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
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.
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.
Andreja Ravnikar, Conservator-Restorer
Head of Conservation-Restoration
Miha Pirnat, Assist. Prof., Conservator-Restorer Adviser
Barbara Dragan, Conservator-Restorer
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.
Matevž Sterle, Conservator-Restorer
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
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, Conservator-Restorer Adviser
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.