, and audiovisual
pracces in Spain –part of the R&D Project EShID.
Finally, posters related to the themac lines linked to
Heritage will also be selected.
For further informaon, please visit: hps://eshid.webs.
November 8-10, 2021
Online event
The seventh internaonal conference FUTURE TALKS 021
focuses on smart and intelligent soluons, both in the
development, producon and the preservaon of modern
design and contemporary art.
Tradional industrial products and producon processes
are increasingly permeated by new, muldisciplinary
developments in informaon technology.
The increasing complexity of the materials and
technologies used since the beginning of industrialisaon,
as well as the inuence of digital developments since the
late 1980s, represent an extremely demanding eld of
acvity with new challenges for conservators. In addion
to considering chemical relaonships, knowledge of
technical developments and digital concepts is the basis
for understanding these objects and designing suitable
conservaon strategies. Here it is more important than
ever to develop intelligent conservaon concepts that do
conservaon merging with digital soluons to improve
access and eciency in workows?
The conference will take place over four aernoons, from
October 4th to October 7th 2021, and will be held online on
Accelevents, an all-inclusive and interacve conferencing
plaorm. See the agenda and book your ckets here.
The keynote presentaons are from:
•Dr. Shamil Jeppie (University of Cape Town) - Book culture
research and conservaon in Timbuktu and the Sahara.
•Jane Henderson (Cardi University) - Inconvenient
quesons and the queson of neutrality.
•Claire McGuire (Internaonal Federaon of Library
Associaons and Instuons) - Inspiring and informing
development: Advocang for culture in sustainability.
•Richard Mulholland (Northumbria University) - Lessons
from Kabul: Remote learning and teaching in conservaon
in an acve conict zone.
For more informaon, please visit their webpage: hps://
Internaonal congress: Hybrid Aesthecs of the Moving
Image: Heritage and Identy
October 20, 21 & 22, 2021
Universitat Politècnica de València (Valencia, Spain)
The 2nd Internaonal Conference Hybrid Aesthecs of the
Moving Image: Heritage and Identy is a meeng point
for the diverse disciplines involved in the study of new
media, video art, visual studies, aesthecs, identy and
crical theory, as well as new strategies for audiovisual
It is an iniave of the R&D project MICIU EShID: Hybrid
Aesthecs of the Moving Image. Spanish video-art and
identy dynamics in the global map (2019-2021), focussed
on research, knowledge transference and diusion of
audiovisual artworks made in Spain from Ares Archive.
Aesthecs, idenes and audiovisual pracces in Spain;
and the research group Visu@ls. Visual Culture and Identy
Polics. Aer the rst edion, held November 2020 at
the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Salamanca
and centred on the theme of migraon, globalizaon and
interculturality, the Polytechnic University of Valencia takes
over for this year’s edion.
This meeng intends to generate crical thinking between
researchers and professionals from dierent disciplines
related with videoart at an internaonal level.
Part of the conference will focus on discussing video art
as a construcon of identy, as a tool for inclusiveness,
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
jusce to the object on the one hand and leave the scope
for reversible measures as open as possible on the other.
How is our material environment changing, both
technologically and funconally, and what impact does
this have on elementary decisions in the museum context
(collecon policy, conservaon strategies, restoraon
methodology ...)?
FUTURE TALKS 021 reects this change in the usual
interdisciplinary way and presents itself for the rst me as
a complete online event.
20 lectures / 12 moderators / 8 keynotes / 6 sessions / 3
days / 1 panel discussion /
In addion to 20 lectures on the topic, a panel discussion
and the opportunity to discuss specic topics with experts
in small specialist groups, or in 1:1 mode, designers and
arsts will give inspiring insights into their current elds of
acvity in 8 excing keynotes in dialo- gue with the content
of the lectures.
For more informaon about the programme and
registraon, please visit the FUTURE TALKS webpage:
Contemporary Art Conservaon Revisited: 20 Years Later
November 25-26, 2021
Online event
In 2001, the rst students graduated in a new specialty
at the Bern University of the Arts’ conservaon training
program: Conservaon of Modern Materials and Media.
As a precursor in the eld, the specialty’s launch was a
response to changing contemporary arsts’ pracces
and a commitment to the preservaon of artworks
outside tradional disciplines, embodying unconvenonal
technologies and materials. The necessity of a dierent
approach to care for and treat these works of art is reected
in its curriculum, incorporang methodologies and
techniques from social sciences, revising the importance
of documentaon, and establishing the signicance of
arsc concepts within a decision-making process.
Looking back at the last 20 years, they see shis in the eld
of contemporary art conservaon, which compel us to (re)
dene its role, quesoning exisng structures and modes
of operang: What is a conservator of contemporary art
today? What is their skillset, and has it changed over
the years? What are the types of roles contemporary
art conservators fulll? How inclusive is this discipline
and who has access to it? Did the discipline’s approach
or areas of research shi during the years? Which new
research topics have emerged? How can an instuon
benet from conservators being part of the team and
facilitang processes of acquision, arst engagement,
and research? And what, if we look more closely, hinders
these developments in our instuons?
This two-day symposium aims to examine and debate these
quesons, hoping to inspire dialog between stakeholders.
They are looking for a variety of perspecves and
posions to reect on this topic and invite abstracts from
conservators, collecon managers, curators, educators,
registrars and arsts. These may include consideraons
on roles and values, new tools and skills needed, case
studies that have brought upon changes in approach, as
well as posions examining new areas of research or shis
in educaon programs, emphasizing dierent aspects of
For more informaon, please visit the webpage.
Conference: New Challenges in Prevenve Conservaon,
Predicve Analysis and Environmental Monitoring
December 1-3, 2021
Hybrid event: Online / Universitat Politècnica de Valencia
(Valencia, Spain)
The conference ColleconCare: New Challenges in
Prevenve Conservaon, Predicve Analysis and
Environmental Monitoring will be held in December 2021
in the framework of the EU’s Horizon2020 ColleconCare
The conference aims to be a forum to exchange highly
specialized research and the latest technological advances
in the study of the behavior and aging of cultural heritage
materials, environmental monitoring, and the design of
prevenve conservaon strategies in collecons.
The conference will be held jointly with a commercial
exhibion hall where several companies will share their
latest developments and products related to the topics of
the conference.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Area 1: Collecons’ needs and challenges
•Collecon’s needs and challenges during display, storage
and transport
•Current trends in object and environmental monitoring
•Risk assessment
•Prevenve conservaon and risk management
•Organizaonal impact and sustainability in prevenve
Area 2: Predicve analysis of cultural objects and prevenve
•Long-term prognosis of the degradaon process of
cultural objects
•Mul-scale degradaon computaonal modelling
•Mul-scale mul-material predicve analysis in the cloud
•Prevenve conservaon standards and recommendaons
•Climate change scenarios and prevenve conservaon
Area 3: Connecvity, sensing, and cloud compung
•Internet of things (IoT) and big data analycs applied to
prevenve conservaon
•Wireless technologies for cultural heritage site monitoring
•Radio Frequency Idencaon (RFID) technologies
applied to cultural heritage
For more informaon, please visit their webpage.
Lecture Days: “I want so much for my work to grow out of
the material...” Emil Nolde’s Painng Technique
December 2-3, 2021
Hybrid event: Online / Pinakothek der Moderne
(Munich, Germany)
The Lecture Days will present the results of a collaborave
research project, ongoing from 2018 to 2022, dedicated to
the study of Emil Nolde’s painng techniques and materials.
The partners in this interdisciplinary research
project are the Doerner Instut of the Bayerische
Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, the Ada and Emil
Nolde Foundaon Seebüll in North Friesland and the
Hamburger Kunsthalle in cooperaon with the Universität
Hamburg and the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste
The Foundaon Seebüll Ada und Emil Nolde, as the
administrator of Nolde’s estate, and located in the arst’s
oneme home and studio, houses the most comprehensive
exisng collecon of his works, an archive comprising
25,000 documents, as well as an extensive collecon of
artefacts from his studio.
For the rst me, it has been possible to catalogue and
evaluate the archive and Nolde’s studio paraphernalia from
the perspecve of his painng technique. Researchers have
carried out technological invesgaons of 45 painngs,
from the three collecons in Seebüll, Hamburg, and
Munich, using a broad spectrum of material analysis and
imaging techniques in search of both visible and invisible
traces of the painng process. Parcular importance was
given to understanding the arst’s various work phases
and to a collaborave invesgatory approach by the art
historians, painng conservators, and natural sciensts.
Throughout his life, Emil Nolde’s painng technique was
highly varied, and his handling of materials and colour was
characterized by an impressive degree of technical prowess.
The range of lecture themes will amply illustrate this,
highlighng for example his somemes unique ulizaon
of painng supports and their frequent preparaon with
coloured grounds, his complex, oen mul-level pictorial
composion, and his use of a large assortment of painng
techniques and tools. Late-work examples of medial
transfer in various techniques, especially from watercolour
into oil, will be presented.
Also on the agenda is a discussion of Emil Nolde’s thirty-
year-long preference for the oil and resin-based oil paint
of the now largely forgoen company of Fritz Behrendt.
Special aenon will be given to Nolde’s numerous changes
of format and reworkings of his painngs – somemes
even decades aer these had been nished.
Details as to registraon and the program will be available
shortly on the project’s website.
Contact: nolde2021@doernerins
Conservaon Talks 2022. Big Research in Tiny Speeches
February 17, 2022
The Comics Art Museum, Brussels
Conservaon Talks: Big Research in Tiny Speeches is back
for a second edion! This full-day conference focuses on
academic conservaon research conducted in Belgium,
such as PhD and Master Thesis work.
The concept is to give both conservaon professionals and
students the space to dynamically present their research in
ny, 10-minute speeches.
The day will include access to the museum and interacve
session dedicated to meeng, to posters and samples
viewing. Conservaon Talks provide aendees with the
opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience in a
supporve atmosphere.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
For more informaon about the programme, please visit
the webpage.
It’s about me!
Earn Advanced Qualicaon in Time-based Media Art
Conservaon at New York University
August 23-31, 2022
NYU - The Instute of Fine Arts (NYC, US)
NYU’s specially designed course of graduate studies oers
an unprecedented opportunity for you to embark on a
career in me-based media (TBM) art conservaon, an
intellectually challenging and rapidly expanding discipline
within cultural heritage preservaon.
Why Study Time-based Media (TBM) Art Conservaon at
TBM art conservaon has been idened as a preservaon
priority by many leading collecng instuons around
the world. The increasing number of vacant posions - a
consequence of rapidly expanding me-based media art
collecons – reects the need for more trained specialists
in this area. Intended for applicants from countries where
lile or no TBM art conservaon educaon is oered,
NYU’s advanced qualicaon promises to open up new
career direcons or jump-start a path already underway.
Beginning in late August 2021, as a non-degree student,
you will learn side-by-side with our MA/MSTBM graduate
conservaon students. Six classes include an overview
class focusing on the dierent TBM media categories
and their conservaon challenges, as well as advanced-
level classes addressing Documentaon & Acquision,
Exhibion & Installaon, and Conservaon of Audiovisual
Art. Two elecves can include conservaon treatment
classes, conservaon science classes, or art history classes.
