Research plan 2001-2005
- Turner and Constable and their European contemporaries. The creative process
- Studies in Dutch Still-Life Paintings of the Seventeenth Century
- L.A. Ring - Retrospective
- Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg
- Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard
- Exhibitions for x-rummet in general
- Lucas Cranach the Elder
- The European Avant-Garde 1909-1919
- Danish Taste and the Antique. Copies of ancient sculpture in Denmark 1600-1900
- The Royal Cast Collection, Statens Museum for Kunst. The history of plaster cast collecting in Denmark 1600-2000
- The Art museum as a historical and a contemporary phenomenon
- The Dutch line in Danish Golden Age Painting. A study of the influence from Dutch Painting from the Seventeenth-Century on Danish art from about 1800-1850. (Ph.D. dissertation)
- The fine art of forging a history of art in a museum context: Art historians displaying art in Statens Museum for Kunst, in the early and late 19th Century.
- Neapolitan Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst
- Drawings by Artists in the Circle of Rembrandt in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
- Catalogue raisonné of the 19th and 20th Centuries French drawings
- Circumstances - 1973. An Unknown Work by Kirsten Justesen
- Netherlandish and Flemish prints from the 16th and 17th centuries
- Continued research in German and French Drawings
- The Matisse Examination project
- Evaluation of parameters used in the characterisation of painting canvases in relation to moisture treatments
- Working Title: Developing a new methodology for the conservation of contemporary art (master thesis in progress)
Turner and Constable and their European contemporaries. The creative process
Kasper Monrad, Phil.D.
Chief Curator and Head of Research (from 1 September 2001 until 31 August 2001: Senior Research Curator, Danish art 1750-1850)
The aim of the project is to put emphasis on the creative process of the painters as well as their attitude to nature. It is the intention to show the artists' work with the compositions from the first studies to the final paintings and to demonstrate that the shift from classicism to naturalism was complex and not always consistent. It took different forms in the works of both British artists and of the other European painters. The great range of painting styles of the two painters - from elaborately detailed realism to great painterly freedom, in Turner's case even to abstraction - should be seen as parallels to the works by Rottmann and Blechen and in contrast to the restraint of especially the Danish painters.
Furthermore, an important aspect will be the different functions of the studies. It will be demonstrated how the artists worked in different ways - and conceived the subjects differently - depending on whether the oil studies were meant as preparatory works or were executed as an end in itself without any thoughts of a large composition. Likewise, it is the intention to investigate the attitude to nature in the sketches and to show the varying degrees of dependence on observation of nature - whether the sketches are painted entirely as studies of nature, or they are free variations of previous outdoor studies or perhaps even fantasies of nature.
A great number of the artworks included will be paintings belonging to the Tate Gallery, London, but the comparisons with Danish painting will involve works from the Museum's collections. The scholarly method that will be used is formal iconographic analysis combined with reading of documentary evidence.
The project is planned in collaboration with Anne Lyles and David B. Brown, curators at Tate Britain, London, and will lead to a joint exhibition to be shown in Copenhagen and London 2004-05, and the results of the research will be published in the exhibition catalogue.
Studies in Dutch Still-Life Paintings of the Seventeenth Century
Olaf Koester, mag.art.
Senior Research Curator, European art 1600-1800
The purpose of the studies is the attribution of a Dutch still-life painting and its art-historical context as well as a discussion and grouping of a number of related still-lifes. The painting in question forms part of the collections of the museum. There are neither Danish nor Foreign research partners. An article on the subject will be published in 2002.
L.A. Ring - Retrospective
Peter Nørgaard Larsen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Curator, Danish art 1850-1900
In continuation of research published in the catalogue Symbolism in Danish and European Painting 1870-1910, Statens Museum for Kunst 2000, the purpose of this research project is to discuss central questions of interpretation and contextualisation related to the works of L.A. Ring. Earlier research has mainly focussed on Ring's relation to Danish art history. An effort to view Ring in a broader European context will therefore be one of the aims of this project. The meaning and relevance of concepts like Realism and Symbolism will be addressed as well as the way in which Ring's paintings can contribute to a closer understanding of these diffuse terms.
