The Institute of Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts (INTK) is responsible for the theoretical and practical knowledge transfer in the fields of materials science and color chemistry, color and perception theory, the documentation of art and cultural history objects, the material analysis and durability of materials in art, and microbiology in art.
Diploma or dissertation theses at the INTK cover the material-scientific analysis of art works as well as architectural surfaces and interiors, especially in the field of historical monument preservation. Students study and learn about the technical-scientific requirements in the working environment of museums and collections, as well as monument conservation and conservation-restoration.
The INTK offers science- and technology-oriented courses for the fields of study Conservation-Restoration, Architecture and Fine Arts as well as a doctoral program in Natural Sciences. In the subjects of materiality, material ecology and material analytics the INTK has a cooperation with the Institute of Conservation-Restoration in particular and with the Institute of Art and Architecture.
The INTK’s main research activities are the aging processes of materials or combinations such as synthetic organic materials in modern and contemporary art; Asian lacquers; paintings or medieval manuscripts; biopatina and the materiality of surfaces; material analysis and computer-aided evaluation strategies; microbiological fingerprints in art and on materials.
The institute has an international network as part of its research projects and through its doctorate students. There is also a close cooperation with and active exchange of Erasmus students, especially with universities in Italy (Rome, Venice, Padua).
At the Augasse campus, the INTK has a chemical-microbiological laboratory and analytical equipment for elemental analysis (XRF), spectroscopic (FTIR, Raman, UV-Vis, HSI), chromatographic (Py-GC-MS) and molecular biological investigations, as well as a photographic studio for the documentation of art and cultural property (UV, IR, IRR, and X-ray).
The INTK is currently expanding its capacities, particularly in the field of digital research infrastructures, thereby laying the foundation for a Center for Materials Sciences in Art and Conservation together with the Institute for Conservation-Restoration, the Austrian Film Museum, and the Austrian Federal Monuments Authority.