By Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
Responsibility for the Artwork
The Doerner Institut is responsible for the long-term preservation of the artworks in the Bavarian State Painting Collections. It oversees all holdings in the Munich Pinakotheken and other state galleries throughout Bavaria, the collections of which include works ranging from fourteenth-century panel paintings to multi-media contemporary art.
The Doerner Institut was founded in 1937 in Munich as an independent "Reichsinstitut für Maltechnik" (Reich Institute of Painting Techniques). Its present name stems from the painter and art analyst Max Doerner (1870–1939), professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, who garnered international acclaim for his book The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting. Already in 1946, the institute became affiliated with the Bavarian State Painting Collections and in 1977 fully merged with its conservation and restoration departments.
Who We Are
With about 60 members of staff, the Doerner Institut counts among one of the largest museum research institutes in Germany. Here, conservation and restoration specialists, museum and exhibition technicians and natural scientists work hand in hand in order to ensure the best possible care for the collection.
The conservators maintain, explore and document the collection. They develop scientifically substantiated restoration concepts and are responsible for their practical implementation. In this way, they continuously expand highly specialized knowledge of materials, artistic techniques and conservation and restoration methods - a knowledge grown over decades.
Identifying and Preventing Risks
Committed to the traditions of preventative preservation, we guarantee the best possible storage conditions in the galleries and depots of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, while at the same time identifying and assessing risks in order to counteract them holistically. Our specialist planning for refurbishments, renovations and new constructions further contribute to safeguarding the future of the Pinakotheken in Bavaria.
Art-handling professionals plan logistical processes and develop custom solutions for setting up and demounting exhibitions. Together with other specialists, they prepare the artworks for public display and optimize the conditions under which they are transported and exhibited. This means that the full diversity of the Bavarian State Painting Collections can be showcased, with select artworks featuring as ambassadors in museums all around the world.
The Doerner Institut is an internationally renowned research institute with a long tradition, whose art-technological and conservation-science expertise is in demand far beyond the Bavarian State Painting Collections. In our natural sciences department, we apply the latest state-of-the-art imaging techniques and special technologies for material analysis - thus providing a wide range of information on the process of creation, the composition and conditions of a work of art.
Gaining Knowledge through Interdisciplinarity
The insights we gain serve not only to broaden and enrich conservation- and restoration-based, or art-technological and practical perspectives, but also art-historical ones. Interdisciplinary cooperation with art historians of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, for example in the context of inventory catalogue projects, generates a wealth of scientific insights.
The Doerner Institut sees it as its mission to sensitize society to the importance of the preservation of cultural heritage. To do so, the Institute not only shares its research in specialist publications, but also communicates its knowledge to a broad audience by way of exhibitions and events at the Bavarian State Painting Collections.
Published on 11 October 2020, the 3rd European Day of Conservation-Restoration.
Concept & Text: Johanna Mocny, Heike Stege
Editing & Realization: Yvonne Hildwein, Max Westphal with the support of the Kulturkonsorten - Netzwerk für Kunst, Kultur, Wissenschaft und Kommunikation im digitalen Raum
Translation: Jennifer Leetsch
© Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Doerner Institut