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About the National Gallery of Slovenia

Conservation-Restoration

The main focus of activity of the Department of Conservation and Restoration is the care of the Gallery’s collection. A team of experts works primarily in the field of conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures and works on paper. Due to the nature of work in the Gallery, a lot of time is also devoted to preventive conservation, preparation of artworks for transportation, documentation, optical non-destructive investigations, publications and education. The work of the department is strongly linked to the investigation of material properties in conjunction with the findings of fellow art historians. This comes as a result of fruitful cooperation with related institutions and exchange of expertise.

The constant technological development of tools and materials strongly affects the work and decisions in salvaging works of art from further degradation. There is an expert commission in place to regulate complex projects, whereas work encompassed the testing of established methods and options in order to find those that are most art-friendly. Our motto is “less is more”, which is why we try to solve structural problems by using minimal and reversible treatment.

Museum conservation – restoration standards are less rigorous due to the fact that the works of art are returned to climatically regulated environments – to exhibitions or storage spaces. This means that these spaces have suitable values of relative humidity, temperature, lighting, air pollution, noise, vibration, etc. Minimal treatment can slow down the inevitable breakdown of the original materials.

The diverse fields of activity serve as encouragement in the constant upgrading of knowledge in the field of conservation and restoration, science as well as knowledge of art history. It is our aim to maintain high professional standards and to add to them through the development of the profession.

Painting Studio

Paintings on various supports such as canvas, wood, paper and metal are conserved and restored in the painting studio. Primary care is taken for the flawless condition of artworks which are exhibited in the permanent collection and stored in the depots of the National Gallery of Slovenia. Works of art from the fund of paintings, which are exhibited in exhibitions at home and abroad are treated systematically through ongoing projects. When artworks are loaned out, a record on the condition of the artwork is made, and if necessary, the artwork is prepared appropriately and packed for transportation in special air-conditioned cases. All stages of work are carefully documented in written and pictorial form, with a record of the treatment performed being kept.

Andrej Hirci, MA, Conservator-Restorer Adviser
E: andrej_hirci@ng-slo.si 

Miha Pirnat, Assist. Prof., Conservator and Restorer Adviser
E: miha_pirnat@ng-slo.si

Simona Škorja, MA, Conservator and Restorer
E: simona_skorja@ng-slo.si

Sculpture Studio

Taking care of the assorted sculpture collection of the National Gallery of Slovenia and the decorative frames includes making sure that appropriate methods of handling and exhibiting of the sculptures are selected, as well as appropriate ways of storing the sculptures in the depots. The department makes an assessment of the condition of the sculpture and issues a record on its suitability for being loaned out. By participating in the preparations and selections of the mode of display (fixtures, glass cases) with appropriate climatic conditions, the department contributes to a safer passage and display of artworks.

We carry out conservation – restoration treatment on sculptures from various materials (wood, stone, plaster, clay and various metals), accompanied by all relevant documentation.

Martina Vuga, MA, Senior Conservator and Restorer
Head of Conservation-Restoration
E: martina_vuga@ng-slo.si

Studio for Works on Paper and Photographs

The studio is concerned with the conservation and restoration of various works of art on paper (prints, drawings, sketches, photographs, sketchbooks) stored in the depots of the National Gallery of Slovenia.

Since 2003, work is underway to systematically organise the fund of prints, meaning that each single piece of art is conserved and restored if necessary, as well as equipped in line with museum standards. They are placed into museum quality passpartous, which means that they are prepared for long term storage. This type of storage prevents any direct contact with the artwork and facilitates handling. In this way the work of art is also prepared to be displayed when and as necessary.

Tina Buh, Senior Conservator and Restorer
E: tina_buh@ng-slo.si

Investigation Studio

Multispectral analysis of artworks is a non-destructive optical investigation, whereby objects are illuminated with specific wavelengths, providing information not discernible in visible light. The department’s studio includes UVF methods (ultraviolet fluorescence), IRF (infrared photography) and IRR (infrared reflectography). We are the only laboratory in Slovenia to offer these types of investigations, which are occasionally also performed for external clients.

Andrej Hirci, MA, Conservator-Restorer Adviser
E: andrej_hirci@ng-slo.si