The Conservation Department was founded in 2002 with the opening of the Pinakothek der Moderne.
Since then it has become an important hub for the conservation and maintenance of modern design objects, the research into the deterioration and preservation of the collections, the development of new conservation processes and the knowledge of its original technology. It also plays an active role in networking and sharing information. Its field of activity is extensive and substantial ranging from daily routine work to ambitious research.
The large number and heterogeneity of design objects in our collection reflects perfectly the whole range of technologies and materials developed in the course of the 20th and 21st century, attesting in particular to the use of plastics. Therefore our research is very much focussing on the conservation of degraded modern materials. Through the research into the deterioration and preservation of the collections, the development of new conservation processes and the investigations of original technology, our department has become an important centre for the conservation of design. It also plays an active role in networking and information sharing and takes part in national and international research projects in the conservation of design.
With the international renowned biennal conference FUTURE TALKS we succeeded in establishing a groundbreaking platform to discuss and exchange experiences in the conservation of modern materials.
With guided tours both to running exhibitions and the conservation studios we introduce the interested public to the field of conservators activity and give exceptional perspectives on design objects. Moreover we are offering internships for pre-students (one-year-placement trainees) and students (3 to 6 months) from international universities and supervise bachelor and master theses. Beyond the participation at international conferences with numerous lectures on the conservation of plastics we hold lectureships at the University College of London (UCL) in Doha, Qatar and the Technische Universität in Munich (TUM), Germany.
Daily activities of the Conservation Department include regular cleaning treatments, survey of condition and integrated pest management of the permanent collection on show and in storage facilities, preparations for and follow-up to in-house and external temporary exhibitions like conservation treatments of collection items, control of incoming loan objects, including unpacking and design of packing, condition reporting, installing on show, regularly condition check and vice versa, definition of loan conditions, preparation of installation mounts, courier trips to supervise the transport and the installation of the loan object – and last but not least the handling of acquisitions and donations including consultancy on condition, material, authenticity, preparation and organisiation of packing and transport, conservation treatments and numbering of each object.