closedToday at the Collection Centre
Under the roof of the Collections Centre, the various collections of the Swiss National Museum, the workshops of our conservators and restorers and our conservation research operations, the object logistics centre, lending department, object registration and photographic studio are brought together. The modern infrastructure enables staff to expertly apply their skills and experience in preserving and maintaining our extensive collections. A seminar room and work spaces are available for Collections Centre guests.
The Swiss National Museum’s Collections Centre commenced operations in 2007. The Centre has fundamentally changed the way our collections are managed and maintained, and the cooperation within the group of museums. A new style of collaboration transcending the boundaries of the separate departments and the various establishments of the museum group has been ushered in. Bringing the different departments together under one roof has enabled us to completely reorganise the workflows and processes within the Collections Centre and the National Museum, and a new level of professionalism has been achieved. The architectural, technical and operational infrastructure that was envisaged, planned and implemented is at the centre of this new era of museum cooperation, and provides the foundation for all our activities.
The Object Centre oversees the operation of the Collections Centre and the appropriate and professional storage of the objects held by the Swiss National Museum. It comprises the following departments: logistics, storage management, lending, print office and shipping, as well as the photographic studio. Lending is the only department that works directly with external parties.
The main task of the conservators and restorers in the Collections Centre is the conservation, and thus the long-term preservation, of the objects held in the collections of the Swiss National Museum. As part of their preventive conservation work, they undertake specific measures to counteract processes of deterioration and protect the objects against detrimental factors such as light, pests, climate fluctuations and mechanical stresses. As necessary, and to the extent possible, our conservators and restorers professionally restore objects in the Swiss National Museum collections. They also assess loan requests and prepare objects for internal exhibitions and for lending to other institutions. Much of this preparation involves the production of object mountings and racks or supports in the Centre.
Depending on training and the specific features of the object or material being handled, our conservation and restoration operations are divided into three departments, each with different areas of specialisation.
The Conservation Research Department deals with internal and external requests for material analysis and develops and refines conservation methods in cooperation with the conservators. Non-destructive or minimally invasive analysis using micro X-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption, infrared, and Raman spectrometry enables qualitative and quantitative determination of inorganic and organic materials. The composition of metal alloys, binders, pigments, dyes, gemstones and semi-precious stones, corrosion products and preservatives can be determined.
The organisation, duties and responsibilities of the Swiss National Museum are regulated by the Federal law on the museums and collections of the Swiss Confederation (Bundesgesetz über die Museen und Sammlungen des Bundes, MSG) of 12 June 2009. Since its entry into force on 1 January 2010, the SNM, comprising the National Museum Zurich, the Château de Prangins, the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz and the Affoltern am Albis Collections Centre, has been a public-law institution with its own legal identity, which organises itself and maintains its own accounts.
Under the MSG, the SNM is subject to supervision by the Federal Council, which exercises its oversight function in particular by electing and discharging the Museum Council and approving the annual report. The Federal Council sets out the strategic objectives of the SNM, usually for four years; the achievement of these objectives is reviewed annually.
Pursuant to the Museums Act (Museumsgesetz), the organs of the SNM are the Museum Council, the Management Board and the auditors. The funding of the SNM is determined by Parliament every four years in the government’s cultural policy statement (Kulturbotschaft), most recently at the end of 2015 for the period 2016-2020.
Under the Federal law on the museums and collections of the Swiss Confederation, the Museum Council ensures the implementation of the strategic objectives set by the Federal Council and reports on their achievement.
André Holenstein (Member, Professor at the University of Bern), Ladina Heimgartner* (Vice-President, Head of Corporate Center Ringier AG, Member of the Group Executive Board), Stefano Stoll (Member, Director of Festival Images and exhibition curator), Tim Guldimann (President, political scientist, diplomat and politician), Fulvio Pelli* (Member, lawyer and notary public), Sonia Abun-Nasr (Director of the Vadiana Cantonal Library in St. Gallen), Marie-France Meylan Krause (Member, Director of the BIBEL+ORIENT Museum at the University of Fribourg), Sandrine Giroud* (Member, lawyer and Director of the Art Law Foundation in Geneva).
*Members of the Finance Committee
Pursuant to the Museums Act, and subject to approval by the Federal Council, the Museum Council appoints the Director of the Swiss National Museum and, on request by the Director, the other members of the Management Board. The Director presides over the Management Board, is responsible for the operational management of the Swiss National Museum, recruits staff and represents the institution externally.
Dr Heidi Amrein (Chief Curator), Beat Högger (Head of Museum Operations), Dr Andreas Spillmann (Director), Helen Bieri Thomson (Director, Château de Prangins), Markus Leuthard (Deputy Director, Head of the Collections Centre), Barbara Meglen (Assistant to the Director)
* Member of the Management Board
** Member of the extended Management Board
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