Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Symposium on conservation of synthetic materials

Symposium on conservation of synthetic materials

From: Kathrin Kessler <kathrin.kessler<-a>
Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2005
"From Eames to Tinguely: Synthetics from art and design
6th symposium on conservation of synthetic materials
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein/Lorrach,
October 10-11, 2005

Ever since synthetic materials were created, they have been found in
the design world and in fine arts. Synthetic materials can take on
different shapes and colours and help realise visions. Pursuing
various approaches, artists and designers have made the different
properties of synthetics their own in their works. What condition
are these objects in today? How can these objects be preserved?
These are the questions that will be addressed in the 6th symposium
on conserving synthetic materials as part of the "AXA Art
Conservation Project in cooperation with the Vitra Design Museum"
held October 10-11, 2005 at the Burghof cultural centre in Lorrach.

Working back in the 1880s up to the 1920s, the Scottish architect
Charles Rennie Mackintosh integrated the first synthetic materials
as decorative elements in his furniture designs. In the course of
developing new techniques and materials at the end of the Second
World War, Charles and Ray Eames wanted to design furniture that
would be accessible and affordable for everyone. The Eames seat
shell made from fibreglass-reinforced polyester was born. In the
late 1950s, this technique played a pioneering role in the whole
technical development of production methods seen in the following

Venturing a step further, the Danish designer and architect Verner
Panton was able to realise his idea of a cantilevered chair from a
single moulding for the first time in 1967/1968 in the form of the
Panton Chair, likewise using fibreglass-reinforced polyester.

In the 1960s, a further material, polyurethane, attained a level of
technical sophistication that gave designers free rein in
implementing new ideas. Gaetano Pesce, an Italian designer and
artist, has embraced this as his preferred working material since
the 1960s.

Like designers, artists too have discovered the use of synthetic
materials for their works. In the 1960s, Duane Hanson used
fibreglass-reinforced polyester for his hyper-realistic figures.
Materials also play an important role in the work of Jean Tinguely.
Yet not only three-dimensional works contain synthetic materials.
Conservation problems are also frequently posed today by paintings
containing synthetic resins in the paints.

The symposium will provide an introduction to the works of various
designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Verner Panton and Gaetano
Pesce and such artists as Jean Tinguely, Duane Hanson and Roy
Lichtenstein. On one hand, their life's work will be presented from
an art history perspective and, on the other, examples of their
works will be selected to illustrate their condition and the
possibilities for conservation. Symposium participants will
subsequently have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and
conservation labs of various museums and production workshops in the

The definitive programme should be available by the middle of
August. The symposium language is English. The participation fee of
115 euros (70 euros for students) includes symposium materials and
concluding documentation, as well as 2x lunch and refreshments.

Information requests and registration should be submitted no later
than October 4, 2005 to:

    Alexa Tepen
    Vitra Design Museum
    alexa.tepen<-a t->design-museum< . >de
    +49 7621 702 3153

Kathrin Kessler
AXA Art Conservation Project in Cooperation
with the Vitra Design Museum
Vitra Design Stiftung gGmbH
Charles-Eames-Strasse 1
79576 Weil am Rhein
+49 7621 702 3182
Fax: +49 7621 702 4182

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:10
                Distributed: Wednesday, August 17, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-10-022
Received on Tuesday, 9 August, 2005

[Search all CoOL documents]