Visit the Conservator

Stories from the conservator. Contemporary art and sculpture

In this section, conservators at SMK describe the conservation that they carry out as part of their day-to-day work, in small, short stories. The tasks are wide-ranging, and these stories cover the treatment and investigation of many artworks of very different character and condition.

You can read about the restoration of works on paper, parchment, canvas, wood, plaster, bronze, wax and plastic. The works of art are typically in the conservators' studios either in connection with SMK's own exhibtions and displays, or in preparation for loans to exhibitions in other museums. Conservation and research is sometimes also carried out as part of a larger research project. The conservators may also be called in if it is discovered that a work has damage and needs some care and attention. This damage may include degradation in the form of discoloration, loss of paint, cracks, surface dirt, holes, deformations, or parts of the artwork may have been lost due to damage.

The way in which a work of art is treated depends on the type of materials used to make it, as well as the degree and type of degradation or damage. The extent and choice of the restoration process is also largely determined by the work's original technique. There will, for example, be large differences in the treatment of an oil painting, a watercolour, a drawing in ink, a work in chalk, printed material and a photograph.

Discover stories about contemporary art and sculptures from the conservator

Loneliness transformed

As part of our preparations for the coming exhibition Rising From Darkness, our conservation workshop was visited by this poor thing. Not only was she lonely, she was also covered by a thick layer of algae, moss and lichen after having been left outside in all kinds of weather for years. It seemed as if she had been forgotten, and that no one had cared about her.

Read about the conservators work

What's Happening? Preserving relics from the 60s and 70s

A number of works shown in the exhibition What's Happening have been conserved in preparation for being on display.

Read about the conservators work

A house of hoses and rubber bits

Conserving modern sculptures can in some cases be a rather complicated affair, requiring conservators to venture into unknown territory.

Read about the conservators challange with Torben Ebbesen’s sculpture Solitude.

Freddies Flaking Fingers

Wilhelm Frederik Christian Freddie, 1909-1995, is considered the most renowned surrealist in Denmark - a true enfant terrible. His work The Dancer has now been restored.

Read about the conservation of the art work

Artworks made of plastic

An EU-funded research project at Statens Museum for Kunst in cooperation with The School of Conservation is examining the issues in order to aid in preserving our works of plastic.

Read about how the works are kept for the future

A difficult problem

Claus Carstensen’s palette consists of more than just colour. To this monumental oil painting he has applied thick grease, soft foam rubber, and his own urine.

Read about how the conservator Louise Cone has conservated the artwork Æterlegme

Updated: 28.aug.2015
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