In addion, you will parcipate in an array of workshops
and special events organized for our TBM students and a
broader community. The program includes a two-month
placement in a collecng instuon or studio under the
supervision of leading experts in the eld.
The NYU instructors and mentors in the TBM program are
respected internaonal praconers who will help you to
develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a career
in TBM art conservaon. You will learn to understand the
larger conceptual framework of contemporary and TBM
art conservaon; idenfy work-dening properes; and
are respected internaonal praconers who will help you
to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a career
in TBM art conservaon. You will learn to understand the
larger conceptual framework of contemporary and TBM
art conservaon;idenfy work-dening properes; and
manage change. You will implement specic TBM collecon
management strategies to address the technological, media,
and equipment obsolescence inherent to TBM artworks.
With rich collecons in modern and contemporary art,
New York City will act as thebackdrop to your educaon
and provide limitless opportunies for networking. You’ll
experience conservaon approaches to TBM art and its
preservaon rst-hand, pung into pracce the real-world
benet of your newly acquired skills in report wring and
project design. The Conservaon Center of the Instute
of Fine Arts, located on “Museum Mile,” will serve as your
home base.
Instrucon and Expected Outcomes
NYU teach via seminars, lectures, workshops, and lab
exercises that combine theorecal knowledge with
praccal applicaons, and include partner museums,
aliated NYU departments with experse in computer
science, electrical and A/V engineering, moving image
archiving and preservaon, and related elds.
For more informaon like Admission Requirements and
Tuion and Fees, please contact Hannelore Roemich,
Chair and Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Conservaon at
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
publicaons. The terms will be divided into preferred
and alternave terms which are linked to one ‘concept’
and placed within a hierarchy, establishing relaonships
between broader and narrower terms.
The outcome of both projects will be an ecient and
workable mullingual thesaurus and damage catalogue for
museum objects made of plasc. The data will be available
online to all interested pares via open data access.
Collapsed toy in form of a poodle made of rubber, collecon
Friederike Waeng ©TH Köln, CICS, Radecke.
Both projects are carried out in collaboraon with a group
of experts in the eld of plascs, without whose support
this work would not have been realized: Grateful thanks to
all involved: Chrisan Bonten & Julian Kanger Instut
für Kunststoechnik (IKT), Universität Stugart; Suzan
de Groot – Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
(RCE); Hannah Hendrickx - Design Museum Gent; Griet
Kockelkoren & Wim Fremout - KIK-IRPA; Anna Laganá –
Gey Conservaon Instute; Thea van Oosten – Senior
Conservaon Scienst; Uta Scholten LVR-Industrial
Museum; Friederike Waeng - TH Köln, CICS; Colin
Williamson Plascian and Vice President of the Plascs
Historical Society
For more details about the projects and partners please
visit the project websites of the Designmuseum Gent and
the TH Köln, CICS.
Eline van der Velde and Lisa Burkart
SBMK Project 2020-2023:
Preservaon of modern photographic works of art
Can you imagine collecons of modern and contemporary
art without photographic works? Museums are increasingly
in need of experse to preserve analogue and digital
(colour) photographs. Experse on prinng processes,
nishing techniques, photographic paper and supports
as well as correct terminology is oen lacking. What are
the best ways to store and exhibit photographs whilst
preserving them for the future?
NEW Research Projects and Programs
Terminology for Conservaon of Plascs
In recent years, an increasing number of museums have
started to idenfy plasc objects in their collecons in
order to care for and conserve these materials. The vast
majority of instuons, however, lack specic terminology
within their registraon systems and are therefore unable
to categorize objects beyond the term ‘plasc or plascs’.
To this end, two independent projects Know, Name and
Assess your Plascs funded by the Government of Flanders
and Plascs – a modern material in its cultural-historical
context funded by the German Federal Ministry of Educaon
and Research (BMBF) centered on plascs research have
joined forces to build a thesaurus for the plasc materials
and techniques found in museum collecons. In addion,
an extensive damage catalogue with images is also being
compiled. A thesaurus and a damage atlas will enable
museums to build a digital database in which accurate
inventories and condion reports can be created facilitang
the development of conservaon strategies for their plasc
Disintegrang polyurethane shoe sole, collecon Friederike
Waeng ©TH Köln, CICS, Radecke.
The diculty in nding proper terminology begins with
the classicaon and correct designaon of plascs. Trade
names such as Bakelite®, Nylon and Perspex® are sll
improperly used in museums as general terms to classify
objects made of phenol-formaldehyde, polyamide and
poly(methyl methacrylate). The connuous producon of
new types of plascs also poses a further challenge to a
thesaurus for plasc materials. Maintaining the materials
thesaurus and updang terms will be ongoing and
necessary tasks in the years to come.
During documentaon the condion of the objects is
evaluated. In order to correctly assess damages and
dierenate these from manufacturing defects, and
damages from use, an illustrated damage catalogue will
provide the appropriate terms and assist in reaching the
correct conclusions.
An internaonal and transdisciplinary collaboraon
between dierent instuons and elds enabled a
discussion of the broad spectrum of terms collected from
conservaon literature, technical handbooks and historic
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
The Dutch Foundaon for the Conservaon of
Contemporary Art (SBMK), sixteen museums, the University
of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of
The Netherlands (RCE) are joining forces in a large-scale
collaborave project tled Project Collecon Knowledge
2.0 / Photography. The goal of this three year project is
to sustainably preserve photographic works of art for the
future, and keep them accessible to the public. Applied
research will be used to develop a method whereby
collecon managers, conservators and others charged with
collecon care learn to idenfy and monitor their 20th
and 21st Century photographic collecon and carry out
preventave conservaon measures.
Idencaon ‘on the job’
Museum sta will learn ‘on the job’ about materials and
techniques and how to idenfy photographic works in
their own collecon. During hands-on training surveying
collecons, research quesons will be formulated and
invesgated, and in combinaon with exisng naonal and
internaonal knowledge, a digital tool will be developed
and tested that will help others worldwide gain more insight
into their modern photograph collecons. Key outcomes
of the project will be a digital plaorm with informaon on
the most common and/or problemac prinng processes,
nishing techniques, photographic papers and supports
of both analogue and digital photography, as well as a
physical sample set of reference materials of photographic
processes found in museum collecons.
Implemenng the knowledge gained
During the project, two young professionals will be trained
to specialize in the preservaon of photography. Research
will be carried out by students from the Master Program in
Conservaon and Restoraon of Cultural Heritage at the
UvA. Lectures and seminars to disseminate this knowledge
will be organized for the public. The digital plaorm will
be freely available, in both Dutch and English, to anyone
interested in the preservaon of photographs. The project
concludes with a public symposium during which the
outcomes and results will be presented.
The Project is coordinated by the SBMK together with the
UvA. Partnermuseum: Amsterdam Museum, Museum
Boijmans Van Beuningen, Bonnefanten, De Domijnen,
Frans Hals Museum| De Hallen, Het Nieuwe Instuut,
Huis Marseille, Kröller-Müller Museum, Kunstmuseum
Den Haag / Fotomuseum Den Haag, Schng Naonaal
Museum van Wereldculturen, Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam, Rabo Art collecon and RCE Art collecons.
Advisory partners: Rijksmuseum, NICAS, Naonal Archives,
Nederlands Fotomuseum.
Project Collecon Knowledge 2.0 / Photography is part of
the RCE Program E20E (Program Cultural Heritage of the
Tweneth Century) and is nancially supported by the
Gieskes-Strijbis Foundaon, the Mondrian Fund, UvA, RCE
and the Prins Bernhard Culture Foundaon.
Please visit:
German Democrac Plascs in Design. An internaonal
research project on material, technology and conservaon
In 2020, an internaonal collaborave research project
focused on the technology and ageing of plascs produced
between 1949 and 1990 in the former German Democrac
Republic (GDR) was launched by a group of instuonal
partners. This partnership is comprised of The Gey
Conservaon Instute (Los Angeles, USA), Die Neue
Sammlung – The Design Museum (Munich, Germany),
the TH Köln – Cologne Instute of Conservaon Science
(Cologne, Germany) and The Wende Museum (Los Angeles,
So far, conservaon science of plascs has mainly focused
on the idencaon of polymers, their degradaon and,
somemes, on possible conservaon and restoraon
methods. Concerning plasc degradaon, the aenon
resides mainly on the analysis of their chemical
characteriscs. Nonetheless, one of the aspects that has
hardly been taken into account is the extent to which
industrial producon processes and manufacturing
technologies inuence the long-term properes of plascs
and their ageing. Although the engineering sciences collect
relevant data as part of their quality assurance processes,
the overlaps with the conservaon sciences have not been
yet explored in-depth.
Milchkannen (Milk cans), 1960 - 64, produced byVEB Preßwerk
Tambach, designed by IEE. ©Die Neue Sammlung - The Design
Museum, A. Laurenzo
Therefore, by means of extensive condion surveys,
material analysis, literature research and the comparison
of two of the most important and comprehensive GDR
industrial design collecons Die Neue Sammlung – The
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Design Museum in Munich and The Wende Museum in Los
Angeles, the present research project aims to close this
gap. The Gey Conservaon Instute (GCI) and the Cologne
Instute of Conservaon Sciences (CICS) systemacally
and analycally accompany the invesgaon of both
museum collecons and provide signicant support with
their experse in the eld of plasc conservaon and
idencaon. Addionally, from 2009-2011, the CICS
carried out a research project on the subject of GDR
plascs, which essenally studied and documented the
socio-historical background of their plasc producon and
whose outcomes constute a useful source of informaon
for the research at hand.
Blumengießkannen, 1960, produced by VEB Glasbijouterie
Ziau, design by Klaus Kunis. ©Die Neue Sammlung - The Design
Museum, A. Laurenzo
This collaborave project specically deals with the
idencaon of producon processes and technologies
of plasc materials deployed in the former GDR for the
producon of industrial designs, as well as their degradaon
and possible prevenve and acve treatments. Two
essenal factors that cause this study to focus on the GDR
are its ground-breaking plasc producon processes and
technology and that it represents a dened and already
nished cultural and economic period. It is important to
highlight that since the 1950s, the GDR developed into one
of the leading plascs-producing naons, which exported
its products to almost all countries of the Eastern block and
even to the West via veiled channels.
Furthermore, the project will be accompanied by a
nal publicaon, an expert meeng and a concluding
conference as well as an exhibion at the Pinakothek der
Moderne, Munich. Part of the cooperave project is the
doctoral thesis by Helena Ernst: Material memory: How are
signs of manufacturing, usage and ageing related to the
respecve material properes and what can be revealed by
reading those traces (working tle).
