Agata Smolnicka

author biographical note degree piece

Technology and conservation of the old print Historischer Schauplatz, in welchem die Merkwürdigsten Brücken aus allen vier Theilen der Welt, Insonderheit aber die in den vollkommensten Stand versetzte Dressdner Elb-Brücke … by Carl Christian Schramm

Conservation of an old book from the Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, which under its cover keeps its soul and history, has been a multidimensional challenge that I had the opportunity to undertake in the last stage of my studies at the Faculty. Taking up the role of a detective-conservator resembled the investigation conducted by William of Baskerville, a monk from the novel by Umberto Eco. The “dismantling” of the book led to strengthening of the bond with the object and confirmation of my passion for conservation, and above all the progress in conservation mindset. Each monument requires an individual approach, and so was the case with the old print of controversial workmanship. What method of maintenance should be applied? Prior to the procedure, several versions of the conservation plan were proposed.

The objective of my work was to reconcile the technology of the book with historical defects / technical errors during its binding and to find an appropriate and safe solution for preserving these traces of history in a suitable protective cover. Technological errors of the old print, resulting from incorrect construction and binding of the book, were both a problem and a value of the piece, and determined wider coverage of the book construction issue.

(born 1990)
Studies: Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2010–2017). Works in printmaking, watercolour painting, book binding, and graphic design. Member of the team maintaining the collection of Polish posters at the Society for History and Literature in Paris under the project aimed at saving Polish heritage abroad – award for outstanding learning outcome in the academic year 2013/14. Participant of research conferences and seminars in the field of conservation and restoration, maintenance of monuments, chemical analysis and application of instrumental methods in research and conservation of historical objects.