The collection in Statens Museum for Kunst includes many of Ring's central works and is undoubtedly the most important Ring collection in Denmark. As research partner Statens Museum for Kunst has chosen Randers Kunstmuseum, which holds a fine Ring collection, including some of Ring's major works. The Director of Randers Kunstmuseum, Finn Terman Frederiksen, has recently published articles on Ring.
The research project forms the basis of an exhibition in Statens Museum for Kunst scheduled for autumn 2003. The exhibition will afterward be shown at Randers Kunstmuseum and hopefully also in another European, perhaps Nordic museum.
The Influence of Impressionism and Postimpressionism on Art and Art Collecting in Denmark.
In continuation of research related to the exhibition Symbolism in Danish and European Painting 1870-1910, Statens Museum for Kunst 2000, further investigations into the influence of French Impressionism and Postimpressionism on Danish art and art collecting has been undertaken. With Theodor Philipsen, Anna Ancher and J.F. Willumsen as the central artists the purpose of this research project is to discuss the more obvious direct relations between Danish and French artists and also to show to what extent the Danish artists developed their own interpretations of the techniques and topics
of Impressionism and Postimpressionism.
The research will later be published in the catalogue to the exhibition Impressionism and the Nordic Countries, Nationalmuseum Stockholm, autumn 2002.
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg
Kasper Monrad and Peter Nørgaard Larsen
The project will put focus on Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853), who was the absolutely dominating Danish painter of the first half of the 19th century, and whose importance as an artist and as a theorist places him in the first rank among European artists of the period. His significance in Danish art history has never been doubted, and he has had a very central role in the Museum's presentation of its collections for more than a century. But in the light of the last twenty years' research it is the intention to give an updated picture of his achievements. The obsolete view of Eckersberg merely as a forerunner of the naturalism of the later 19th century will be revised, and his debt to the period's art theories will be stressed. Thus an analysis of his art will be linked to his own and some of his contemporaries' writings on art.
The project is closely linked with an exhibition, which is planned to be shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and at the Statens Museum for Kunst in 2003-04. Kasper Monrad and Peter Nørgaard Larsen will be in charge of the project at the Museum, but if the negotiations on the sponsoring of the exhibition are successful, an external Danish researcher will be attached to the project. The foreign research partner will be Philip Conisbee, Washington. The results of the research will be published in the exhibition catalogue.
Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard
Kasper Monrad and Peter Nørgaard Larsen
For the first time in almost a century the full range of Nicolai Abildgaard's art will be presented at an exhibition. During the last thirty-five years his importance among the European neo-classicists around 1800 has been recognised internationally, and aspects of his art has been featured in exhibitions in Denmark and abroad. A new doctoral thesis has furthermore shed light on the motives and subjects of his art. But an art-historical re-evaluation in an exhibition has not been attempted since 1916.
It is the intention to present all major aspects of Abildgaard's art, and the exhibition will include 50-60 paintings, a similar number of drawings (figure studies, sketches of mythological and literary subjects, drafts for interior decoration, architectural drawings etc.) and furniture. The project is still in its initial phase, and the plans will be further developed in the future discussions with the Museum's foreign research partner, Henri Loyrette of the Louvre, Paris. The research will probably be carried out by a new curator, who will hopefully be appointed during the next year. under the supervision of Kasper Monrad and Peter Nørgaard Larsen.
The exhibition will take place in 2005 or later, first in Paris and then in Copenhagen. The results of the research will be published in the exhibition catalogue.
Exhibitions for x-rummet in general
Marianne Torp (Øckenholt), mag.art.
