The diversity of the exhibits in the museums of the Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg poses a great challenge in terms of conservation care and restoration. All materials, such as wood, ceramics, metal, glass, paper, textiles, to name only the most important, can be found in the exhibition rooms as well as in the storerooms.
Conservation means creating the best possible climate, controlling the lighting conditions, handling the exhibits with care, handling loan transactions in accordance with the objects and, last but not least, restoring damaged objects.
In the course of a special exhibition of works by the artist Hanns Nienhold (1895 – 1976) shown in 2019, his graphic works were restored to a condition worthy of exhibition. After dry-cleaning, repairing flaws, closing tears and smoothing, the objects are stored in mounts made of age-resistant material and can thus be presented at any time.
The Natural History Museum stores approximately 33,000 herbarium specimens. This enormous number has to be stored in a non-destructive and conservationally favourable way. We are planning one tableau per sheet with a raised frame (similar to a passe-partout). The trays will be stacked in age-resistant boxes. In this way, the sheets can be removed at any time without touching them. This measure should also enable the planned scientific processing of the herbaria. The first part of the measure was funded by the Thuringian State Chancellery.
With the help of funding from the Thuringian State Chancellery, we were able to award the restoration of a bundle of Jewish books, written documents and graphics to the »Atelier Carta« in Mühlheim/Main. The books will be conserved and restored in consultation with the museum's restorer in order to put them in a worthy condition for an exhibition in 2021 and beyond.
In its uniqueness, the »Allendorf Altar« represents one of the earliest testimonies of carving art in the Central German region. Despite climate monitoring and measures to influence the climate, the slightest fluctuations in temperature cause the wood to work. This can lead to tension and, as a consequence, to the detachment of the paint. In order to stop this process, it is essential to check the wood regularly and thus to consolidate the detached paint particles. After inspecting the damage last year, we will be in a position in 2020 to have the examination and consolidation of the altarpiece's colouring carried out. The work will be carried out by qualified restorer Algis Wehrsig. We thank the Thuringian State Chancellery for its financial support.