Conservation of Anne Marie Carl Nielsen's works
At The Carl Nielsen Museum there is a total of about 900 works by Carl Nielsen's wife Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen (1863-1945). These comprise small statuettes down to one centimetre in size and up to statues of several metres. The figures, made of wax, plaster and bronze, are extremely naturalistic and represent humans and animals.
About 200 small wax figures, which are sketches for larger figures and monuments, has lately been restored because they were in a very bad condition. The figures have been made of bee's wax that has apparently been mixed with oil, into which dye and starch an butter also been mixed. In several cases, the wax figure has been fixed onto a match-box that has functioned as a plinth for the 'monument'.
Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen working
The problem with the wax material was that over the years it had absorbed impurities and became discoloured. Furthermore, some of the oil had evaporated, which had led to the figures splitting and cracking in various places. Analysis of the exact material composition of the figures has been taken, and a suitable method for cleaning and conserving all the wax figures has been developed.
Some of the wax figures after conservation
X-ray showing the figure placed on the match-box