About research at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
School of Conservation
Conservation science is based on the philosophy that the necessary access to and protection of cultural heritage objects which belong to all mankind shall be ensured. Cultural heritage objects are all immobile and mobile single objects and collections of objects, including temporary collections, and the areas of nature conservation which fall within the concept cultural heritage.
The aim of conservation science is to prevent and treat deterioration of cultural heritage objects in a wide sense. It is characterized by a mixture of theoretical knowledge and practical skills and embraces the ability to assess ethical, aesthetic and technical/scientific issues in a systematic way.
Conservation science has its origin in craftsmanship and art and in the humanities, technical and natural sciences. On the one hand it differs from craftsmanship and art in its cognitive and systematic analysis, diagnosis and problem solving as a basis for practical conservation and restoration. On the other hand it differs from other related sciences in its strong background in practical skills and knowledge of the complexity of and interaction between the object materials, their inherent properties and information and the effects that their surroundings have on them.
The aim of the research at the School of Conservation is to be a platform for research-based education and its continued development in collaboration and fruitful competition with education programmes in conservation/restoration offered abroad. At the same time the School of Conservation shall contribute the necessary research and development to support applied conservation in Denmark and in other areas within the fields of culture and cultural heritage where the research of the school is relevant.
Research into conservation/restoration covers a wide number of areas which take the cultural heritage object as their starting point. They include origin, manufacture, tangible and intangible information, materials and techniques, deterioration, conservation, restoration and storage and the historical and cultural background of the object and the idea behind it. The research may have either a humanistic, a scientific and/or a technical, experimental angle. Research in conservation/restoration includes pure and applied research and experimental development within the following main areas:
- Studies into the properties of the materials of objects.
- Studies of methods and techniques etc. used in prehistoric and historic crafts, art and techniques.
- Studies of the surroundings and their effect on the objects - their materials and information.
- Studies of deterioration and deterioration factors and mechanisms.
- Development of methods for analysis, diagnosis and tests for measuring state of preservation and deterioration and the effect of materials and methods used for conservation and restoration.
- Studies of materials used for conservation and restoration.
- Development of conservation and restoration materials and methods.
- Development of methods for preventive conservation and storage of objects.
- Studies into conservation/restoration history and development of conservation/restoration philosophy.