Further informaon about the project you can nd on the
webpages of the project partners:
The Gey Conservaon Instute
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum
TH Köln – Cologne Instute of Conservaon Science
The Wende Museum
Helena Ernst
Glossy Surfaces (June 2021 - June 2024)
Glossy Surfaces, a 3-year Flemish government-funded
project iniated by ModeMuseum (MoMu), Belgium is
composed of an internaonal consorum of museums -
Mode Museum (MoMu, Belgium), Museu do Design e da
Moda (MUDE, Portugal), and The Metropolitan Museum of
Art (MET, USA) – as well as scienc partners – Department
of Conservaon and Restoraon from NOVA School of
Science and Technology (Portugal) and Centexbel (Belgium)
and an independent external advisor, Thea Van Oosten.
This project seeks conservaon soluons for aromac/
aliphac thermoplasc polyurethane (TPU) ester based
coangs in fashion collecons. This material appears
in most contemporary fashion and design collecons,
but is oen not recognized or mistaken for plascised
polyvinyl chloride (PVC-P). There are currently no
accepted treatments for this material beyond prevenve
conservaon measures and idenfying the material takes
sophiscated technology, like aenuated total reectance–
Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy.
T 15/763AB Raf Simons for DIOR. © Collece Modemuseum
Antwerpen, Foto: Stany Dederen.
Over the past decades, fashion and design collecons
have acquired many coated objects. Texle coangs are
not new-- synthec coangs were used as early as the late
19th Century. By the early 1960s synthec materials like
imitaon leathers and impermeable fabrics became popular
and because of the seemingly endless possibilies of the
material it has only grown in popularity since. Preserving
these coangs presents a huge challenge because their
degradaon processes vary widely and idencaon
without technology remains dicult. Designers and the
texle industry connue to use TPU coated materials and
its producon has evolved over me by use of dierent
materials and components. These changes result in the
dierent degradaon reacons which are being mapped
and visualized for this project with a damage atlas.
The rst year’s focus is on analysis of collecon objects
through ATR-FTIR within the consorum. Case studies
and samples from the 1960’s onward will be selected
based on the ATR-FTIR results for more thorough research.
The following two years will center on the prevenve
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
conservaon aspect of TPU coated objects. The goal is
to provide guidelines for storage and exhibion. Ethical
quesons need to be taken into consideraon as well
since degraded TPU coated objects oen have a dierent
appearance than the designer originally intended.
Aer these alteraons occur it is impossible to put
these objects on display because the original concept is
completely lost. Alongside prevenve conservaon, acve
conservaon will also be considered, to research possible
treatments for the most common problems of TPU coated
For further informaon please contact Kim Veerkens at
Kim Verkens
ICOM Solidarity Project 2021
Clothing the Pandemic: Resiliency, Community & Unity
Expressed Through an Internaonal Collaboraon of the
Covid-19 Facemask Project
This research and digital exhibion project aims to
document and contextualize the use of facemasks during
the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-21. The stories of
COVID-19 will be recorded in all the world’s history books.
In a similar way, this project intends to preserve and
explore the omnipresent item of this challenging pandemic
since its very beginnings: the facemask. Facemasks have
become the iconic object and symbol of the pandemic
represenng humanity’s resilience, community and unity
during this global tragedy. Hence, the project will connect
internaonal museums and curators working on this topic,
and link their collecons virtually to a global public. It is
granted by the Solidarity CFP launched by ICOM in 2021.
Along with ICOM Costume, ICOM-CC, ICME and ICOM
Canada will be working on the project.
Hidden Liotard IV (aer Portrait of Joachim Rendorp by Jean-
Eenne Liotard, 1757, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam), Photocollage
by Volker Hermes, 2020©
Museum curators have been working throughout 2020 / 21
to study, understand and document the social dimensions
of the pandemic. Around the world, many museums have
begun early on to collect facemasks and other dress items
chronicling this period of me and exploring their meanings
for the people who make and wear them. These masks speak
to many medical, arsc, and social responses, such as the
livelihoods of craspeople, arsts’ responses to personal
and societal challenges, as well as other global events of
2020, including the Black Lives Maer campaign. In other
museums worldwide, Dress and Fashion departments have
started to collect facemasks from fashion designers, local
craspeople and arsans. The ICOM Costume Commiee
is spearheading this iniave and seeks to bring together
these mulfaceted internaonal eorts to document this
moment in me through:
1. Free online workshops will unfold in two parts:
Part I: Collecng, Researching, Documenng, Displaying
occurred on June 23rd 2021 conducted by the Costume
Commiee in cooperaon with the Internaonal
Commiee for the Museums of Ethnography (ICME) and
ICOM Canada.
Part II: Conservaon, Preservaon to take place on
September 22nd 2021 in collaboraon with two ICOM-
CC working groups --Texles and Modern Materials and
Contemporary Art.
2. A collaborave virtual exhibion of COVID-19 facemasks
collected by the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada); the
Museum of Civilizaons of Europe and the Mediterranean
- MUCEM (France); Naonal Museums Scotland (UK);
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New
Zealand); The Menswear Archive, University Museum of
Westminster (UK), Modemuseum in Antwerp, Central
Museum Utrecht (The Netherlands), The Budapest History
Museum (Hungary), The Rose and Texles Fashion Archives
at Shenkar (Israel), The Naonal Museums Scotland, The
Musée Théodore Monod Dakar (Senegal), and ACM
3. An online conference presenng the results of the
project. This will include an online publicaon and a set of
online resources to assist people creang collecons and
to provide pedagogical resources for educators to discuss
the pandemic through these internaonal collecons.
For all informaon about the project please contact the
project leader Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset at corinne. and visit hp://
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Victor Vasarely and his monumental mae monochromes:
The challenge of consolidang alkyd paints and serigraphic
Fondaon Vasarely, Aix-en-Provence (France)
In the 1960s Victor Vasarely (1906, Pécs, Hungary - 1997,
Paris, France), inuenced by the Bauhaus and as a pioneer
of abstract art towards Op Art, developed his idea of an
art dedicated to the people, an “art for all.” Frustrated by
post-war architecture, he dreamt about a “polychrome city
of happiness,” which would represent a full synthesis of
architecture and art.
Since 1976, the architectonic centre in Aix-en-Provence, a
unique artwork itself, and known today as the Fondaon
Vasarely, aims to disseminate this art for the “city of
tomorrow” by integrang works of art into architecture
hence dened as “integraons.” Inside the alveolar shaped
building, a small team is now facing the challenges to
conserve and restore 44 monumental integraons, which
have suered over me, but sll fulll their purpose:
to pass on the plasc arst’s unique heritage to future
General view into the alveole 8 with the integraons Sonora,
Capella and Kalota (from le to right). ©Fondaon Vasarely.
Each of these incredibly valuable and unique integraons
measures up to 6 x 8 m and Vasarely chose a multude of
dierent materials considered as very modern at the me:
from anodised aluminium, tapestry, cardboard collages,
Nextel® paints, mosaics, ceramics and glass installaons
to early alkyd paints and serigraphic inks of the brand
The upcoming research project The monumental mae
monochromes: The challenge of consolidang alkyd paints
and serigraphic ink examines in detail twelve integraons
made of plastered walls and reliefs covered by alkyd paint
and serigraphic ink applied by spray gun.
As result of an inial study conducted in 2019, conservators
Magalie Troy and Laura Brigan idened the need for
further research. Although prior research has been carried
out to conserve and treat dierent brands of alkyd paints
used by 20th century painters, Matrifa®, a serigraphic ink
brand used by Victor Vasarely that he presumably combined
with alkyd house paints in Aix-en-Provence, has not been
invesgated. The damages aecng the integraons
are caused by a separaon of the paint layers inside the
preparaon layer on the concrete wall, leaving inexible,
convex deformed akes of paint. This phenomenon only
occurs in specic colour elds which are all exhibing a
high sensivity to water- and solvent based systems.
Detail of aking paint of the integraon Kalota. ©TROY-BRIGANTI.
In order to preserve these artworks, it is therefore necessary
to dene a consolidaon strategy which respects:
The chemical compability of solvents and resins
especially with regards to the high sensivity of the
paint lms
The variaon of surface conducvity and pH values
which dier for each colour eld
The mobility and exibility of the hard and brile akes
The applicaon method with respect to the vercal
nature of the integraons
The mae and monochrome character of the colour
The monumental format
The intervenon in a cultural heritage site, open to the
public and subject to changing climac condions
The current research project therefore aims to supplement
the scienc analyses focused on each of the aected
areas and to evaluate materials and applicaon techniques
to secure, soen, mobilise, and consolidate the aking
paint. The project will also connue to deepen the already
exisng substanal archive relang to the construcon
site. Interviews with crasmen who parcipated in the
realisaon of the integraons, represent an addional and
potenally invaluable source of informaon.
The project is supported by various partners and
authories, so far namely the Regional Directorate for
Cultural Aairs (DRAC PACA), the Regional Conservaon
of Historic Monuments (CRMH PACA) and, in the frame
of a scienc assistance, the Centre for Research and
Restoraon of Museums of France (C2RMF), Paris, and the
Interdisciplinary Centre for Heritage Conservaon (CICRP),
Marseille, as well as mulple private sponsors.
If you would like to share your interest, bring ideas or
comment on this project, please contact Julia Hartmann at
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Updates about the project will be published on hps://
Julia Hartmann, Magalie Troy
Preservaon of historic acrylics outdoors.
Strategies for the conservaon of outdoor transparent
poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) in architecture and
museum objects
Our research project (2020-2022) aims at developing
sustainable treatments for maintaining transparent
poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) components in
architectural and cultural heritage located outdoors.
Numerous historically valuable buildings and cultural
artefacts from the last century have components made
of transparent PMMA. Outdoor cultural objects are
especially aected by increased UV-light, pollutants,
soot, gra and vandalism, which damage their once
transparent appearance and their substance. Instead of
removing and replacing the original material, historical
acrylic components belonging to cultural heritage should
be maintained on a regular basis to prolong their lifespan.
Several case studies in situ with transparent PMMA were
selected for invesgaon:
i) roof and window elements from the cashpoints at the
Olympic Sports Facilies in Munich dang from 1972;
ii) windows from the airplane Transall C-160 from 1970 at
the Deutsches Museum in Munich;
iii) windows from the former Felix Wankel Instute from
1962 in Lindau. Furthermore, six historic fragments are
available for study, including an original fragment from the
Olympic Sports Facilies in Munich (g. 1). Laboratory (e.g.
FT-IR, py/GC-MS) and in situ (e.g. microscopy) analysis shall
help determine aging phenomena (g. 2), the condion of
the samples and assessing the eects of cleaning and/or
protecve treatments.
Fig. 1: Historical roof element of the Olympic Sports Facilies in
Munich from 1972, Plexiglas® GS 215 stretch-formed, aluminum
frame and round buers that connected the sheet to a net of steel
wire. Due to degradaon, the once transparent, stretch-formed
material became opaque and soiled.
BLfD Bauarchiv Fortbildungs- u. Beratungszentrum für
Denkmalpege Thierhaupten. Foto: Bayerisches Landesamt für
Denkmalpege, Rolf Moennich.