Research Curator (1988-position statutory)
The development of the programme and the whole concept of the museum's project room, called x-rummet, is the responsibility of Marianne Torp. The project room opened in March 2001, and houses 3 shows per year. Occasionally a show will be curated by Vibeke Knudsen, the Department of Prints and Drawings). The selection of Danish and international artist is based on careful research and according to the underlying and more general ideas of the project room within the institution and in relation to the museum's collection of contemporary art. Besides this ongoing development there is another level of research directly focussed on each new project: curatorial and close collaboration with the artist in terms of determining the basis of the work and the production of it, research for catalogue essay, and so forth.)
Ceal Floyer in x-rummet, summer 2002
Close (curatorial) collaboration and discussion with the young British artist Ceal Floyer in relation to the development of her project to x-rummet.
Eva Koch in x-rummet, autumn 2002
Ongoing collaboration and discussion with the artist Eva Koch and director and curator Celia Pardo from Tensta Konsthal in Stockholm in regard to the exhibition of Eva Kock's video installation Villar in x-rummet
Annika von Hauswolff in x-rummet, spring 2003
Close (curatorial) collaboration and discussion with the young Swedish artist Annika von Hauswolff in relation to the development of her project to x-rummet. The project is also planned to be shown at the new centre of contemporary art in Paris, Palais de Tokyo. The research for the project therefore involves close collaboration with the directors Jérôme Sans and Nicolas Bourriaud from Palais de Tokyo.
A research project on the Danish/Norwegian artist Ann Lislegaard, of whom the museum has acquired three major works during recent years. There has not yet been published any extensive text on this young artist's important work. An article on her production with a specific impact on the phenomenology as a means to discuss the sensory aspects of her use of the installation will be published in 2002.
Lucas Cranach the Elder (Exhibition and catalogue)
Hanne Kolind Poulsen, mag.art.
Research Curator (1996-position statutory, appointed 1 May 1999 - 30 April 2002), European art before 1600
The aim of the exhibition is to introduce Cranach to a Danish audience for the first time in an exhibition, and to discuss what influence the Lutheran Reformation had on art in general and on Cranach's works in particular.
A combination of several methods has been chosen. One of them is an attempt to read Cranach's paintings in the light of Luther's thoughts on images and in that way show how he handled the new conditions for art set by the Reformation.
Hopefully, this process will point to new interpretations of Cranach's art.
Results of traditional iconographic investigations will also be presented where relevant.
The exhibition will show works only from the museum's own collections (paintings and graphic works)
The results of the research will be published in the catalogue for the exhibition, May 2002.
The European Avant-Garde 1909-1919
Dorthe Aagesen, mag.art.
Research Curator (1996-position statutory, appointed 1 May 1999 - 31 October 2002), Modernist art 1900-1960
The aim of the project is to investigate the connections between Danish and European avant-garde art from the years around the First World War; connections that have only been discussed superficially in earlier research on the subject. An important background to the project is the so-called Sturm-exhibitions: four international art exhibitions, organised by the gallery Der Sturm in Berlin, and shown in Copenhagen in the years 1912-1918. The project attempts to illuminate how contemporary Danish art and conceptions of art were influenced by these exhibitions. It will discuss the discourse that was implied in the activities of Der Sturm, the effects of the gallery in more general terms (as a centre of the European avant-garde), and its impact on the discourse and practise on the Danish art scene.
The project will question established ideas of the avant-garde and point out that in various parts of Europe different and varied views as to who and what the avant-garde was existed at the same time. More specifically, the intention is to present a critical alternative to the established conception of Paris as the sole and absolute centre of art in the years around the First World War. Inspired by Structuralist and Post-Structuralist thinking the project will, moreover, direct attention to the role of the motif in early 20th Century avant-garde art and thereby also to the possible meanings implicit in the works. It is thus also part of the aim of the project to confront the formalist approach that has so far dominated research in this field, not least in the Danish context.
The project is related to a number of significant works in the museum's collection by international artists such as Picasso, Metzinger and La Fresnaye as well as the collection of early 20th Century Danish art.
