Teachers and Employees

Runkel, Johanna Univ.-Ass. Mag.art. Dr.phil.

How Preservation and Access Go Together in Collection Care – A Case Study
Richly ornamental art cabinet objects, minerals and shells bear witness today to the collecting activities in Neukloster Abbey, Wiener Neustadt, in the eighteenth century. The holdings were completely unknown to the public and experts until a short time ago. From 2013 to 2019 the Vienna University of Applied Arts initiated a collection care program that led to the setting up of an exhibition and new depots/storages. Improving the environment of a collection does not only contribute to its protection from wear, breakage, loss, pests, fire, vandalism and theft, light damage, contaminants and climate extremes, it also provides access and overview, and places it in a framework showing it is something worth protecting. In the project, a plan of action was developed, based on risk analysis and on the analysis of the collection itself. Conservation treatments followed a concept of “minimal intervention” with the goal of preserving and saving more objects rather than perfectly restoring/conserving some objects. Simultaneously, research was continued on the collection, including archival sources, literature research and the analysis of similar collections in Europe. Exhibition and storage rooms were planned and implemented according to the principles of preventive conservation and using as much of the monastery’s infrastructure as possible. Given a tight framework of time and money (as always in collections) the projects had to focus on priorities and aims, deciding on which actions and expenses would be more, or less, beneficial for the collection. Since 2017, the depots/storages are finished and the exhibition is open to the public – the outcomes of the project are very much appreciated by locals and tourists.
Johanna Runkel
title of event
Summer School - Sustaining Cultural Heritage through Preventive Conservation and Collection Care
Gabriela Krist, Universität für Angewandte Kunst
date, time and location
2020-09-14 – 2020-09-14