To develop appropriate cleaning and protecon strategies,
conservaon methods for outdoors heritage (e.g.
monuments) and indoors museum objects (e.g. plasc
artefacts) are being combined. Cleaning methods will be
tested on naturally aged and soiled transparent PMMA
fragments from the roof of the Olympic Sports Facilies in
the laboratory and implemented in the cash points in situ.
Fig. 2: Microscopic images of degradaon phenomena on the
surface of historical stretch-formed Plexiglas® GS 215 from 1972.
Le: scratches and crazes; middle: shell-shaped opening inside
the material, starng from crazes; right: disintegraon by loss
of akes, leaving the once glossy surface (upper part) mae
underneath (lower part).
Archival and collaborave research with the company
Röhm (the main producer of PMMA in Germany within
the historical period under invesgaon) is helping to
dierenate the composion and producon techniques of
several historical acrylic samples. Based on this knowledge,
we aim in a future research step to test reversible
protecve coangs. Therefore, new specimens (with
similar composion and producon process to one case
study) will be arcially aged and treated with protecve
coangs, which in turn will be arcially aged again to test
their durability under the inuence of UV-light and water.
The project is being developed by Susanne Brunner at the
Technical University of Munich TUM (Assistant Professorship
of Recent Heritage Conservaon, Prof. Dr. Andreas Putz),
in cooperaon with the Deutsches Museum (Conservaon
Science Department, Dr. Marisa Pamplona) and the
Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpege (Zentrallabor,
Dipl.-Chem. Marn Mach). It is funded by the Deutsche
Bundessung Umwelt DBU. Further informaon can be
found at hps://
Susanne Brunner
Program Heritage of the 20th Century
The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
and its subsidiary, the Ministry of Culture, Educaon
and Science receive many quesons from heritage
professionals, private individuals and policymakers related
to opmal preservaon, management and presentaon
of 20th and 21st century heritage. To beer answer these
quesons, RCE has developed the Heritage of the 20th
century program.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Urgent issues
We believe it is important to know, appreciate and cherish
heritage from our recent past. While museums and other
heritage instuons make modern heritage accessible to
a wide audience, this may be at odds with the material
preservaon of the objects. For the restoraon of built
heritage, the applicaon of sustainable processes and
materials is increasingly required. Does replacement of
original materials lead to a loss of cultural value? And to
what extent is neglect and destrucon lurking in heritage
recognized too late?
Opportunies, knowledge and arsts
Knowledge to support proper care and opportunies
for modern cultural heritage in the Netherlands is sll
scaered or insuciently developed. For a complete
analysis of the most urgent quesons and future forecasts,
it is important to understand these objects. Knowledge
of historical and modern materials and techniques, the
inuence of restoraon intervenons and of environmental
factors such as light, temperature, moisture and polluon
are necessary. Where possible, the arst or architect is the
key: which materials did they use and how?
The research program
The program, which runs from 2021 to the end of 2023,
builds in part on RCE’s Heritage of the Modern Age program
The Heritage of the 20th century program focuses on three
1. Materials and maintenance: building knowledge and
experse about material producon, applicaon, ageing
and conservaon.
2. Meaning, percepon and presentaon of objects.
3. Value and use: promong public appreciaon and thus
opmal use of new heritage.
The projects in the program invesgate materials, their
properes, composion, use and conservaon: Plascs,
photographic material (the SBMK Project 2020-2023:
Preservaon of modern photographic works of art,
menoned elsewhere in this newsleer), Synthec Organic
Pigments (1920-1950), painng surfaces of Mondrian,
Appel and Schoonhoven; modern building materials
(1945-2000), use of color in built heritage (1940-1980). In
addion to material-technical research, the project oral
history develops methods to gather and document original
sources by means of interviews with arsts, architects,
manufacturers and other makers.
Knowledge gained in the process will follow the FAIR
Guiding Principles for scienc data management and
RCE works closely with various partners, such as the Dutch
Foundaon for the Conservaon of Contemporary Art
(SBMK), universies including Del University of Technology
and University of Amsterdam, museums (including Museum
Boijmans van Beuningen, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Kröller-
Müller Museum) and other heritage instuons, heritage
professionals and industrial archives.
In addion, the program establishes links with, among
others, European Research Infrastructure for Cultural
Heritage (E-RIHS)-NL and the Netherlands Instute for
Conservaon, Art and Science (NICAS), in which the RCE
is a central partner. The program reaches out to INCCA
and ICOM-CC Modern Materials and Contemporary Art
Working Group.
More informaon can be found on RCE’s website www., at hps://
Or contact
Anne Houk de Jong, communicaon at or
Klaas Jan van den Berg, program leader at k.van.den.berg@
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
The Abode of Chaos: a refreshing challenge for
conservaon theories and pracces
The Documentaon, Interpretaon and Valorizaon of
Heritage (DIVA) research group, from the University of Liège
has currently been reecng on the legacy of the Abode
of Chaos, a museum of contemporary art located in Saint-
Romain-au-Mont d’Or, a small town north of Lyon, France.
The site includes ruins of a former Protestant temple as
well as vernacular buildings partly dang back to the 17th
century, surrounded by a vast garden. In the early 1990s
part of these properes were purchased by the arst and
businessman thierry Ehrmann to establish his company’s
oces and residence. In 1999, aer restoring these
buildings, he decided to gradually convert them and the
grounds into a Gesamtkunstwerk, populang this historic
site with his creaons and transforming it in an evolving
contemporary art museum the Abode of Chaos. Over the
years Ehrmann’s project acted as a resonance chamber
for the most disturbing aspects of the contemporary
world (hp://
abodeofchaos-opus-IX-2013.pdf) and as a “mirror of the
Anthropocene”, where important events represenng news
of the world are immediately transcribed through murals,
inscripons, recycled metal sculptures and installaons,
ready-mades or performances.
The Abode of Chaos, aerial view (TTGE-thierry Ehrmann, 2020).
This constantly evolving site is currently comprised of more
than 6500 artworks and installaons and has welcomed
more than 2,000,000 visitors.
From a material point of view, the pracce of reuse is the
hallmark of thierry Ehrmann’s work. More than 80 % of
the implemented substance is drawn from exisng natural
materials (earth, stone, wood, water, plants), transformed
materials (steel, bricks, concrete, glass, non-ferrous
metals, plasc, polymer, bitumen, etc.) as well as arfacts
and machines (airplane, helicopter, submarine, tunneling
machine, containers, drums, atomic baeries, machine
tools, beams, components from heavy industry, electronics
and computers). Each resource is fully reused and nds
its place in the connuously evolving ensemble. Every
component bears history and energy, and contributes to
the creaon of meaning from the waste of the consumer
Although it expresses nothing more than what everyone
observes every day in the media, the site disturbs all the
more by the contrast it oers with the apparently smooth
and quiet environment of the well-to-do suburbs. While
granng the Abode of Chaos the status of a museum, since
2005 the municipal authories impose a “restoraon” of
the site in order to align with town planning regulaons.
The way in which the works interact with the buildings,
the site and its residenal environment is indeed in violent
opposion to the noons of conservaon, restoraon or
integraon into the context provided by these regulaons.
For example, the arst has intenonally damaged exisng
buildings by scaricaon or inclusions of “meteorites”
within stone masonry which are later burned or covered
with murals and inscripons.
Cages of Hell (thierry Ehrmann, 2019).
These opposing points of view are at the origin of a series of
legal acons, sll in progress, despite the law n° 2016-925
(July 7, 2016) on the “freedom of creaon, architecture and
heritage”, which is thus outed. However, its visit stascs
(180,000 visitors / year, rst contemporary art museum in
the Rhône-Alpes region), its rangs on Google (4.7 / 5) and
Facebook (over 4,500,000 likes), the 770,000 signatories
of the peon for its preservaon and the multude of
reports devoted to it worldwide (3.600 arcles, all media),
demonstrate that the Abode of Chaos is appreciated by a
very large, diverse and commied public.
thierry Ehrmann (thierry Ehrmann, 2010)
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
This site has challenged our research group with the
quesons it poses to our criteria for heritage and
intervenon principles: we are confronted with a living,
evolving and disrupve work whose very existence is a
manifesto. To take up the cause of this endangered site
by subming an applicaon to be placed on the World
Monuments Fund Watch List, thus takes on a polical tone.
How can the arst, architects and conservators, collecvely
think about the future of this atypical work? How can its
organic unity be preserved while embracing connuous
creaon? Should the process be documented? If so, how?
What should be preserved and how? The heterogeneity
of the materials, and their treatment (scaricaon,
destrucon, burial...), and the imbricaon of the vesges
of the past to a contemporary work pose unexpected
problems and challenge the tradional approaches to
conservaon. What conceptual tools and skills do we need
to address this complex work, when tradional values are
voluntarily and violently put in queson? Usual concepts
such as originality or authencity are proving to be deeply
inadequate as such. Should they be adapted or reinvented?
Will the lack of appropriate concepts, desire and means,
lead to the disappearance of the site, or at the very least,
the denaturaon of its inial project?
At this stage, we have no answers. Despite the 770,000
signatories of a peon to save the site, its future remains
uncertain since it was denied being given the status of
a work of art and exempng it from these regulaons.
However the Abode of Chaos connues serving as a living
laboratory. Reecon and collaboraon are welcome,
specically through the workshops scheduled in the
coming months in collaboraon with CONNECTHEO.
Claudine Houbart and Muriel Verbeeck
The Breast Dress: preserving Los Angeles feminist art.
The Breast Dress is a costume that was made and worn
by arst Anne Gauldin during performances by the The
Waitresses, an all -female arst performance group acve
in the late 1970s/early 1980s in Los Angeles, California. The
costume consists of a 1950s style waitressing uniform onto
which thirteen latex rubber breasts have been stched
all the breasts were cast from the breasts of the members
of The Waitresses. The costume was worn for several
performances including Ready to Order? and The Great
Goddess Diana.
During a study day at the Gey Research Instute, Anne
Gauldin spoke about the making of the dress. “We were
sing around having a meeng, and I was pung plaster
on everyone’s breasts,” she said. Once the plaster molds
of each woman’s breasts were made, Gauldin recalled
seng up a portable studio in the back of her Datsun
hatchback where she would paint layers of latex into the
molds during her lunch breaks. She then sewed thirteen
of the latex breasts onto a pink 1950s style diner uniform.
Embodying the Great Goddess Diana, a symbol of ferlity
and sustenance, she wore the dress during The Waitress’s
rst series of performances, Ready to Order?, held in
dierent Los Angeles restaurants in the spring of 1978. “It
was like reclaiming female power that had been lost and
buried for centuries,” she said.
Ready to Order?,1978, The Waitresses. Gey Research Instute,
Los Angeles (2017.M.45). © 1978 Maria Karras.
Almost y years later, in 2018 the dress was acquired by
the Gey Research Instute as part of the Women’s Building
Archive. The rubber breasts had deteriorated signicantly.
