Academic thesis

Gaby Petrak: Removal? Ethical and technological considerations regarding the treatment of authentic and later applied colored lacquer finishes on furniture from the Bauhaus-era. Back
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Abstract: With regards to conservation ethics and technological considerations, the treatment of authentic and later applied colored lacquer finishes on furniture of the Bauhaus-era requires a specific approach. This thesis addresses questions and problems, which may occur specifically in connection with the removal of surface finishes. Initial discussions about the definition of authenticity and original as well as considerations of conservation-ethics form the base for the discussion. Bauhaus-furniture is the point of departure for this investigation. The importance of the relationship between design elements such as form, material, color and surface texture as well as their value from today’s vantage point are presented. As a next step follows the presentation of various conservation issues that may result from original and later applied finishes on the furniture in question. The approach to refinishing from the points of view of Museums, art dealers, and conservators as well as a closer look at other disciplines is intended to illuminate the considerations for furniture finishes. Two objects from the Bauhaus Archiv/Berlin are chosen to apply the approaches and to discuss the concepts for their conservation treatment. The final discussion addresses the aspects of the surface removal and the retouching.


  • academic institution: Technische Hochschule Köln
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Hans Portsteffen
  • assistant Tutor:  Prof. Friederike Waentig
  • date:  2003
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  182
  • pictures:  82
Gaby Petrak
Museumstrasse 2, Postfach
Schweizerisches Landesmuseum
8023  Zürich
gaby.petrak@[Diesen Teil loeschen]

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