No Danish nor foreign research partners are directly involved. However, two Danish scholars will contribute to the exhibition catalogue on the subject.
The project will lead to an exhibition scheduled for the autumn of 2002, and the results will be published in the accompanying exhibition catalogue.
Danish Taste and the Antique. Copies of ancient sculpture in Denmark 1600-1900
Jan Zahle, Phil.D.
Senior Research Curator, The Royal Plaster Cast Collection, The Department of Painting and Sculpture (on leave 1 September 1995 - 30 August 2000)
Continued research in the field of plaster casts and copying from antique and post-antique sculptures. Their uses in academies, in universities, in museums, etc. The impact of antiquity and its varying character and uses within the field of sculpture.
Continued database registration of the museum's about 2800 casts for publication in printed form and / or digitalised.
The subject is inspired by the book by Fr. Haskell & N. Penny, Taste and the Antique. The lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 (Yale University Press 1981). This masterly work opened up for an unprejudiced view of the experience of and of the copying of ancient sculpture in Italy and the rest of Europe since the 15th Century. The planned study will illuminate the Danish evolution in an international perspective and also contribute to the international discourse. Haskell & Penny did not discuss the fact that even if the old masterpieces were knocked off their pedestals, they preserved a high status all the same, now used for various studies at the universities as well as for the education of the general public.
The research will be carried out in 2002 and will be published in an article in the Statens Museum for Kunst Journal.
The Royal Cast Collection, Statens Museum for Kunst. The history of plaster cast collecting in Denmark 1600-2000.
An investigation of all the sources for The Royal Cast Collection and its two Danish predecessors (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, C.J. Thomsen's Museum for Sculpture and Handicraft) and the use of casts in the Danish provincial museums (concepts, acquisition and exhibition strategies, education). The aim is to see the cast collection as a specific type of museum in a Danish, a Nordic and a European context and investigate into the reasons for the ups and downs of plaster and of copies. The research will be carried out in 2002-2004. For publication in a book, preferably in English.
The Art museum as a historical and a contemporary phenomenon
Vibeke Petersen, mag.art.
Senior Research Curator (from 15 August 2001, until 14 August: chief curator) , Museum studies
At the Statens Museum for Kunst research within the field of Museology has been planned for some time. The research actually started 15 August 2001. But before this the Museum had shown interest in focussing on the special issues within the field of Museology.
In September 1997 I got an external lectureship in post-graduate courses in Museology and Contemporary Art at the Department of Modern Culture and Culture Communication, The Institute of Comparative Literature, Copenhagen University.
In August 2000 a Ph.D. student was attached to the Museum within Museology. The student is registered at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Museology has since the 1980s gained importance as a major issue, and it is in this context the Museum wants to be a part of the ongoing debate concerning the theory and practice of the Museology and related to traditional collections and the collection of contemporary art.
The method to be used will be to make interviews and create a dialogue between museum directors, curators as well as scholars within different academic disciplines and artists to define the use of the term Museology and how it is understood in theory and in practice. Apart from this, the idea behind the project is to investigate the different trends in Museology in a historical and contemporary context. The project will include more specific problem complexes:
· The management of exhibitions and collections in the museum - coexistence or separate worlds? What is the core of the museum today?
· The artist and the art museum - coexistence or separate worlds?
· The art museum and the Academy of Fine Arts - coexistence or separate worlds?
The investigation will include both the collections of the Museum and other museums (Danish and foreign). A more specific selection of museums will be made later on.
A networking group within Museology has been established with participation of both museums and universities. The first meeting in 1999 took place at the National Museum, Copenhagen. Since then there has been a series of meetings. But the most prominent research partners are: the National Museum, Copenhagen; the Institute of Art History, Aarhus University; the Institute of Art History, Copenhagen University; the Department of Modern Culture and Culture Communication, Institute of Contemporary Literature, Copenhagen University.