Some of them had slumped and collapsed, some are
hardened and embriled. The most damaged ones have
started to crack and crumble. GRI conservators’ primary
objecves are to slow the deterioraon of the latex and
stabilize areas where the latex has begun to crack, but also
to prepare the dress for display. This compelling object will
likely be included in future GRI exhibions, and curators
have already expressed their preference for an upright
installaon, so as to avoid a “corpse like” horizontal display.
Support methods for the breasts need to be explored and
the crumbled areas need to be re-integrated.
Performance costume (a.k.a. Breast Dress) from the Women’s
Building archive: Gey Research Instute, Los Angeles
(2017.M.43). Gi of Sue Maberry. © J. Paul Gey Trust.
The dress was immediately re-housed in an anoxic
environment to slow down the deterioraon of the
rubber latex primarily caused by oxidaon. Meanwhile,
the objecves for the treatment plan were established:
consolidate the fragmented breasts, line the breasts -
probably individually – and construct interior supports to
hold the shape of the breast forms as the latex connues to
harden over me. Aer discussing comparable treatments
with plasc conservator at the Gey Conservaon Instute,
and texle and costume conservators at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and The Academy
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Museum in Los Angeles, a selecon of materials were
chosen as candidates for consolidaon, adhesives, linings,
loss llings, and an installaon support system.
In order to test materials and methods before beginning
treatment on the dress, vintage rubber items were
purchased and were arcially aged using UV light and heat.
These items and the original breasts underwent chemical
analysis with py-GCMS to determine which test samples
were the most chemically similar to the original breasts.
The samples can now be used to test the reshapeability
of hardened forms as well as the eecveness and
retreatability of treatment materials.
A vintage rubber mask aer arcial aging processes. © J. Paul
Gey Trust.
The materiality and physical presence of the Breast Dress
possesses a unique power to capture the imaginaon. As
an archive object, it gives a physicality to an important
moment in art history and to the women whose bodies
created it. Turning back the clock for this object is certainly
not possible, but with a lile care perhaps it can connue
to tell its stories for many years to come.
Melissa Huddleston and Rachel Rivenc
A Tableau-piège by Daniel Spoerri: how to conserve a
food leovers composion?
Considered one of the most mulfaceted protagonists of
the contemporary internaonal art scene, Spoerri was
a ballet dancer, a choreographer, a gurave arst and
performer. In 1960 he was one of the signatories of the
manifesto of the Nouveau Réalisme art movement. Soon
aer, he developed the concept of Eat Art, also closely
approaching the Fluxus movement. Spoerri is famous
above all for his Tableaux-pièges (literally “picture-traps”),
a type of assemblage in which a group of ordinary dinner-
table objects, such as glasses, silverware and plates with
remains of meals, are xed to a tabletop which is then
hung vercally as a picture. The decepon arises from the
unusual vercal posion of the table, normally seen from
a horizontal perspecve, and intended to create visual
discomfort in the viewer.
In 2020, one of Spoerri’s Tableaux-pièges, 1972 (Fig. 1)
from the Museion Foundaon in Bolzano was examined
and restored by students as part of the master’s degree
educaon programme in conservaon and restoraon
of Contemporary Art Materials, oered by the Istuto
Centrale per il Restauro in Rome. This assemblage
combines two plates with leovers, each with a knife and
fork, three bowls, one with a cigaree bu; a saucer with
a candle, two wine glasses, a half-litre carafe, two salt and
pepper shakers, a pack of cigarees, a metal cigaree
lighter and a crumpled paper napkin. Spoerri did not use
real food remains, as was conrmed in an interview given
in 2015, but instead simulated the leovers. The objects
were glued on a square panel, previously painted in blue,
and the whole work was protected by an acrylic glass cover.
Fig. 1: Daniel Spoerri, Tableau-piège (before the treatment, photo
by Angelo Rubino, ICR).
Despite its random appearance, the work clearly
demonstrates pre-planning, parcularly in the system
used by the arst to x the objects on the panel. Once the
arrangement was decided, the arst used a drill to make a
series of regularly spaced small holes through the support
- near the perimeters of the bases of the dierent objects
- and applied an adhesive at the boom of each object as
well as into the small holes. In this way, the adhesion was
strengthened by increasing the bond areas.
Despite that, during the examinaon cracks and losses in
some objects caused by their detachment from the support
were observed. However, these objects had been re-glued
in a subsequent treatment and appeared suciently stable.
The main concerns were the decohesion of the materials
simulang the leovers on the plates, with some small
fragments parally detached, and above all the extensive
oxidaon stains and dust deposits that covered the objects,
giving the work a worn and dirty look, inconsistent with the
idea of a laid table just abandoned by the diners.
Aer a preliminary invesgaon, the conservaon
treatment, carried out by Carloa Rubina Ruotolo under
the guidance of Paola Iazurlo and Laura Tocci, aimed to
stabilise these conservaon issues as well as recover the
original aesthec value of the work, without eliminang
the signs of aging.
The parts aected by decohesion were consolidated using a
cellulose ether-based adhesive at dierent concentraons
(Culminal® MC 2000 from 1 to 4% in water).
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Aer dusng with so brushes, solvent cleaning was
carried out to remove deposits and greasy dust, while
respecng the dierent substrates as well as the material
simulang the remains. Aer preliminary tesng, an apolar
hydrocarbon solvent (petroleum ether 80-100°C) was
applied by swabs through Japanese paper (g. 2a), verifying
under an ultraviolet light microscope that its acon did not
interfere with the original underlying organic layer.
Fig. 2. Detail of the plate during the solvent cleaning (a) and the
mechanical removal of the oxidaon (b).
Subsequently, it was decided to lighten the oxidaon
stains present on the knives and on the saltshaker, which
inhibited correct percepon of the aesthecs of the work.
The oxidaon on the knives was only parally removed
gently using a scalpel and a breglass pen, to avoid the risk
of modifying the opacity of the metal surfaces (g. 2b). As
for the saltshaker, it was necessary to open the lid, which
was tenaciously oxidized, using an elasc band capable of
increasing the fricon necessary for unscrewing (g 3a).
The oxidaon on the glass and the metal lid was removed,
using a combinaon of solvents (petroleum ether and
acetone applied with swabs) and the light mechanical
acon of a scalpel. It was also decided to remove part of
the rusty salt using tweezers and a spatula coated with
double-sided tape (g. 3b). The container was then lled
to the top with new salt as the arst had originally done,
probably to avoid visual disturbance to the decepon of
the overturned work. To prevent the salt from escaping
through the holes in the lid, the inside was lined with
Paralm M, thereby ensuring maximum reversibility and
was protected with an acrylic soluon (Paraloid™ B44 2%
in acetone) to prevent further oxidaon promoted by the
hygroscopic nature of the salt.
Fig. 3. Detail of the salt shaker aer the opening (a) and during
the rust salt removal (b).
The cleaning of the carafe, the glasses and the outside
of the salt and pepper shakers was carried out with a dry
pure-cellulose paper ssue. As for the wooden support,
a vulcanized natural latex sponge (Smokeo) served for
extracon and removal of the surface dirt. The stains of the
support near the salt shaker were slightly retouched with
watercolours, known for their stability and reversibility.
Finally, the acrylic glass cover was gently cleaned with a
dry microber cloth and reaached to the work using the
original holes and screws.
Fig. 4. Detail of the plate aer the conservaon treatment.
In conclusion, the intervenon achieved not only the
stabilisaon of the artwork, but also the recovery of
its aesthec values, altered by dirt and decay, without
erasing the signs of me (g. 4). The invesgaon of the
arst’s poetry and the discussion with art historians,
conservators and students was fundamental to understand
the objecves and the limits to set for conserving a food
leovers composion, where the objects themselves in the
arst’s intenon are not untouchable ruins but rather the
traces of a lived existence that gave shape to the arsc
For further informaon, please contact: paola.iazurlo@
Paola Iazurlo
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Conservaon Training for Modern Materials during the
Pandemic: Experiences from the Cologne Instute of
Conservaon Sciences (CICS)
Friederike Waeng, Professor for Conservaon of Wooden
Objects and Modern Materials at the CICS at the University
of Applied Sciences Cologne, Germany.
Franziska Timmerman and Hannah Schuermann, MA
students of Conservaon and Restoraon of Art and
Cultural Heritage at the CICS at the University of Applied
Sciences Cologne, Germany.
Friederike, Franziska and Hannah were interviewed by Anna
Laganà, ICOM-CC Modern Materials and Contemporary Art
Working Group Coordinator.
Anna Laganà (AL): Hi Friederike, welcome and thanks
for parcipang in our rst newsleer of this 2020-2023
Triennium and sharing with us your experience as professor
during the Covid 19 Pandemic! Could you briey introduce
yourself and your conservaon program to our members?
Friederike Waeng (FW): Thank you so much Anna, for the
welcome and the chance to report about our experiences.
I think this is really important, as students were oen
forgoen during this challenging me. The impact that
shutdowns and online teaching have generated in students’
educaon and life has not been thoroughly considered by
government leaders, at least not in Germany.
Friederike Waeng.
Our degree program in conservaon and restoraon of
cultural heritage was founded in 1986 at the University of
Applied Sciences Cologne. The rst disciplines established
were Restoraon and Conservaon of Murals and Stone
Objects as well as Painngs and Sculptures, and later
followed by Objects Conservaon (Wood and Modern
Materials) and Wrings, Graphics and Manuscript
Illuminaon as well as Texles and Archaeological bres.
Our degree program is separated into dierent subject
areas right from the start. As early as during their pre-
studies and pre-internships, students must decide on
which eld they wish to specialise in.
The BA degree program is divided into basic and advanced
study periods and nishes with a praccal and theorecal
thesis. In the basic study period, principles of the restoraon
profession are comprehensively conveyed, and during the
advanced study period the students focus on their chosen
eld of specialty.
The two-year Master’s Program is more pracce- and
research-oriented and is intended to make individual career
paths possible. It aims to provide students the technical
and methodical skills needed for their future complex and
demanding work. The Master’s Program combines the
ve specialty branches of the Bachelor Program, with a
view to interdisciplinary connecons and a deepening of
higher-level aspects of restoraon and conservaon. The
rst term is theory based, while project work covers the
second and third term. The fourth term is reserved for the
Master’s thesis that can build on the project work.
Just some notes about me: I joined the University in 2003
aer working many years in various museums and as a
freelance conservator in Germany. I started my career
with an apprenceship as a cabinet maker and earned my
Masters in Conservaon specialising in Wooden Arfacts
from the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, followed
by a Masters in Heritage Preservaon and a PhD from
the Oo-Friedrich-University of Bamberg with a Major in
Heritage Preservaon.
AL: Friederike, can you describe how Covid-19 impacted
your program and dues as professor?
