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Wolfgang Baatz

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1Once graduates of conservation programs find employment at an institution or work to capacity as free-lance conservators, they are usually confronted with a large amount of different tasks. Young professionals are confronted with a wide array of new challenges and each of them requires time and attention. As a result, there will be little or no time for extra activities like research or writing papers – the necessities and priorities of everyday life prevail.

2Most job profiles in the area of conservation will be characterized predominantly by activities which are directly related to documentation, conservation respectively preservation measures, or exhibition operations. Consequently, the constraints of daily routine leave little opportunity to carry out research and even less time for publishing.

3On the other hand, let us look at the situation from a more global perspective: a good deal – if not the majority – of papers published within the field of conservation-restoration are somewhat related to the educational or post-educational sector, written by graduates. The progress in our field which has been made in the last decades can be attributed to a considerable extent to the engagement and dedication of young professionals which graduated from conservation programs.

4It is safe to assume that it is predominantly the emerging generation of conservator-restorers who change the way of thinking and will influence and shape the future. Indeed, every generation modifies the circumstances and requirements they face, and the same dynamic can be found in the field of conservation-restoration. Every professional involved over a period of more than two decades will probably after some reflection have to acknowledge this when looking back.

5In this sense, publication activities of graduates - even if they themselves may not realize this - play an essential role in the development of the discipline. Thus, graduates should be encouraged to make an effort to have the results of their final thesis published - if possible and/or necessary supported and tutored by members of the teaching staff, who often contribute a good deal of input to the work – from initiating a study, assisting with a test design or a conservation measure, discussing results and defining the structure of a paper to final comments and corrections.

6These “young publications” in turn can also be seen as a mirror of what graduates have learned and achieved, of how the educational field which shaped them is shaped itself.

7Designing conservation-restoration education constitutes a major, if not the central task of the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education ENCoRE. This also means to support and facilitate communication in particular within the tertiary educational sector of the field, namely between universities and institutions of recognized equivalent. In doing so ENCoRE tries to stimulate research which is intrinsically associated with universities as one of their core missions.

8Following this train of thoughts and considering the period of lifetimes, it can be stated that it is the responsibility of young professionals to share findings and results of their final papers with the community. In turn they themselves will – at a later age – most likely benefit from further developments of the next generation.

9Considering all the new possibilities and chances offered by an electronic journal like CeROArt, it is essential for every single emerging young professional conservator-restorer to seize the opportunity and distribute their research results, their insights, experiences and interpretations. In doing so, they will contribute to the development of their own field and ultimately to the preservation of cultural heritage.

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Electronic reference

Wolfgang Baatz, « Foreword », CeROArt [Online], EGG 4 | 2014, Online since 02 April 2014, connection on 18 January 2018. URL :

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About the author

Wolfgang Baatz

Wolfgang Baatz is head of the Institute for Conservation-Restoration, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. After completing conservation training at the Academy, he worked 16 years as a freelance conservator. During this time he also graduated from a ten semester chemistry program at the Technical University Vienna, before returning to the Academy with a full professorship in 1994 and expanding the institute. He is also co-founder of ENCoRE and present chairman.

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Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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