The conservators of the Kunsthaus Zürich are charged with the tasks of protecting, and caring for the objects and artworks of the collection in addition to making the effects desired by the artists as recognizable as possible. This encompasses a great variety of activities.
The objects of the Kunsthaus are continuously examined with regard to their state of conservation and potential material changes or incurred damage. The restoration efforts of the collection and exhibitions also include air conditioning, lighting and security.
A technical analysis, research on different art techniques and a close collaboration with art historians are crux of any conservation and restoration job. The conservation of contemporary pieces benefits more and more from dialogue with the artists.
Artworks that have been damaged, be it due to the passage of time or other reasons, are treated after having undergone the mentioned analysis and research and if necessary after consultations with specialized chemists. All the required restoration procedures are documented.
Numerous national and international museums approach the Kunsthaus Zürich in order to request artworks on loan. Meanwhile the Kunsthaus also requests artworks on loan for its own exhibitions from other public and private collections. This “Artwork traffic” is followed by the conservation team. The exhibition and air conditioning situation of other exhibition venues is examined, the state of conservation of the objects is documented both in writing and images, the transport requirements are ascertained and supervised, and in some given cases the more demanding pieces are accompanied on their voyage. All of this demands close collaboration with curators, archivists, the technical services team of the museum at the other end and the shipping companies.
The conservators of the Kunsthaus Zürich also function as consultants beginning with the appraisals of new acquisition, on to questions regarding the best storage conditions, on to the logistics of transportation and packing of works on loan and on to the exhibition per se. The continuous taking of inventory of the collection is enhanced technologically and possible gaps in the older inventory cards are checked and filled.