FW: Oh, several things impacted and changed my daily life
as a professor. I’ll share the most important ones. When
the rst lockdown closed the university, the students were
no longer able to work on their objects in the lab. I tried
to nd a way to have the MA and BA students working on
their nal theses allowed in the lab so they could connue
doing research and treatments on objects. It took about
six weeks to get the necessary permissions. I can tell you
that this administraon and paperwork was incredible, as
nobody knew at this me what to do, how to react and
nearly every day new restricons were imposed. Professors
and researchers were allowed to go to work every day
(with certain requirements), so we used this me to test
safety protocols for the potenal students coming in and
discussed the situaon with the dean, president, and the
newly established crisis team. The rst weeks were so
full of administrave dues I felt like a hamster rotang
in his wheel. It was oen frustrang, but suddenly the
permission granng the students access to the lab arrived.
From this day on the greater challenge became meeng
the students´ needs online preparing a variety of teaching
materials able to cover theory and pracce, while also
taking care of the students on-site at the university.
AL: What were the main challenges generated by the
pandemic and how did you overcome those?
FW: My colleague Andreas Krupa and I cleaned our
department, built acousc walls between the student
workbenches to prevent aerosol exchange, and collected
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
students’ belongings in boxes. We are so fortunate to
have private workplaces for every student. So from day
one the students had xed workplaces which had to be
cleaned and disinfected every evening. Instead of the
regular 40 students, only 12 were permied on-site and
had to document their presence. As we have about 1000
m2 it is quite silent since the pandemic started, but the
rst weeks were the quietest weeks I ever experienced.
Just imagine. The teaching team had the enre place to
ourselves. We used these rst weeks to build dierent
studios for preparing teaching materials as we wanted the
students to connue their studies. We took photographs,
shot instruconal videos and packed kits of materials for
the students. Every course and module was dierent and
discussions were had on how best to implement theory as
well as the praccal work into the students’ lives during
lockdown. Some lectures were taught online, but most
were pre-recorded. In order to allow students at home
to carry out praccal exercises, we packed and sent them
materials and tools. For example, for the module on
describing and analyzing historical plascs we produced
about 40 videos and packed big crates with sample objects,
reference materials, and tools for micro chemical tesng for
every student so they could work at home. Aer consulng
the health and safety department students also received
their own safety equipment. For me it was important that
the students knew that we supported them and that they
could call us when needed to discuss their subjects. And
with the help of a lot of new soware, such as Microso
Teams, we managed to organize every module eciently,
to give online lectures and to stay in contact. The students
appreciated that they could call us through this soware
anyme we were online.
In the end we succeeded in teaching the enre program. No
modules were cancelled, but it was also very exhausng, I
have to say.
Slls from some pre-recorded lectures.
AL: Did the experience of this past year make you think
about changing any aspect of your teaching? Are you
considering adopng any of these educaonal soluons
resulng from the pandemic in the future / post-pandemic
FW: Yes, we would like to keep working with online
plaorms such as Microso Teams and if I have the me
I would like to extend the range of pre-recorded videos
with more subjects. It leaves more me for discussion or
praccal stu as the students can listen to or watch the
videos whenever they want.
AL: One last queson for Friederike: In your opinion, what
posive things has the pandemic generated in our eld?
FW: Most importantly, I do not have to travel to so many
meengs anymore. Meeng and discussing projects online
has become easier and more accepted which reduces the
need to travel around the world. So it is not only great for
our eld, but also for the whole environment. I really hope
we will sck to the online meengs.
AL: Welcome also to Franziska and Hannah and thank you
both for sharing with us your experience. Would you like to
introduce yourself and tell us at what stage you are in your
conservaon training?
Franziska Timmerman and Hannah Schuermann (FT, HS):
Thank you for the warm welcome. We both graduated with
Bachelor of Arts in Conservaon of Wooden Objects and
Modern Materials in 2019 and are currently in the nal
stages of our Master’s degree. At CICS, we were introduced
to plascs during the Bachelor program and we specialized
on those materials during our Master’s.
HS: I am working on three animal gures made of
unvulcanized, natural rubber from the 19th century and
originang from South America. These objects became
hard, brile and fragile over me, resulng in broken or
lost parts.
And Franziska is working on embedded resin samples
containing biological inclusions used as teaching material.
Various phenomena like yellowing, cracking or loss of
transparency have occurred in the embedding material
which has been idened as poly(methyl methacrylate)
and unsaturated polyester resin.
AL: How did your “student life” change? What were the
biggest challenges that this pandemic posed in your
training path?
FT, HS: First of all, we appreciate the fact that the dicules
and challenges of student life are being addressed here.
We oen had the impression that this aspect had been
neglected during the pandemic.
Because of the closure of our labs in March 2020 and the
fact that we were no longer able to use the library, we had
to fundamentally change our schedule for the upcoming
semester, which of course also meant some delays in our
metable. Further planning was very dicult due to the
generally prevailing uncertaines. Opportunies to contact
internal and external experts for research or chemical
analyses were very limited, as many were working from
home and were dicult to reach. Personal appointments
have therefore also not been possible. For these reasons,
we were praccally forced to extend our Master’s thesis by
one semester.
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Not to be forgoen are also nancial worries, as the income
from our part-me jobs has ceased for a few months.
Addionally, for many, the search for a job or internship
turned out to be very dicult.
AL: What did you enjoy during this didacc year, and what
did you nd taxing?
FT, HS: Honestly, o the top of our heads, we can’t think of
that many things we enjoyed. We were lucky enough to have
interesng seminars with few parcipants and dedicated
teachers during that me, so we were able to work from
home in a self-organized manner, but that was by no means
the case for all of our fellow students. A posive aspect is
that at the beginning of the pandemic, we had me. Which
is a rare thing in our busy studies. We were able to use this
me to simply read scienc literature without the need to
extract only the most necessary informaon.
Hannah Schuermann.
What has been or sll is the most exhausng challenge
for us is to stay movated. There was no external input,
no compensaon in the form of freeme acvies, and
no regular daily and weekly roune. However fortunately,
this has improved somewhat during the course of the
Franziska Timmerman.
AL: Were there any learning methods adopted during the
pandemic that you would like to see connue in the future?
If so, what were they?
FT, HS: Especially the recorded videos Friederike menoned
in which she shows us praccal exercises. These learning
videos oer the advantage of watching them at any me
and, above all, rewatch them. For online courses, you don’t
have to be on site, which oers more exibility to organize
your studies. For example, for students who are working
on a project outside of Cologne, this can be a great relief.
Nevertheless, from our point of view it would make
sense to keep them as an addional learning possibility.
The in-person exchange is a very important part of both
professional and personal development, which is simply
not possible during online classes. You have to get into
conversaons and discussions in order to learn new things!
AL: In your opinion, has anything during this period
changed posively for emerging professionals in our eld?
FT, HS: The numerous online oers are a considerable
step forward. They enable and facilitate parcipaon in
meengs or courses that take place anywhere around the
world. One example is the recent ICOM-CC conference,
which we students were able to aend free of charge.
The journey to Beijing, on the other hand, would certainly
only have been possible for very few, whether for me or
nancial reasons. Another example is the ConNext Sessions
2021, a cooperave project between dierent European
universies which was developed due to the pandemic in
order to enable an exchange between students. We took
part in this event and were able to learn about excing
projects at other universies and network with each
other. However, it should not be forgoen that despite
these advantages, it is important to make new (in-person)
connecons, especially for students at the beginning of
their careers.
AL: Thank you all very much for sharing your valuable
experience with our members!
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria
Sabina Simonic
Risk analysis of a computer-based artwork by the arst
group, “monochrom” 
Diploma thesis, 2020
This diploma thesis represents a methodical approach to
the documentaon and preservaon strategy of electronic
and computer-based artworks. The research is based on
a case study of the artwork The Altogether Horrid Street
Ballad of Parai (2012) by the arst group, “monochrom.”
The works’ components have been subjected to a
risk assessment. This was accomplished by using a
quesonnaire survey of several experts and applicable
product data sheets which allowed for calculaons based
on raw data. Addional informaon, derived from an arst
interview was used to evaluate the artwork’s determining
properes, resulng in a statement of signicance. 
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria
Katharina Schirmbrand
The restoraon treatment of a fractured glass bole in a
work by Franz West
Diploma thesis, 2020
The artwork tled Labstück (1998) consists of a metal rod
that is placed vercally on the oor and leaning against
a wall with a wine bole aached on the top. The two
elements are bandaged together and covered in plaster
mixed with papier mâché.
A system was developed to ensure adequate stabilizaon
of the broken glass bole during exhibion as well as while
being handled. In addion to joining the glass fragments,
the treatment method included backing the cracks with
glass ber fabric and a support system with a hard inner
casing for the enre glass bole. The highly absorbent
plaster surface was a crical factor in selecng adequate
restoraon materials.
Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland
Elisa Carl
Possibilies of Prevenve Measures in the Arsc Creaon
Process to Improve the Durability of Prevulcanized Natural
Master’s thesis, 2020
This master thesis explores possibilies to improve the
durability of prevulcanized latex with prevenve measures
within the arsc creaon process. Based on research of
producon and processing methods, the thesis describes
impacts on the prospecve aging process of this material
and evaluates the subsequent addion of anoxidants to
prolong its lifespan. Dierent agents produced by the latex
and plasc industry are assessed against their potenal to
hamper oxidave aging. The chemiluminescence method is
applied to characterize these eects. To verify the ndings
under realisc external parameters, a long-term test was
iniated, while further considering the arsc applicaon
within this test. Arsts working with latex were consulted
to gain further insights into dierent techniques. 
Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland
Chantal Willi:
L’escalier de la princesse (1990) by Christoph Rümann
- Evaluaon of a suitable bonding strategy with special
consideraon of plasma treatment.
Master’s thesis, 2021
Using the example of the installaon L’escalier de la
princesse by the arst Christoph Rümann, this master’s
thesis explores the challenges of bonding non-polar
plascs. The work of art, conceived in 1990, consists of
195 personal scales, of which a total of 15 plasc housings
(PP) shows signs of breakage. In addion to evaluang
suitable adhesives, tests were conducted to invesgate the
extent to which plasma treatment is suitable for improving
adhesion. For this purpose, an atmospheric pressure
plasma source (Plasma-S) was applied.
For all adhesives tested (Paraloid B72 in Ethanol, Methocel
A4C & A4M in aqueous soluon), a signicant adhesion
improvement was shown by a preceding plasma treatment.
Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland
Fabienne Salathe
On the historically informed reconstrucon of modernist
façade coangs. A possible approach with reference to
the case study Siedlungsgenossenscha Freidorf (Freidorf
selement cooperave).
Master’s thesis, 2020
This thesis is intended to approach a historically informed
reconstrucon of monochromac façade coangs, rather
than further contribung to the ethical discussion and the
emoonally charged topic of “reconstrucon”.
Plasters and paints signicantly inuence and dene the
visual appearance of buildings. With the abandonment
of ornamentaon and structural elements on fa ç ades,
modernist architects had large wall surfaces at their disposal
for the rst me. Façade plasters and coangs became
more relevant than ever before. This thesis explores the
perspecve that these layers are sacricial and not meant
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
to last forever. Such cases call for a historically informed
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Laura Bode
Of Humans and Plasc: a troubled relaonship and its
inuence on preservaon in a museum context. The
aempt of an elucidaon through conservaon and
material- technical consideraons.
