Conservation of a Detached Anti-nazi and Anti-fascist Mixed-media Installation

SZARLATA et al posterAuthors: Ewa Szarłata, Paulina Węgrzyn and Monika Topolska
Mentor: Edward Kosakowski, Full Professor

Department of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (Poland)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art MA Programme
Specialization: Paintings (Ewa Szarłata – 5th year of study; Paulina Węgrzyn and Monika Topolska – 4th year of study)


The poster presents the conservation of an installation of historic value, made shortly  before  the outbreak of World War II: an inscription made with pencil in the corner between two painted walls, reading "the 7th of August /1939 / gallows / for Hitler / and Mussolini", with a nail placed above one part of the inscription, with a rope attached to it. The installation was found during the conservation works connected with another object, and had to be removed immediately in order to be preserved (stacco method was chosen). The most challenging moment of the  preparations for the transfer of  the two parts with the inscriptions to a new support was the design of a moveable support system which would allow the display of this corner object as it was found, with two parts placed at a right angle to each other, or,  should the display require,  parallelly. Moreover, the installation had to be prepared for transportation during which it had to lie flat. The authors designed and constructed a  two-parted moveable support of the "sandwich" type, which fulfilled all of the requirements. The backings for the detached objects were prepared and applied to the support. Further works are in progress.

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Short biographies

EWA SZARŁATA is a 5th year student of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow, Poland, specialising in conservation-restoration of paintings. Her personal interests are in preservation and conservation of wall paintings. She gained professional experience in field work, as well as in several internships and workshops. She is currently working on her MFA thesis.

PAULINA WĘGRZYN is a student of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art (masters program) at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Cracow, Poland (2014–2020); member and secretary of the Student Research Circle at Jan Matejko Academy (2016–present); beneficiary of  Erasmus+ Exchange Programme at University of Antwerp, Belgium (winter semester of 2017/18); participant of several summer internships (conservation of wall paintings), volunteer for Academic Ministry and Polish charity organizations; coordinator of various workshops for children, artistic projects and exhibitions.

MONIKA TOPOLSKA is a student of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art (master programme) at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts and Art History in Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She is the vice-president of the Student Research Association, coordinator of scientific tours for students (Poland, France), volounteer, member of an Artistic Group Dąb i Trzcina that focuses on promotion of art in public space. Monika is highly interested in theory of art and ethical problems in conservation of contemporary art.