The Kunsthalle Bremen receives major grant from Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung for the conservation of Dutch drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings

The collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen spans 700 years of art – from the 14th century to the present day. It covers European painting from the Middle Ages to the present, international modern art, sculptures from the 16th to the 21st century and outstanding works of media art.

The Department of Prints and Drawings with its more than 200,000 works represents one of Europe’s largest and most important collections of prints and drawings.
The approximately 900 Dutch drawings of the 15th – to the 18th century make up an important component within the collection. Alongside a handful of early works, the collection is defined primarily by the Dutch and Flemish drawings of the ‘Golden Age’, the 17th century. The genres of landscape as well as figure studies, genre scenes, allegories, Biblical scenes and animal studies are to be found among these works.

The conservation project is estimated to take about two-and-a half years. The objective is to undertake in-depth analysis and conservation treatment of these drawings, which have never been systematically examined. The outcome of the scientific and art historical research will be presented in a major exhibition and comprehensive publication, scheduled for 2017. Virtual access to the works will be provided through the museum’s online collection database.

In addition to the photographic and written documentation of the drawings, the measures involved in the conservation project will include the recording of the watermarks and the analysis of the papers and drawing materials. Conservation treatment will be individually determined for each work, for example, removal of acidic backings, old mounts, surface cleaning, consolidation of flaking drawing materials or mending of tears and missing areas. The project will be accompanied by regular events for members of the Kunstverein: these will provide a look behind the scenes and insights into the work in progress.

This conservation project has been made possible by the HERMANN REEMTSMA STIFTUNG.

Contact person for the conservation project

Christien Melzer | Curator of the Kupferstichkabinett / Prints and drawings, 15th – 18th century | melzer@kunsthalle-bremen.de
Jutta Keddies | Paper conservator, ACR | keddies@kunsthalle-bremen.de