Academic thesis

Marcus Herdin: Risk assessment, a tool of preventive conservation. Carried out fort he Schack-Galerie, Munich Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: Preventive conservation refers to keeping works of art safe from damage. This includes, in particular, creating as favorable as possible an environment for the objects. Preventive conservation deals more with collections than with individual works of art and aims at delaying the need of conservation and restoration measures as long as possible. An essential requirement is risk assessment. Risk assessment is a comprehensive description and assessment of the various damage factors. The gathered information (data on environment, light, pollutants, etc.) is then evaluated in relation to each other.
As an example, risk assessment was conducted for the collection of Adolph Friedrich Graf von Schack, which was collected in the second half of the 19th century and is housed in a gallery, today under landmark protection, especially built for it in Munich?s Prinzregentenstrabe, a much traveled and congested street. From a conservation point of view, the building possesses a number of deficits. The heating system cannot be adjusted as needed. Drafty windows make controlling the environment difficult and allow pollutants to enter. The wall-to-wall carpets in the exhibition rooms are dust collectors. The dimming system on the overhead lights is inadequate which means additional unsatisfactory environmental and light conditions for the collection. The paintings themselves have the advantage that they have hardly been exposed to restoration measures in the past. The main risk factors determined are: environment, light, gaseous and solid air pollutants. Various software and graphs are used to evaluate and demonstrate the measuring results. The recommendations drawn from the assessment are manifold. For example, dividing the gallery into zones could stabilize, in particular, the environment in the entrance area. The drafty windows and the entire heating system need attention, respectively the heating system should be replaced with one that provides an even temperature. Numerous further measures would help maintaining the collection in such a manner that would keep restoration and conservation to a minimum.


Keywords: environment, relative humidity, temperature, temperature control of components, pollutants, electromagnetic radiation, light, dust
  • academic institution: Technische Universität München
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Dipl.-Restaurator Erwin Emmerling
  • assistant Tutor:  Dr. habil. Andreas Burmester
  • date:  2002
  • pages:  73
Auszüge in: Restauro, Ausgabe 6, 2003, S. 400-407
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