On April 7, Manege hosted a lecture by Aleksandr Androkhanov, head of the conservation group that worked to prepare the exhibition project Stillness. Russian Classical Sculpture from Shubin to Matveyev.
During the lecture, entitled “It All Started with Restoration”, we have discussed the history and “adventures” of the sculptural works included in the St Petersburg exhibition.
Aleksandr’s team restored 18 sculptures for Stillness, and each one had its own astonishing story. The professionals worked at four sites simultaneously: the St Petersburg Railway Workers’ Palace of Culture, the Emperor Peter the Great Central Naval Museum, and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Gorky Scientists’ House and Russian Literature Institute (Pushkin House).
In preparing sculptural works for the exhibition, conservation professionals are literally in a battle with time, which has left its traces on the pieces. In his lecture, Aleksandr Androkhanov has discussed the restoration process in detail, focusing on the importance of an individual approach to each work’s restoration.
Aleksandr explains: “One of the most important goals of the conservation professional is minimising interference with the actual object. Even any so-called “simple” restoration starts with thorough research of the object’s history, or as we say, its life. By following the twists and turns that the art ‘experienced’, we better understand what method should be used to restore it. No matter what at first might seem the proper approach to take as instructed by the owner, the most important goal remains preserving the object.”
You can watch this lecture on our YouTube channel.