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Latest from the restoration – January 2012

Hanging of the tapestry "Peasant Dance in front of the Inn" after motifs by David Teniers the Younger in the Frankfurt Römer

It took almost a whole year before the project could be brought to a successful conclusion in Frankfurt's Römer at the beginning of January 2012: The important tapestry "Peasant dance in front of the inn" from the estate of the Frankfurt honorary citizen Consul General Bruno H. Schubert and donation to the city of Frankfurt is now presented in the Frankfurt Römer!
From the estate of Frankfurt's honorary citizen Consul General Bruno H. Schubert, an important tapestry passed into the possession of the City of Frankfurt in January 2011: The tapestry shows a popular motif of Flemish Baroque painting, a rural festive party in an inn. The motif is based on genre scenes by the painter David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), whose paintings achieved Europe-wide demand and fame.

The tapestry, made of wool, silk and linen, was to be displayed in Frankfurt's Römer in the future at the request of the donor and on the intiative of the mayor Petra Roth.

In the meantime, the tapestry has "traveled" a lot, as it was first cleaned with aerosols in a specially equipped studio in Belgium using a special process developed for tapestries, and then restored in Nuremberg by textile restorer Magdalena Verenkotte-Engelhardt.

Back in Frankfurt, their installation now had to be prepared by the HMF, especially by the museum's textile conservator, Ines Scholz. In order to prevent the historical and inhomogeneously aged textile, which is after all 281 x 433 cm in size, from undergoing further dimensional changes and thus damage due to its own weight, a mounting on an inclined plane covered with textile was chosen, which, by th way, is standard today for museum presentations of this kind. The execution of the substructure was carried out precisely by the carpenter's workshop Zeschick in close consultation.

After determining the current location above the wedding balcony in the Römer, it quickly became clear to all those involved that further help would be needed here in order to be able to manage the elaborate hanging without any accidents. This was only possible after Ulrich Lang (conservator/restorer at the MMK) and Stefan Bressel (arthandler), both with many years of experience in hanging large formats, had assured us of their cooperation. Under their professional guidance and with help of two employees of the Römer, the mounted tapestry was brought to the wall on Saturday morning in a two-hour performance at a rather unusual height.

At the New Year's reception 2012, the tapestry could finally be presented at the Römer.

Latest from the renovation and move – March 2011

How do you pack a tapestry measuring about 3 x 4 m?

It was only in January 2011 that a valuable new addition came into the Fashion and Textile Collection: a tapestry knitted arount 1710 in a Brussels manufactory. But how should such a carpet be treated and how should it be moved carefully?
The tapestry, knitted around 1710 in a Brussels manufactory, depicts the Peasant Church Fair, a motif that belongs to a group of other rural scenes. The model (cardboard) was a motif by the Antwerp-born painter David Teniers. The famous painter developed these scenes, which were realized in various Brussels manufactories as large-format tapestries.
Like all new additions to the textile collection, this 286.5 x 421 cm tapestry was first treated in the in-house nitrogen facility to counteract possible pest infestation. After this procedure, the tapestry is laid flat. This allows it to be examined in detail and upcoming restoration measures to be discussed.
For the upcoming move, the tapestry must be placed around a roll of acid-free archival cardboard. Since the picture side must be on top for storage, the textile is first turned over. With such a large object, four people are needed to make this as "stress-free" as possible for the object. Before the cardboard roll is used, the tapestry is lined with tissue paper sheets. In this way, the textile layers do not lie directly on top of each other when rolled up. A durable, synthetic wrapping paper (Tyvek) is wrapped around the roll for external protection against dust. An aluminum tube and two mobile stands ensure transport and subsequent stable storage.

Latest from the renovation and move – November 2010

The holdings of the Historical Museum include a small, interesting jewelry collection of about 1.200 objects, consisting of very different pieces from numerous eras. This collection must also leave its traditional depot as part of the museum above.
The jewelry pieces, some of which are very fragile, are made of a wide variety of materials. In order to work efficiently, it was necessary to develop a packaging system that would do justice to the very heterogenous collection.
The individual pieces of jewelry were packed with materials suitable for archiving and secured in such a way that no piece could move. Age-resistant, acid-free archival cardboard and tissue paper, age-resistant polyethylene foam and soft cotton tape were used for this puprose. Each piece of jewelry, no matter how small, was given its own label with inventory number and matrix code. Packing the objects, some of which were very small, took several weeks.
Particularly demanding, for example, was the packaging of costume jewelry made of early plastics, some of which were already very badly damaged due to their rapid aging. But also the silver filigree work on rosaries or traditional costume jewelry with their protruding decorative elements can easily bend and require very careful handling and fastening.

Restoration 2009

Restoration of the Festive Standard of the Sachsenhausen Vintners' Guild of 1840
The 17 guild flags made for the procession of the Frankfurt Gutenberg Festival represent a significant testimony to Frankfurt's social and art history around 1840 in the textile collection. The multifaceted historical reflection of Frankfurt's civil society contained therein is to be made visible once again through the scientific and conservation treatment of this convolute, so that it can become an extraordinary component in future permanent exhibitions.
In advance, the painted standard of the Sachsenhausen winegrowers was restored for the special exhibition „Heinrich Hoffmann – Peter Struwwel”. The existing damage (cracks and deformations in the textile, loosened decorative elements, painting layer lifting and powdering, soiling and pest infestation) called for close interdisciplinary cooperation between the textile and painting restoration departments. The findings on the materials and processing techniques used in 2009 on this flag contribute to the art-technological research of the hitherto little-studied object group of painted flags.