Master’s thesis, 2020
The relaonship of humankind to plascs is a complicated
one. No other material is so connected with our life, work,
and consumpon. At the same me, it is disregarded,
misunderstood, and mistreated like no other. In this
research, the relaonship of people to plascs is illuminated
and the inuence of the historically grown atude to the
understanding of the conservaonal preoccupaon with
the material in the museum context is elaborated. Using
the Blow Chairs lm from the 1970s as an example, the
durability of the historical Plascised Polyvinyl Chloride
(PVC-P) material is compared with that of a new lm. Based
on accelerated thermal ageing, a life predicon using the
Arrhenius equaon is assessed.
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences , Germany
Till Basan Klause
Theorecal and praccal approaches for the conservaon
and restoraon of the holographic collecon of the LVR
LandesMuseum Bonn
Master’s thesis, 2020
This paper aims to broaden possible treatments to
conserve und restore holographs. Part of this project
is the data registraon of the holographic collecon of
the LVR LandesMuseum Bonn. The development of new
conservaon methods, based on previous research, will
focus on the treatment of foresaid collecon. Various
methods of dry- and water-based cleaning will be tested.
Finally, selected holographs will undergo exemplary
conservaon treatment.
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Anna Katharina Meisen
Daylight uorescent colours in screen prints.
Studies on ageing processes, luminescence properes and
restoraon pracce.
Master’s thesis, 2020
Based on the serigraph series „Marilyn” by Andy Warhol
from the Museum Ludwig, Cologne this thesis deals with
daylight uorescent colours in the context of the screen-
prinng technique. A possibility to dierenate normal
screen-prinng inks from daylight uorescent colours was
determined by using UV-light and various lters. Separate
accelerated ageing tests were used to compare the dierent
colourants. The examinaon of the serigraphs “Marilyn”
and the tesng of dierent methods to reduce the stains
of aged self-adhesive tapes on them concludes the project
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Lisa-Maria Schaaf
The cloth pictures (1966-1972) by Blinky Palermo. Changes
in the condion, conservaon strategies and possibilies
of presenng texle art works.
Master’s thesis, 2020
The cloth pictures are the largest group of works by the
arst Blinky Palermo. This master’s thesis deals with the art-
technological assessment and the various changes in the
condion of a selected number of Palermo’s cloth pictures.
Both conservaon reports and publicaons on other texle
works of modern art provide an overview of conservaon
strategies used. In cases where the conservaon treatments
do not guarantee a sasfying form of presentaon, exisng
replacement fabrics oer new possibilies to present the
works in their intended colour aesthec. At the same me,
their use requires an ethical discussion taking into account
Palermo’s arsc intenon, which will also be carried out
in this thesis.
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Susanne Schumann
Elastane-based Swimwear of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s from
the LVR Industrial Museum in Oberhausen - Invesgaon
of the Aging Properes and Characterisc Damage
Master’s thesis, 2021
This research focuses on a systemac condion assessment
of a collecon of swimwear containing polyurethane
elastomeric bres at the LVR industrial museum. Visible
damages were documented and classied using an incident
light microscope. The bre subtypes were determined
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
through IR spectroscopic analysis and idened as the
cause for the diversity of the damage. In addion, naturally
aged and recent bre samples without relaon to the
collecon were examined microscopically and subjected to
chemical detecon reacons. The objecve was to evaluate
methods for detecng bre damages and to dierenate
between bre subtypes. The study presents storage
recommendaons for the collecon and describes and
discusses the dicules of exhibing objects containing
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Vanessa Maria Schwaderlapp
Inventory and accessibility model for the archive of the
arsts’ materials manufacturer Schoenfeld / LUKAS and
contextualisaon of selected archival material
Master’s thesis, 2020
The acclaimed Dusseldorf-based manufacturer of arsts
materials LUKAS-NERCHAU GmbH (formerly Dr. Fr.
Schoenfeld & Co. Künstlerfarben- und Maltuchfabrik)
highly impacted the creaon of works of art throughout
Europe during the connuous producon period from
1842 to 2013. A rst insight into the company’s rich archive
is given in this master thesis. A concept for its cataloguing
and accessibility will be developed within a processing
model. By analyzing the archival material on folding
stretchers and Ludwig’s petroleum paints in context with
wrien sources and painngs, it is demonstrated how
access to the archive can crically inform art technological
research and conservaon.
CICS - Cologne Instute of Conservaon Sciences, Germany
Katja Wegener
Original Comic Art. Prospects of restoraon and
conservaon of comic art.
Master’s thesis, 2020
Original Comic Art refers to the hand-drawn templates
used for the producon of comics such as comic strips,
comic books or graphic novels. As intermediate products
on the way to a printed comic, the works are disnguished
by an ephemeral character, which is also reected in
the oen not age-resistant materials. This thesis covers
three of the associated issues, and presents possible
restoraon measures: The xaon of ber-p pen inks,
the reposioning of detached screentone lms, and the
restoraon of Doubletone papers. In addion, an overview
of the producon history and the art technological
composion of Original Comic Art is given.
New York University, Instute of Fine Arts, Conservaon
Center, US
Taylor Healy
Potenal Futures: Preserving the Physical, Digital, and
Conceptual Integrity of 3D Printed Artworks
Master’s, 2021
With the multude of 3D printed objects held in collecons
around the world, researchers and collecons care
professionals have recognized the complex challenges
involved in their acquision and preservaon. Tradional
materials-based conservaon has proven insucient
because its framework cannot support the preservaon
of the immaterial and the digital. An understanding of 3D
prinng technology and the history of its development
presented in this thesis encourages collecons care
professionals to re-evaluate the implicaons of unstable
material and media, potenal reprinng and replicaon,
le transfer, and telemanufacture. By applying strategies
developed within the conceptual framework of the
conservaon of contemporary art, digital preservaon,
and photograph conservaon, this thesis outlines a general
workow to ensure that integrity of 3D printed artworks is
NOVA School of Science and Technology, Portugal
Carolina Viana
Are all vinyl paints the same? The impact of paint
formulaons on their stability and the state of
conservaon of Ângelo de Sousa painngs.
Master’s thesis, 2021
Poly(vinyl acetate) based emulsions were used by arsts
in the 20th century as a binding medium for paints. Vinyl
emulsions were cheaper but considered of lesser quality
than their beer-known counterpart – acrylics, and thus
were less used and less studied. As such, there is sll a lot
to unravel regarding its long-term behaviour. This work
aims to study the degradaon of vinyl emulsions based
on a mul-analycal approach and correlates the ndings
to the state of conservaon of artworks from one of the
most prominent Portuguese contemporary arsts, Ângelo
de Sousa.
NOVA School of Science and Technology, Portugal
Eva Mariasole Angelin
The fate of colors in the 20th - 21st centuries: preserving
the organic colorants in plasc arfacts.
PhD dissertaon, 2021
The project focuses on the degradaon of synthec
colorants used for the mass coloraon of plascs. The
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
work included the development of suitable and innovave
mul-analycal in situ approaches for the characterizaon
of the organic and inorganic pigments in historical plascs
and research into the photodegradaon of β-naphthol reds
which are known to be sensive to aging in cultural heritage
objects, including plascs. Informaon on light-sensive
pigments in plasc-based objects is strongly needed
because of the color change to which they are suscepble.
This new knowledge will contribute to the predicon of
plasc fading and inform eecve prevenve conservaon
strategies for objects containing fugive pigments.
NOVA School of Science and Technology, Portugal
Sara Babo:
From industry to artworks by Lourdes Castro and Ângelo
de Sousa: conservaon studies on cast acrylic sheet.
PhD dissertaon, 2021
The thesis focuses on the use of PMMA in art, its stability,
and preservaon. The research was conducted in dierent
lines: a survey of PMMA artworks in Portuguese collecons;
research on the history of PMMA producon in Portugal;
material study of historical PMMA sheets comparing the
inuence of producon processes on their properes and
stability; and the impact of cleaning/polishing procedures.
It includes an arcial aging experiment in a light aging
chamber and characterizaon of the samples combining
opcal microscopy, colorimetry, gravimetry, micro-
indentaon, Raman, FTIR and UV spectroscopies, size
exclusion chromatography, thermogravimetry, and TD-GC/
Opicio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy
Chiara Biribicchi
“Con Titolo”: the conservaon treatment of a gouache
painng on plywood (1986) by Gino De Dominicis. A
comparave study of selected adhesives to carry out a
xing intervenon on mae paint lm.
Master’s thesis, 2021
This master’s thesis project involved a conservaon
intervenon of an unvarnished gouache by Gino De
Dominicis, which required the implementaon of
advanced diagnosc techniques to beer understand both
the constuent materials and the execuon technique. The
main goal was to x the paint lm, as it showed extensive
delaminaon. Therefore, the research focused on the
study of the chemical-physical properes of selected
adhesives, while maintaining the mae appearance of the
paint layers. A parallel study of the arst’s palee was also
carried out to further invesgate the historical evoluon of
modern colors.
The Courtauld Insitute of Art, UK
Lucy Fellows
Making art in Trinidad & Tobago: an invesgaon into the
materiality and arsc pracces of contemporary arsts
Master’s thesis, 2021
Trinidad & Tobago is a mul-cultural country with a
contemporary art scene to match. Trinidadian art has been
overlooked in the scholarship surrounding contemporary
Caribbean art, and there are few published technical studies
conducted into contemporary art made in the country. This
project explores the painng materials, techniques and
processes of ve contemporary arsts acve in Trinidad &
Tobago: Dean Arlen, Makemba Kunle, Shalini Seereeram,
Edward Bowen and Peter Doig. Interviews were conducted
with each of the arsts in order to increase the knowledge
and understanding of the painng methods and materials
of contemporary arsts in Trinidad & Tobago.
University College London (UCL), UK
Stefani Kavda
Aqueous solvent-gel cleaning of poly (methyl
methacrylate) surfaces in museum collecons.
PhD dissertaon, 2020
This research explores the use of aqueous solvent-gel
systems for cleaning prisne poly (methyl methacrylate)
(PMMA) in heritage collecons. A series of stascally
designed, laboratory-based experiments on new and
arcially light-aged samples systemacally examine
the individual and combined eects of a range of polar
and nonpolar solvents (deionised water, isopropanol,
petroleum ether and ethanol) with natural and synthec
polymeric matrices (Agar, Pemulen TR2/triethanolamine,
80 % Poly (vinyl acetate)/borax, Gellan and Carbopol EZ2/
Ethomeen C-25). The ecacy of the gel treatments as well
as the visual, physical, and chemical changes in PMMA are
evaluated through instrumental scienc examinaon,
stascal techniques, and a case study cleaning applicaon
on historical PMMA museum objects.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tessa Maillee de Buy Wenniger
The quest towards a non-destrucve idencaon
method for Polaroid integral lm types.