Publication under preparation: A paper entitled "Statens Museum for Kunst - a museum of Art History and Contemporary Art. Can art historical collections and contemporary art benefit from each other?"
The Dutch line in Danish Golden Age Painting. A study of the influence from Dutch Painting from the Seventeenth-Century on Danish art from about 1800-1850. (Ph.D. dissertation)
Lene Bøgh Rønberg, mag.art., Ph.D. student (attached to the Museum 1996-2001,
In the dissertation four aspects of the issue are studied:
· The Dutch master works which could be studied by Danish artists in the collections in Copenhagen from 1800-1850.
· The reception of the Dutch art from the 17th century in Denmark in the 19th century. This study is centred around the first Danish art historian N.L. Høyen.
· The influence from Dutch painting on the Danish romantic landscape painter Johan Thomas Lundbye.
· The influence from Dutch painting on the domestic scenes in Danish bourgeois painting, and a discussion of to what degree aspects of the Dutch iconography was taken up - with a more or less changed meaning - in the genre and family paintings of the Danish Golden Age.
The methods used are a combination of hermeneutics, aesthetics of reception, iconology, semiotics and history of mentalities.
The Ph.D. project has is closely connected with the collections of old master paintings in the Statens Museum for Kunst. Particularly the old Dutch masters, as these works were studied by the artists in the Danish Golden Age.
Two articles from 1997 and 2001. (see the list of publications).
The Ph.D. dissertation will be finished by the end of January 2002.
The fine art of forging a history of art in a museum context: Art historians displaying art in Statens Museum for Kunst, in the early and late 19th Century
Britta Tøndborg, M.A., Ph.D. student (attached to the Museum since August 2000), Museum studies
The Ph.D. research project aims at mapping a particular relationship between the historiography of art history, and the history of the modern public art museum.
The relationship in question concerns det Kongelige Billedgalleri ( later Statens Museum for Kunst), and two art historian curators that changed and defined the scope of the Gallery, in the 19th century. N.L. Høyen (1798-1870), and Julius Lange (1838-96). The idea is to map the histories of art that the pioneer art historians staged in the Gallery. And also to compare the Danish situation with similar and relevant developments abroad; Germany and Britain in particular.
The intention is to investigate both exhibited culture, what the curators put on display, and exhibition culture, the ideas, values and symbols that pervade and shape the practice of exhibiting art. Instead of focusing on the museum as site this research project, in contrast, focuses on museums as the intricate amalgam of historical structures and narratives, practices and strategies of display, and the concerns and imperatives of various governing ideologies.
The Ph.D. project is housed by Statens Museum for Kunst, Department of Painting and Sculpture and supervised by Professor John House at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Co-supervised by Professor Øystein Hjort at Copenhagen University. The project is funded by the Danish Research Agency, the Ministry of Culture and Statens Museum for Kunst.
Supervisor at SMK is Vibeke Petersen.
DEPARTMENT OF PRINTS AND DRAWINGS
Neapolitan Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst.
Chris Fischer, mag.art.
Chief curator, Italian, French and Spanish drawings and graphic art 1400-1800
The collection comprises some 150 Neapolitan drawings mainly of the 17th century and from the so-called Solimena collection. It is first of all a collection of sketches typical of an artist's collection. Most of the drawings are registered as anonymous. Documents, arguments and hypotheses are presented, analysed and criticised. Data are collected and interpreted. An interpretative summary seeks to answer questions as to where the object comes from, who produced it and for what purpose. The results are arrived at through observations interpreted within an experience-based frame of reference that is partly of an academic nature and partly visual. The term for the expertise involved is connoisseurship. The work is placed within the works from the school or by the individual artist in other collections world-wide.
