IIC 2012 Vienna Congress

The Secession building  / Wiener Secessionsgebäude (c) BDA

09/09/2012 - 13/09/2012

The Decorative: Conservation and the Applied Arts

IIC was delighted to present the 24th biennial IIC Congress, and IIC’s second such event in Vienna, the first having taken place over thirty years ago in 1980. This new event was held at the new campus of the University of Vienna, situated in the heart of the city ...

The Decorative: Conservation and the Applied Arts

The 2012 Congress focused on a topic that was uniquely well-suited to Vienna’s wealth and breadth of decorative and applied arts heritage. Ornament and decoration have been evident in human endeavour since the beginning of human history, ranging from the bold clarity of ancient Egypt to the great period of Jugendstil and the Vienna Secession around 1900 and on to the exuberant revivals of today. Wherever civilisations have developed, many of their forms of cultural expression can be considered as ‘decorative’ or ‘applied’ arts. The congress topic coincided with Vienna’s Klimt 2012 celebrations, on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Klimt.
The decorative and applied arts have contributed greatly towards both the practical and the social aspects of everyday life as they have responded to contemporary needs and material inventions. However, technologically innovative aspects of the artifacts produced have sometimes been underrated, while their aesthetic qualities have been studied intensively. The multidisciplinary approach of conservators can help to unravel the fascinating story of some of these artifacts in their original context.

Congress outline format

  • Technical programme part 1: Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 September 2012
  • Excursions within and beyond Vienna: Wednesday, 12 September 2012
  • Technical programme part 2: Thursday and Friday, 13 and 14 September 2012

A full programme of social events was planned, including receptions in two of the city’s most important museums and the Congress Dinner in Vienna’s Gothic Revival style Rathaus, a marvellous building in the very centre of Vienna.
The language of the congress and its publications was English.
There were poster displays and a trade show by suppliers and service providers.
Parallel meetings included those for student participants, for members of the IIC Fellowship, for representatives of IIC Regional Groups and one for grant recipients.

Technical Programme

The Technical Programme of papers and posters to presented at the Congress has been published and details may be found here: Congress programmes


The registration fee covered attendance throughout the event, morning and afternoon refreshments every day of the technical programme, the printed Congress Preprints, prior on-line access to the abstracts and papers, attendance at the evening receptions and the Vienna morning excursions on Wednesday. There was an additional fee for the Congress Dinner and for the excursions on the Wednesday afternoon to the Abbey of Klosterneuburg, as well as to the post-congress tours. Those accompanying participants at the Congress were welcome to join the opening and farewell receptions at no cost; additional places for guests at the Congress dinner were available and could be booked at the same cost as for the main applicant.

The registration fee was discounted for members of IIC.