Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

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Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts

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Students during their practical work in the lab of colour chemistry, photo © INTK
Colour measurement of contemporary graphic art, photo © INTK
X-ray radiography of Rubens painting, photo © INTK
Light test of modern materials for contemporary art, photo © INTK
Non-invasive material analysis of mediaeval manuscripts, photo © INTK
The technological collection of the institute, photo © INTK
Microbiological sampling of historical manuscripts of a monastery library with sterile cotton swabs, photo © Sterflinger
Laboratory work with mold isolates from a museum, photo © Sterflinger
Students during their practical work in the lab of colour chemistry, photo © INTK
Colour measurement of contemporary graphic art, photo © INTK
X-ray radiography of Rubens painting, photo © INTK
Light test of modern materials for contemporary art, photo © INTK
Non-invasive material analysis of mediaeval manuscripts, photo © INTK
The technological collection of the institute, photo © INTK
Microbiological sampling of historical manuscripts of a monastery library with sterile cotton swabs, photo © Sterflinger
Laboratory work with mold isolates from a museum, photo © Sterflinger

The Institute for Natural Sciences and Technology in Art (INTK) is responsible for the theoretical and practice-oriented transfer of knowledge in the subjects of colour and perception theory, colour chemistry as well as materials science, materials ecology and microbiology in art. The focus is on both historical and contemporary materials and technologies. Important focal points in teaching are the documentation of objects and deterioration phenomena, the non-destructive determination of materials in art objects and the diagnosis of microbially caused damage.

Diploma or dissertation theses as well as research projects cover the material science analysis of single objects in museums and collections as well as architectural surfaces and interiors, especially in the field of historic preservation.

The focal points of our research activities are:

Characterizing the material properties of artworks with the aim of dating these objects, drawing conclusions about the artistic production process and thus providing a basis for conservation and restoration measures.

To understand the chemical, biological, and physical processes of weathering, aging, and decay of objects and their materials, and to develop conservation measures based on this understanding.

To further develop and optimize non-destructive and non-invasive methods for the examination and documentation of works of art and archaeological finds.

To deepen the understanding of the production, origin and aging of art objects with our analyses and to make a significant contribution to the conservation of works of art with our know-how.

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