There are no official partners, but the results are naturally arrived at through collaboration with a wide network of colleagues at similar collections all over the world. In this particular case through discussions with colleagues in Naples, Vienna, New York, Washington, Paris, Florence, Stockholm and elsewhere where there are extensive collections of Neapolitan drawings or drawings with the same provenance as our drawings. The project was initiated by Joachim Meyer (and the preliminary results form the basis of his Ph.D. thesis) and will be finished by Chris Fischer. The research will be published in our series of catalogues raisonnés in 2003/04: Joachim Meyer assisted by Chris Fischer, Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst. Neapolitan drawings.
Drawings by Artists in the Circle of Rembrandt in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Jan Garff, mag.art.
Senior Research Curator, Dutch and Flemish drawings and graphic art, Danish drawings and graphic art 1800-1950
In 1996, the present researcher published a catalogue raisonné dealing with the drawings by Rembrandt in the above department. The aim of the project in progress is to make a similar catalogue of drawings executed not only by Rembrandt's pupils, but also by some of his contemporary, often unidentified imitators. During my studies I have been in contact with other corresponding collections abroad, and these contacts will certainly be intensified as the work is getting on. The scholarly method chosen is a very simple and classical one that has stood the test of time: looking, reflecting, reading, comparing, and looking again…
Catalogue raisonné of the 19th and 20th Centuries French drawings
Jan Würtz Frandsen, Phil.D.
Senior Research Curator, French drawings and graphic art 1800-1900, Danish and international modernism
My primary research project, which is now approaching its end, has been to establish a catalogue raisonné of the 19th and 20th Centuries French drawings and watercolours in the Department of Prints and Drawings. Besides, I have made research on different aspects of the oeuvre of the Danish painter Richard Mortensen.
Concerning the catalogue raisonné of the 19th and 20th Centuries French drawings:
The material in question is documented and subjected to discussion. The works of art, documents, arguments and hypotheses are presented, analysed and criticized. The process is one in which data are collected and interpreted. An interpretative summary seeks to answer questions concerning the object's provenance, who produced it, when and for what purpose.
Concerning my articles on aspects of Richard Mortensen's oeuvre:
Their basis is my four-volume monograph on this artist's entire painted oeuvre and my volume on his graphic oeuvre. The monographic project is individual and was not included in the museum's research plans.
The aim of my Mortensen project has been both documentary and interpretative. 1: to re-establish and document the entire oeuvre, 2: to interpret it as a whole, seen in the context of the international art scene of Modernism as well as in the context of the oeuvre itself. This interpretation is questioning concrete art's so-called purity and absence from any significance outside the work of art itself. Mortensen's oeuvre is now fully documented and interpreted for the first time.
My method for 2: is hermeneutic in Paul Ricoeur's relativistic sense and based on a combination of iconology and ikonik (Max Imdahl) combined with phenomenology and the Gestalt theory, with poetry and the Sartrean existentialism, all of it known to the artist, commented by him and part of the spiritual life of the period that was his. To this basis I have put a distance through Julia Kristeva's Lacanian theory of Modernism's poetic language.
The empirical foundation was built up through a profound knowledge of the artist's entire work, through research and interpretation of all available documentation in archives in Denmark, France and Germany as well as in the artist's own archives and through interviews with the artist and other persons concerned.
Circumstances - 1973. An Unknown Work by Kirsten Justesen
Forthcoming article in Statens Museum for Kunst Journal 2001.
Vibeke Vibolt Knudsen, mag.art.
Senior Research Curator, European drawings and graphic art 1750-1800, Danish and international contemporary art
In 1973 Kirsten Justesen created a major work consisting of about 100 black and white photographs, where she performed in different roles, naked and six months pregnant. The article presents a selection from the series, starting out from the work's historical and feminist context, followed by an analysis of the way in which the images show the body in a series of representations of femininity and its performative and fluctuating signs.
