Through our library volunteer, Cathrin Wieduwild, the Conservation Department of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden – Gemäldegalerie Alte und Neue Meister, has donated three books to the Chantry library. Many thanks to the Museum for their generous support and to Cathrin for her summary of the books which follows.
The first, Spanische Malerei – Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Bestandskatalog, is a catalogue from the Old Master Picture Gallery, Dresden, where paintings from all the important artists of the Spanish school are on exhibition. This book was written by Mattias Weniger in collaboration with the Conservation Department of the Old Master Picture Gallery, Dresden, and the paintings are explained from history of art and art technology points of view as well as the history of the collection in general.
The second, Gerettet – Die Restaurierung der grossen Formate nach der Flut 2002, [English title: Rescued – The Restoration of the Large Paintings after the Flood 2002], describes the amazing commitment of gallery staff and volunteers during the devastating flood of 2002 in Dresden. Whilst the water was rising, they transported over 3000 paintings and frames from the lower floor to the safe upper rooms within a few hours on 13th August. Because of an electrical power outage it was not possible to transport the large paintings to safety using the lift, but it was possible to hang them under the ceiling. 15 large paintings rolled onto cylinders suffered damage. Directly after the water was gone the conservation was started, followed by restoration of the paintings. This book reports on the problems encountered during the restoration and the successes.
The last book, Restaurierte Kunstwerke in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, [English title: Restored Artworks in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)] gives an overview of conservation and restoration in the former East Germany on artworks from the early middle ages to the 1980s, described by institutional and freelance conservators of cultural heritage.