Conservation of the Collections - National Museum in Szczecin Poland

In 1946 a Ceramics Conservation Studio at the Department of Archaeology, in charge of putting archaeological relics in order, initiated conservation activity in the National Museum in Szczecin – at that time the Museum of Western Pomerania. In 1956 a Conservation Studio was created at the Department of Art. This was the beginning of prevention and conservation of artworks, especially mediaeval and modern ones. In 1960 Wood and Metal Conservation Studio was created within the Maritime Department. In 1971 the conservation studios were joined into the Conservation Department. In 1990 the studios were moved to the pavilion at Wały Chrobrego and the Departament was renamed into the Department of Conservation of the Collections. A the end of 1990 Paper and Leather Conservation Studio was established and in 1994 systhematic conservation of stone objects began. In 2008 new Furniture Conservation Studio took charge of furniture, weapons and scale models.

The conservators in cooperation with the staff of scientific departments protect the Museum’s own collections and objects borrowed from other institutions. Particular studios conserve and restore artworks (paintings, graphics, sculptures), crafts and applied arts, as well, as ethnographical, archaeological and nautological objects originating from and from outside Europe. Thanks to the conservators’ efforts temporary and permanent exhibitions are continuously enriched by interesting and precious objects that earlier, due to their condition, were kept in the Museum’s storages. Scientific examinations conducted during the conservation process brought numerous discoveries regarding structure and history of the objects. The results of those examinations were presented during scientific conferences held in Łódź, Toruń and Ziesar (Germany) and published in "Biuletyn Konserwatorów Dzieł Sztuki" and "Materiały Zachodniopomorskie".

The department performs also limited education and popularizing activities. The Museum’s visitors have access to the conservation studios during West-Pomeranian Science Festival. Within “Youth Masons’ Lodge” program, the conservation studios give three-day classes for Jugendbauhütte Stralsund/Szczecin organization. Youth from Germany and Poland familiarize with conservation issues and, supervised by the staff, perform various conservation activities: clearing, adhesion, filling in  missing substance and retouching, making moulds and casting ornaments, gold-leaf plating, dubbing paintings etc. Moreover, Polish and recently also foreign students take trainings and practices in particular studios.

The conservators of the National Museum in Szczecin have presented their accomplishments during exhibitions related to conservation and protection of relics. Made in 1962–1965 so called lakprofil, a vertical section of ground from an archaeological site, illustrating archaeological horizons in the surroundings of Szczecin castle, was shown in Warsaw at an exhibition entitled 30 Years of Conservation (presently exhibited in Szczecin’s History Museum). Between 1997 and 2001 the Department of Conservation took part in exhibitions related to Antikon Relic Conservation and Restoration Fair. At that time, the most interesting conservation works have been presented in photograms and several conservation and restoration techniques have been demonstrated. In 2002 the Museum conservators belonging to Association of Polish Artists and Designers participated in a collective exhibition entitled The Art of Conservation – The Conservation of Art, illustrating Szczecin art conservators’ output. In Kierat 1 Gallery they shown photograms, copies of easel, panel and miniature paintings, as well, as drawings and sculptures. Between 2001 and 2005 painting decoration of the hall of the Museum Building at Wały Chrobrego (originally made in 1913) was restored. In 2008 painting conservators began uncovering Pompeian-style wall paintings in the northern wing, covered after the second world war.

The most important conservation works of recent years:

Painting and Polychrome Sculpture Conservation Studio

Ceramics, Glass and Stone Conservation Studio

Paper and Leather Conservation Studio

Wood and Metal Conservation Studio

Furniture Conservation Studio