The point of departure in analysing the pictures is the theory of performativity, which in modern feminist writings constitutes a relatively new approach to gender. The work is an early example of how an artist represents gender performatively. By the performativity of gender is meant the idea that gender is not something you are, but something you perform, as identity is constructed through a series of stylised repetitions of acts, that is through bodily functions, movements and gestures that constitutes an image of gendered identity. By dint of political and social codes, the genders are each given their roles, but the point in the concept of performative gender is that genders do not exist in a pure form, but are copies of copies without an original. The series is a rare demonstration of this idea in the sense that the work can be viewed as a performance in which the artist plays with the many roles and identities of femininity.
Netherlandish and Flemish prints from the 16th and 17th centuries
Claes Christensen, stud.mag.
The temporary closure and the clearing of our stores brought forth around 20,000 unregistered prints mainly from the Netherlandish and Flemish schools of the 16th and 17th centuries. Claes Christensen, one of our student assistants, was given the task of ordering these prints under the supervision of an international committee consisting of Chris Fischer, Ger Luijten of the Rijksprentenkabinett, Chris Schuckman, at that time editor of the Holstein series, and Jan van der Waals, who is a specialist in the history of print collections and the print market. When the many prints had been put in an approximate order, two more students were employed to help registering the very large number of prints from the printing firm of the Visscher family who were indeed very well represented. The work on the 20,000 unregistered prints has been continued in a project where a smaller selection of the prints were presented by Claes Christensen on the museum's website A mad world. Claes Christensen is now working on his third
project relating to the find: an exhibition named: Treasure. Fragments of a Mirror of the World from the Collections of the Danish Absolute Monarchs which is foreseen for autumn 2002 and accompanied by a catalogue. The print projects have all been realised exclusively with external funding.
Continued research in German and French Drawings
Jan Würtz Frandsen and Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen
In extension of the research projects on German and French Drawings the Department of Prints and Drawings has continued its collaboration with Art Services International, which was initiated with a show of drawings from the Golden Age of Danish Art in 1995.The plan is to show selections of the collection of Old Master Drawings in tandem with the publication of our catalogues raisonnés. Within each of the groups treated in these catalogues a fine selection of ca 80 drawings will make a tour with four venues across the United States accompanied by a lavish catalogue in which the authors elaborate their texts from the catalogue raisonné with a view to a broader public. At the time of writing the manuscript for the exhibition of the Old German Drawings written by Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen and the manuscript for the French drawings of the 19th and 20th centuries by Jan Würtz Frandsen are in the process of being edited and translated. The exhibitions are planned to start in the autumn of 2002.
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
The Matisse Examination project
Henrik Bjerre, Chief Conservator
Participants: Henrik Bjerre assisted by Mette Bjarnhof.
At Statens Museum for Kunst an important part of the collection is the French paintings by Henri Matisse and other early 20th-century painters in The J. Rump Collection, donated to the museum in 1928.
In the bequest of Mr. Rump it was provided that the paintings should not be allowed to travel. For this reason they are in a comparatively good condition, and in general rather little conservation and restoration has been carried out on them until now.
However, as time goes on, supports and painting materials degrade inevitably. As the core of the Matisses is now almost a hundred years old, it was considered important to look closely into the condition of these outstanding works. A special problem is the ageing of some of the colours, first of all that of the blue hairs in the famous portrait of Madame Matisse with the green stripe.
A few years ago the provisions of Mr. Rumps bequest were changed in order to allow the works to travel to important art exhibitions abroad. As a consequence of this, the demands for loans have increased. The conservators are faced with two conflicting interests. One is the attempt to maintain the pictures in an untouched, original state as long as possible, the other the need for making them accessible and fit for travel, in the interest of the curators and the international public.
