Conservation and restoration
The conservation and restoration of the works in a collection that need such care are central part of a museum’s responsibilities.
One or more works are restored every year. The contemporary works, which are often made from a variety of materials, require special attention and procedures.
An example of restoration :
Erotomachie I by Raoul Hausmann
Some drawings by Raoul Hausmann entered the collections when the museum opened in 1985. A set of drawings from Raoul Hausmann’s Limousin period was acquired in 2002. These works came from the artist’s studio collection; they were in a generally good but uneven condition. Several of them were mounted in ways that were harmful to their conservation (adhesive tape stuck directly to the paper on which the drawing was made), while others had never been mounted and could not be framed in their existing condition.
Every year for the last three years, conservation-restoration operations have been carried out on some of these drawings with the aim of conserving them and presenting them in the permanent area that the museum has dedicated to the artist.
The following technical operations are regularly carried out:
- removal of adhesive tape,
- elimination of glue residues,
- consolidation of any tears,
- mounting operations (joint-frame or false margin),
- placing under a mount.
The work is carried out by a heritage restorer specializing in graphic art and modern and contemporary art.
These campaigns also provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the artist’s work, and particularly his working techniques. They also offer a chance to make discoveries. Among the drawings that were worked on during the winter 2013-2014, the work “Erotomachie”, which is an erotic pencil drawing with a double meaning in which the artist distorts the image of a pear and a knife. When the drawing was removed from its mount for restoration, a new, previously unknown drawing was found on the other side of the paper, representing the portrait of a man. The drawing is presented in the “Raoul Hausmann. Objet /objectif” exhibition.
Erotomachie I : Defloration, 1939
Pencil on paper - 24,8 x 19,1 cm. Inscription bottom right: Defloration
Inscription bottom left: Erotomachie I - Rochechouart Departmental Museum of Contemporary Art (Inv.: 86.11)