The preservation and restoration of the objects in the Vitra Design Museum collection and archive is overseen by the museum’s own conservation workshop. A special focus of this work is devoted to the issues and problems posed by the aging of plastic materials. In cooperation with international research institutes, universities and other museums, the Vitra Design Museum conservation workshop is constantly gaining new knowledge in this area. Below you can find some projects from the museum’s restoration department.
The Vitra Design Museum was the recipient of the first international AXA Art Research Grant from 2003 to 2005. Selected objects in the Vitra Design Museum collection were examined over the course of three years, and basic guidelines for the conservation of synthetic materials were developed in collaboration with international experts in this field. The results were presented within the framework of seven symposia.
- Additional information can be found at www.axa-art.de
The estate of the American architect and designer Alexander Girard (1907-1993) has been part of the Vitra Design Museum Collection since 1997. Following methodical registration and processing of the archive holdings (documents, drawings, catalogues and photographs), efforts are now focused on the systematic appraisal of his extensive three-dimensional estate. The collection of objects – many of which were sorted and filed by Girard himself during his lifetime – represents the fruits of over five decades of intensive creative work for both commercial and private clients. In addition to his own creations in the fields of furniture design, architecture, graphic design, textiles, tableware and decoration, the estate also encompasses objects that Girard brought back from his travels. It impressively documents the exhaustive variety of shapes, colours and materials as well as exceptional attention to detail that characterize Girard’s work. The investigation and research of the objects, their origins, dating, contextualization as well as the written and visual documentation of all available information constitute key project tasks. They also help to determine the optimum conservation conditions and necessary restoration measures. These aspects shed light on the importance of Girard’s contributions from the standpoint of design history and cultural history as well as on his personal biography.