The aim of the study is to establish a kind of "dossier" for each painting by a systematic collection of technical data by means of surface examination under the microscope as well as infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray examinations. Written sources on the painting techniques of Matisse and his contemporaries are few in number. However, especially conservation documentation material in other galleries abroad will be consulted. So far, Henrik Bjerre has studied the paintings by Matisse in the Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA, during a short visit in 2001. More comprehensive studies will take place during the Spring of 2002 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Since no foreign research partners have as yet been "officially" appointed, it is, however, one of the aims of the project to establish contacts internationally with other institutions in the matter. Apart from the above-mentioned museums in USA and France another institution of interest in connection with our research would be the State Hermitage Museum in St. Pe
The research is to end up with a publication in 2003, in which will be given a summary of the technical information gained and a description of the conservation problems we have encountered during the examination. Last but not least, a conservation strategy will be formulated.
Evaluation of parameters used in the characterisation of painting canvases in relation to moisture treatments
Troels Filtenborg, M.A.
Conservator (appointed according to the research position statutory)
Certain canvas paintings, especially from the 19th century, are known to respond dramatically to humidity introduced for instance as part of a conservation treatment. The process, a pronounced shrinking of the canvas, often implies a risk of severe flaking of the paint-layers. The idea of this project is to investigate means of predicting these dimensional changes in the textile support. In other words, to identify to what degree various features indicate a potential for shrinking.
A number of painting canvases, which in the past have shown a strong tendency to shrink, is investigated. The focus is on c.1830-1900 as this period have a particularly high incidence of works showing the above behaviour.
Analyses known from the textile industry are used for detailed description of each canvas and include: fibre identification, degree of spinning, yarn thickness, identification of yarn content (lignin, starch, glue), weave type, thread count per cm, crimp/balance in the weave, and cover factor. In addition, glue size and ground layers are analysed by cross section and SEM-microscopy
The results are discussed, and their relevance for the shrinking process is evaluated.
Written sources on canvas production and preparation in the 19th century are consulted in order to assess to what extent industrialisation influenced the quality of painting canvases in relation to the above-mentioned problem.
Relation to the collection of the museum: Moisture treatment is used very often in the conservation of paintings on canvas, in most conservation studios and also at the Statens Museum for Kunst. The ability to predict the behaviour of a painting in terms of its potential for shrinking is important when choosing between various treatment options involving humidity. The utility value of the research project will be in providing a means to strengthen the documentation of the canvas support and identify key elements in the shrinking process, thereby improving the basis for a qualified choice. Research is carried out in collaboration with the School of Conservation, Copenhagen
The aim is to publish the results internationally in 2002.
Working Title: Developing a new methodology for the conservation of contemporary art (master thesis in progress)
Louise Cone, conservator student
School of Conservation, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts
There are a number of conservation problems that are specific to contemporary art. The degradation of materials, including discoloration, crumbling foams, tacky and deformed plastics, as well as missing, destroyed or out-dated parts are just some of the material problems faced by the conservator dealing with contemporary art. Other, perhaps less obvious issues, such as authenticity, artistic intention, or the affect of condition upon the meaning of an object, are also issues that need to be addressed by the conservator dealing with contemporary art.
The goal of this project is to examine the problems and issues facing a possible conservation treatment pertaining to a contemporary artwork, as well as to present some practical solutions to these problems. Art theoretical research has been done, as well as international research in this field. A number of artists whose works are represented at Statens Museum for Kunst have been interviewed to serve as "case stories" to exemplify the issues at hand.
The conservation of contemporary art demands an interdepartmental approach, which has been addressed in this project by the creation of standardized forms, reflecting the needs of various departments in relation to contemporary artworks.
The following standardized forms have been developed and are ready to be implemented at the museum:
· Artist interview form (developed to be used by Conservation department and Art historians)
· Data registration form for contemporary art (developed to be used by Conservation department and Art historians)
· Condition and treatment report for contemporary art (developed to be used by Conservation department)
· Handling and transport form for art handlers (to be filled out by Conservation for the Exhibition department)
This Masters thesis is written in collaboration with The School of Conservation, part of The Royal Danish Art Academy.
INCCA, International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art have acted as my foreign research partners throughout this project. INCCA is a working group consisting of 11 international partners, including The School of Conservation, which I am representing in the INCCA project.