Do you want to contribute to the preservation of our cultural heritage?
Would you like to work on unique works of art that are of historical, artistic, and cultural importance?
Are you as enthusiastic about natural sciences as you are about the humanities?
In your studies, do you enjoy practical relevance, project-related work and versatility?
If yes, then apply for the study course of conservation! However, we recommend that you see us beforehand for a personal information session and come to our Open House day!
Mag.art. (Magister artium)
Duration (Semesters): 10
Language of Instruction: German / some courses and lectures in English
The diploma degree programme of Conservation is arranged in two study segments.
The first segment encompasses two semesters and represents an introduction into general conservation-restoration practices, where students gather basic knowledge and gain experience in all specialised areas. From the very beginning of the programme, students handle original items in the workshops (Central Artistic Subject – ZKF – Conservation-Restoration Practice) and are methodically trained in conservation-restoration. The theoretical courses of the first segment convey basic knowledge from natural sciences, materials science and art history across the specialist areas.
The second study segment (in the chosen specialist area) continues as in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in conservation, materials, and humanities. Contents from preventative conservation plus dealing with traditional crafts are used to supplement the study programme.
In addition, students may undertake an exchange or internship semester in a domestic or foreign institution during the second study segment. Also, students will be included in national and international research and restoration projects.
The fifth and final year is dedicated to the diploma thesis in which students are tasked to resolve a complex conservation-restoration issue in its entirety as independently as possible. The diploma thesis consists of a practical part and a written, conservation-scientific part.
The diploma degree programme of Conservation prepares students for an academic conservator’s continually changing and expanding field of activity.
The four specialist areas of the study programme cover the conservation and restoration of paintings, objects, textile, and stone. Additionally, there is the option to specialise in the conservation of archaeological finds or contemporary art.
The study programme objective is to enable students to develop long-term and sustainable conservation strategies for individual objects, ensembles and collections, as well as to enable them to independently carry out measures for examining, conserving and restoring art and cultural goods in line with the appropriate standards of professional ethics. All this is based on the conservation sciences, natural sciences, humanities, plus the interdisciplinary cooperation with other specialist fields. Prerequisites are the knowledge of current work methods and internationally accepted quality criteria, as well as a reflected handling of conservation materials.
In addition to continuous training in conservation-restoration practices, current treatment methods are addressed and taught. At the same time, students are guided to conduct conservation science research.
International cooperation and work projects also serve to expand professional competences.
During the diploma degree programme, theoretical and practical contents are treated as being of equal value and are coordinated with each other. This balance between theory and practice, plus the work with and on originals, are important aspects of the study programme and distinguish the training as a conservator-restorer at the Angewandte in an international comparison.
Programme graduates are characterized by their responsible handling of art and cultural goods and a methodically structured approach in their work. They are able to argue the strategies they have developed, react flexibly to the highly diverse requirements of their field of activity and approach future challenges for their profession with sound concepts.
The specialist field of Painting teaches conservation and restoration of paintings on various image carrying materials (textile, wood, metal, and others) and from different eras. In addition to paintings and painted wooden sculptures referencing traditional (western) painting techniques, objects of extra-European origin are also covered.
Particular attention is paid to classical modernism and contemporary art – with their often difficult tasks of conservation and restoration – as well as attention to preventative conservation, event supervision, and maintenance of collection objects.
The specialist field of Object covers the conservation and restoration of three-dimensional objects from the areas of artistic craft, applied art, sculpture, and industrial and archaeological cultural artefacts. The focus is on European objects from the Middle Ages to the present day, with the traditional area of attention on all metals used in the production of cultural artefacts. Accompanying materials such as glass, ceramic, porcelain, ivory, stones set in other materials, corals, pearls, enamel, precious wood species and amber, among others, are also dealt with. A current area of work concentrates on conservation and restoration methods regarding art works and materials – such as early synthetics – of the 20th century, as well as conservation-restoration of objects consisting of a mix of materials.
The specialist field of Textile provides training in the conservation and restoration of textiles from various manufacturing techniques, eras, and cultural environments. Beside flat fabrics such as pieces of embroidery and flags, or large textile objects such as tapestry and wall coverings, the specialisation also covers three-dimensional objects such as historical costumes. Objects consisting of a combination of materials and painted textiles that are worked on in close cooperation with other specialist fields, provide students with further opportunities of in-depth experience.
Preventative conservation is an essential focus of the training. This includes collection care and depot management with inventory, condition assessment and concept development for individual objects and groups of objects, as well as scientifically sound handling of potential damage factors such as insect infestation, climate and lighting.
The specialist field of Stone is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of natural stone and other mineral building materials. This includes materials such as artificial stone, concrete, brick and terracotta, as well as stucco, plaster, or surface colour coatings. In addition to individual objects such as sculptures, embossments or epitaphs, students will handle architectural works and built heritage conservation.
Essential focal points of the training are the development and implementation of inventories and status assessments, as well as monitoring, protection and maintenance programmes, but historical and current craft techniques are also taught.