prevent and conserve photographs
We are a team of two photograph conservators based in Bratislava (Slovakia), who are passionate about historical photography and its preventive care. We are working at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design but also collaborate closely with museums and galleries, as well as individual collectors locally and abroad. Photography is a relatively new medium compared to the vast history of arts, but its form has changed drastically even in the past 180 years of its existence. Since its invention, photography has transformed significantly and undergone several transformations, meaning that each individual collection can contain a variety of photographs on different supports, from the rare and unique pieces of the 19th century to silver gelatine prints and cellulose films of the 20th century. This diversity makes the care of photographic collections very complex and period specific. When it comes to preventive care and restoration, we generally emphasise protection over repair, as even the slightest damage can have irreversible consequences that completely destroy an artwork. In order to ensure that photographic collections are safe, it is important to us that we use appropriate high quality materials when it comes to conservation and determine a safe environment and good storage conditions with their owners.
Doc. Mgr. art. Janka Blaško Križanová, ArtD. currently works at the Department of Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (VŠVU), where she first obtained a Bachelor's degree in painting restoration in 2005 and a Master's degree in paper and photography restoration in 2008. She completed her studies with a year-long internship as a photography research intern at the Getty Conservation Institute in LA where she first became deeply involved in the research of historical photographic techniques. From 2008 until 2013 she worked at the Department of Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts as an external PhD student and internal lecturer, where she taught courses on conservation and restoration of photography and historical photographic techniques. In 2013 she defended her doctoral thesis (ArtD. degree) titled Colored Photography: History, Identification and Research. From 2013 to 2016 she worked as a Research Scholar in the Department of Photograph Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, where the main focus of her work was a technological analysis of the photographs of Diane Arbus. Since 2016 Janka has been leading the Photograph Restoration Studio at the Department of Restoration at AFAD, teaching courses in the fields of history, technology, preventive conservation of photographic techniques.
Mgr. art. Kitti Baráthová works at the Department of Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, where she is currently doing research for her doctoral thesis. Her research focuses on early analog color photographs on transparent supports, their conservation and identification. Kitti completed her Bachelor's degree in paper restoration in 2018 and graduated Master's degree in photograph conservation and restoration in 2020 at AFAD. Since September 2020 she has been lecturing at the Photograph Restoration Studio at the Department of Restoration at AFAD, where she teaches courses on historical photographic techniques of 19th century, their conservation, identification and preventive care. She has been actively presenting her work and research at international conferences and collaborating with local institutions as Bratislava Museum or Slovak National Gallery as well as museums abroad.