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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.

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