Master’s thesis, 2020
This thesis invesgates the integral lms (the SX-70, SX-
70 Time Zero, Polaroid 600, and 600 Plus) from Polaroid
Corporaon to nd potenal indicators to disnguish
these lms in a non-destrucve manner. The internal
dye diusion transfer process is rst explained before
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
highlighng the major dierences between the lm types.
The change in structure and chemicals have resulted in
some unique characteriscs that are discussed as potenal
indicators for idencaon.
Available online via: hps://scrip
Contact: secretariaat-C&
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ella Solomon
The eects of nish coangs on ultraviolet and visible
light stability of inkjet prints.
Master’s thesis, 2020
Light stability of nish coangs and their eect on inkjet
prints in terms of colour change is discussed. The coangs’
material content was analysed using gas chromatography
mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The coangs were applied on
unprinted and printed samples of Fine Art paper and put
in Xenontest for overall 121 mega lux hours. The samples
were then compared using L*a*b colour space. The
chemical reacons causing colour change are complex due
to the various materials involved.
Available online via: hps://scrip
Contact: secretariaat-C&
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Suk Fong Chun
Cibachrome Inside Out: Idencaon of Silver Dye Bleach
Master’s thesis, 2020
Dierenang silver dye bleach prints from chromogenic
prints is dicult, because these two types of colour prints
both display photographic grains and oen use idencal
supports, resulng in idencal texture and glossiness.
However, their preservaon needs dier because dierent
image-forming dyes are used, contribung to dierent
light and dark stability behaviours. Understanding the
causes of this diculty can facilitate idencaon. Three
research methods were used, namely archival research,
non-instrumental examinaons, and a mixed-method
The study produced two groups of ideners: denite and
non-denite. The result was an idencaon route map
that showed azo dyes as the only denite ideners of silver
dye bleach prints. Four instrumental and non-instrumental
methods for idenfying azo dyes were collected and tested.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Olivia Brum
Boats, Trains and Automobiles: An Invesgaon into
Current Aqueous Cleaning Methods Concerning PVC
Arcial Leather Interiors
Advanced Professional Program thesis, 2021
This research invesgates conservaon opons for cleaning
plascized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) arcial leather interiors
of historic vehicles by comparing commercial cleaners and
conservaon cleaning agents. In a trial of 9 cleaning agents
two sets of samples have been examined through arcial
aging, exposure and cleaning experiments. These were
then analyzed with micro- and macroscopic examinaon
as well as gloss, contact angle, color and roughness
measurements. Results found that conservaon cleaning
agents Hostapon TPHC and Orvus WA Paste impact the
surface least but were not shown to be eecve on case-
specic soiling.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Daphne Kramer
Polycaprolactone as loss compensaon material for
polyolen objects: Invesgaon into composion,
stability and working properes
Advanced Professional Program thesis, 2021
Plasc consumer objects are used by many arsts in their
artworks. Unfortunately, common problems are breakage
and dissociaon of parts. It can be dicult to nd a
replacement part that can be included in the artwork.
This research invesgates polycaprolactone (PCL) as
reconstrucon material to recreate disassociated or broken
polyolen objects. PCL was tested on content, stability,
working properes and aesthec qualies. This research
shows that PCL is a suitable material for reconstrucons,
and a convincing match to polyolens. However, this study
also demonstrates that there is variaon in composion
between brands, and that composion can change over
me upon aging.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Marie Ducimeère
Move with the Times: Preservaon Strategies Facing
Technical Shis. Case Studies for Early Works by Peter
Master’s thesis, 2021
This thesis is a connuaon of the work carried out by
Nina Van Doren and the enre team that parcipated in
the Transformaon Digital Art project from 2014 to 2016.
During this project, three works from Peter Struycken
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
presenng their own challenges have been the subject of a
study to determine the most suitable preservaon strategy
for them: DISP (1977), SHFT-34 (1982-2007) and Blocks
(1998). This thesis will bring a contemporary look, 5 years
aer the end of this innovave project, to the preservaon
strategies of that me. The diagnosis will focus on analysing
the inuence of technological shis on the preservaon
strategies for soware-based art.
Contact: Ducime
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Floortje Evelein
Future-Proong ‘PIXI’: Evaluaon of Risk Assessment
Methodologies as a Tool for Determining the Vulnerable
Aspects of a Site-Specic Interacve Soware-Based
Public Art Installaon
Master’s thesis, 2021
The art installaon PIXI (2017) is described by arst
collecve WERC as a “digital organism” and could be
qualied as a site-specic and interacve soware-based
public artwork. The installaon consists of over a thousand
lights that are placed on the trees of a forest in Drouwen
in Drenthe, the Netherlands. The aim is to highlight the
vulnerable areas and thus ensuring a long(er) life span.
Through conducng interviews with the arst and other
stakeholders, idenfying the work-dening properes,
gaining insight on the possible risks and analysing their
potenal impact and consequences, more informaon will
be acquired on how to properly care for this work.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Erica Loh
Aerlife Choices for Botanical Art: Conserving Sjoerd
Buisman’s Growing Artworks
Master’s thesis, 2021
This thesis aims to explore conservaon approaches for
living and perishable artworks, specically those with
botanical components through case studies of Sjoerd
Buisman’s growing artworks. The selected case studies
are in diering states of inacvity. For living installaons,
discussions on the ontology of the work, its ephemerality,
and analysing the ethics of re-enactment or replicaon
are necessary. Inspired by recent developments in me-
based media and performance art preservaon methods,
this research will not only invesgate conservaon opons
and the implicaons on the artwork’s connued identy,
but also highlight the importance of building the artwork’s
archive in safeguarding the installaon’s concept.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Anthi Soulio
Materiality in Flux: The diagnosis of Ryan Gander’s
“Invesgaon #92: With heart doed ‘I’s’”, 2013.
Master thesis’s, 2021
The main focus of this thesis is to examine how the
toothpaste artwork “Invesgaon # 92: With heart doed
‘i’s’” (2013) is changing materially and whether this
change is aecng its conceptual aspects. The research
into the background informaon and the analysis of the
materials that are aected are presented. Ethical issues
that surround the decision-making process are highlighted
and the idea of a replica is used to elicit responses that
aid in understanding the conceptual nature of the work, as
it is co-constructed by the dierent epistemic agents; the
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Marieke Voogd
Caring for Annelies, looking for compleon (2018): a
Risk Assessment Based Research into the Values and
Vulnerabilies of a ‘Fleshy’ Roboc Artwork
Master’s thesis, 2021
This thesis consists of a cased-based risk assessment
centered around the interacve roboc artwork Annelies,
looking for compleon (2018) by Dutch arst duo L.A.
Raeven. The goal is to diagnose the current condion of the
artwork and to apply the methodology of risk assessment
in order to idenfy and prevent risks that may cause harm
to the artwork in the future. Hopefully, this research will
not only be applicable to this parcular artwork but will
serve as a useful source for future conservators confronted
with similar challenges when treang roboc artworks
covered in ‘eshy’ hyperrealisc skin-like silicone rubber.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Aga Wielocha
Collecng archives of objects and stories: On the lives and
futures of contemporary art at the museum
PhD dissertaon, 2021
This study, conducted within the research programme
New Approaches in the Conservaon of Contemporary
Art (NACCA) takes as its focus the triangle of relaonships
between an arst, a museum and a contemporary artwork
as collecble. It invesgates how contemporary artworks by
Mirosław Bałka, Danh Vo and Barbara Kruger are collected,
documented and conserved and looks at how new methods
, such as the arst’s interview, are adopted by museums. By
approaching contemporary art as a new paradigm of arsc
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
pracce and building on noons such as musealisaon, art
project as art form and art object as document, this study
works towards a theorecal model that addresses the
incompability between a tradional museum approach to
collecng and preserving and the features of contemporary
art. For more informaon about the project ,visit: hps://er=9916bb82-e5f9-4a78-9266-
Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin, Italy
Maddalena Magnani
Study and conservaon treatment of a mul-material
collage by Giulio Turcato: consolidaon and reintegraon
issues of an artwork with complex stragraphy.
Master’s thesis, 2021
Turcato’s collage perfectly represents the complexity of
contemporary artworks, being made of carbon paper, crêpe
paper, sketch paper, Vinavil, sand, bitumen and alkyd-
based ground on canvas. This collage was extensively
damaged as it presented detachments and curved akes
of the sand and Vinavil layer from the ground and bitumen
substrate, also causing cracks on the paper.
Constuent materials were characterized through chemical
analyses where needed, and widely studied through many
tests and trials. Flaking and curved layers were re-adhered
and aened using an Intelligent Materials for Accurate
(IMAT) prototype, an innovave technology providing a
mild temperature treatment that ts the needs of the
RECENT Publications and Resources
ICOM-CC Publicaons online
You can now nd 80 papers and posters from the Modern
Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group on the
ICOM database, starng with the presentaons from the
14th Triennial Meeng in The Hague in 2005.
Link: hps://www.icom-cc-publica
Susan Macdonald, Ana Paula Arato Gonçalves
Conservaon Principles for Concrete of Cultural
Over the last two hundred years, concrete has been used to
produce a remarkably rich and diverse legacy of buildings
and structures that are increasingly recognized for their
cultural signicance. With this growing recognion comes
the need for protecon and conservaon. However,
concrete conservaon is sll a relavely new eld with
limited availability of guiding resources. Conservaon
Principles for Concrete of Cultural Signicance intends to ll
that gap, recognizing that much knowledge can be drawn
from best pracces in general repair of concrete; however,
historic structures demand addional care to ensure that
any work performed retains their cultural signicance.
The publicaon is available as a free download in
English, French and Spanish at: hps://
Conference: Architectural Plascs & Polymer Composites
in the 21st Century
The Proceedings papers examine the basic material
properes of plascs and polymer composites used in the
construcon of buildings and in the fabricaon of sculpture
and other works of art; the role of their mechanical,
structural, and other properes on performance/
durability; and the eects of environmental condions on
ICOM-CC Modern Materials – Contemporary Art Newsleer_July 2021
tradional and modern structures that incorporate these
materials in their framework, facade/building envelope,
and/or ornamentaon.
You can nd more informaon here: hps://media.cs-in-Architecture_022021.pdf
VoCA Journal
Issue 10
In this issue of VoCA Journal, they bring together voices
from many corners of the art world to discuss access and
the arts. Access is best thought of as a shared responsibility;
this issue provides tools, precedents, and examples that
can guide us all to bring access to the work we do.
Monika Jadzińska
Plascs in Visual Arts
“Plascs in the Visual Arts” is a valuable and long-awaited
publicaon, dealing with plascs in visual arts, their
aging and conservaon. It has been wrien for students
and graduates of art conservaon in order to facilitate
the recognion of plascs present in art objects and the
mechanisms of their degradaon, as well as to help in
everyday conservaon pracce. It can also successfully
serve as an aid to curators of contemporary art collecons
and industrial design objects, collectors and the arsts
While Monika Jadzińska plans to translate the enre
publicaon into English, you can already check out
translated excerpts from the book on our Facebook page:
Paula Dredge
Sidney Nolan: The Arst’s Materials
Sidney Nolan (1917–1