Salzburg Global Seminar welcomed six members of the Schloss Leopoldskron Conservation Assessment Program to its Austrian palace earlier this month. The study group carried out an assessment of the historical collection of paintings, prints, furniture and decorative arts over a two week period, July 1 to 16, 2014. The group consisted of four students from New York University and the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation under the supervision of Dr. Hannelore Roemich, Professor of Conservation Science at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and Matthew Hayes, a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. This year’s work extended the development of a long-term preservation strategy for the maintenance of the collection, in addition to offering students an educational training program, testing their theoretical knowledge in a hands-on environment.
The program was initiated in 2013, and resulted in formal recommendations for the preservation of the Schloss’ artwork. This included raising the awareness of the Schloss’ management and staff about the conservation needs of the collections through workshops lead by the study group. The first study group also presented their findings at the 2014 American Institute of Conservation (AIC) annual conference in San Francisco. Lead professor of both study groups, Dr. Hannelore Roemich spoke to Salzburg Global about the success of their presentation. “The feature of our presentation was to show how to plan in a situation like this, how to go forward, how to make a plan work that is feasible and challenging and to see this all from an educational perspective,” Roemich explains.
In the second phase of the program conducted in July 2014, included three components: the updating and digitization of an outmoded inventory of historic artworks in Schloss Leopoldskron; offering training sessions on object handling for staff dealing with artwork on a day-to-day basis; and the establishment and administration of a Schloss Leopoldskron Conservation Task Force.
Roemich spoke of the co-operation between the Conservation Assessment Program and Salzburg Global. “We are very proud that our recommendations were taken very seriously and some of the easy, low-cost recommendations have been implemented such as restricting the policy for candles. We feel that the management here is taking our work very seriously and this is a very positive aspect and is very encouraging for what we are doing.”
The preservation assessment team is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The establishment and continuation of the Kress-funded conservation work at Schloss Leopoldskron is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-term commitment to the sustainable stewardship of the historic site. Salzburg Global has owned the 18th century palace since 1959 and recently renovated the adjacent Meierhof as part of reopening the building as a boutique hotel – “Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron” – which offers a valuable source of additional revenue to support its year-round programs.
To learn more about the work of the Salzburg Global Seminar, please visit: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/home.html