Symposium: Narratives - Contributions to the History of Conservation

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Thursday, 29 September, 2022 to Friday, 30 September, 2022
Monday, 31 October, 2022 - 23:59

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

The history of conservation in Austria is subject of a research project that was launched in 2018 at the Institute for Conservation-Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Aspects of the development of art conservation from empirical knowledge to disciplinary professionalization are explored with a combination of expert interviews and the analysis of written sources. Our studies focus on the genesis of paper and wall painting conservation in Austria as well as academic training at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The results of the research project will be presented and discussed in the broader context of developments in Europe at the Narratives symposium.

Contributions that deal with current research about the history of approaches, fields of action, methods and practices in conservation are welcome. Possible topics are the conservation history of selected objects or groups of objects, the emergence of conservation departments at individual institutions, the establishment of training programs or the development exemplified by personalities influential in the field.

The aim of the symposium is to present a synopsis of different narrative lines about the beginnings of a discipline that already in its early days has been at the crossroads of artistic, artisanal, and scientific practices and knowledge cultures, and from there evolved into the discipline that we now call conservation-restoration.

Abstracts (max. 250 words) in English or German can be submitted via email by October 1st, 2021 (

The contributions to this conference will be published as preprints in German or, respectively, English. The conference language is German and English.

Further information about the research project: