By Christina Schaaf-Fundneider
This year IIC Austria, the only German-speaking section of the IIC, celebrates its 40th anniversary. On this occasion, an anniversary conference took place in Vienna on the 9th of September. The conference was held in the former University of Economics, now the alternative accommodation of the Academy of Fine Arts, situated in the 9th district of Vienna.
After the initial welcoming by Christina Schaaf-Fundneider (chair of IIC Austria and head of the conservation-restoration department of the Lower Austria State Collection) and Professor Wolfgang Baatz (chair of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), the conference was opened with a ceremonial address by Manfred Koller, founder of IIC Austria. The ceremonial address was authentic and personal, gave an overview of the formation of the association and defined its tasks and duties. From the beginning, IIC Austria’s focus was on sustainable conservation and the research of art and cultural heritage.
Afterwards Elisabeth Macho-Biegler, textile restorer and member of IIC Austria for several decades, was awarded an honorary membership for her particularly time-consuming commitment and her untiring volunteer work.
PRESENTATIONS AND LECTURES
The diverse program was designed as a dialogue between different generations. Highly valued and well-known personalities from various fields as well as young lesser known colleagues and graduates had the opportunity to present their valuable work and research.
A wide range of topics, which varied from the history and development of restoration in Austria to preventive conservation, were presented. The last speaker for the opening session, Andrea Funck (professor at the conservation-restoration faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart), gave some examples of how restoration could be conveyed together with a definition of the profession.
Another part of the program presented the research and development of innovative techniques for conservation practice such as the use of 3D scanning technology and the surface treatment of daguerreotypes using a plasma process.
In the last theme block about preventive conservation, Elise Spiegel, founder of "Care for Art" and expert in this field, talked about possibilities for dealing with bio-contaminated cultural assets. Besides that, Birgit Vinther Hansen (paper conservator at the Royal Library Copenhagen) presented the results of her research on micro-fading and the use of microfadeometry in watercolor book illuminations.
After a brief final discussion, the anniversary conference ended with a toast in which colleagues young and old had the opportunity to share in a relaxed atmosphere and make new acquaintances.
Topic: 40 Years - Anniversary Conference "Generations in Conversation"
Venue: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Augasse 2-6
Date: 9th of September 2019
Franka Bindernagel, Daniel Gräf, Pina Klonner, Christina Schaaf-Fundneider, Magdalena Schindler, Valerie
Christina Schaaf-Fundneider, chair of IIC Austria since 2017, studied conservation and restoration sciences at the Technical University of Munich (Germany). She specializes in painting and wooden sculptures conservation as well as in preventive conservation. She is also interested in the technological research of art objects. Additional postgraduate studies in cultural management support Christina in her position as head of the conservation department of the State Collections of Lower Austria.
(See the December 2019 issue of "News in Conservation" for more images!)