Lena Demary, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/28

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27098
E-Mail: Lena.Demary@ruhr-uni-bochum.de


Title of the Dissertation

Wholenesses of the Fragmentary: Restoration as Negotiation Space (1750-1850), AT

Project Description

On closer inspection, restoration unfolds into an amorphous discipline whose spaces of impact often remain in invisibility – or rather, overlookability. Although the activity occupies a self-evident place in various cultural systems, especially in the Western world as a modus operandi of a historiophilic society, it remains largely unnoticed and understudied.

The dissertation’s theoretical approach envisions restoration as a site of discourse, a space where a variety of values, narratives, and qualities are negotiated. Scientific knowledge, craft practices, aesthetic considerations, ethical guidelines, emotional needs, and economic factors play a role, among many other influencing variables. They, in turn, find input through different actors, institutions, other entities, or circumstances.

The period between 1750 and 1850 is particularly interesting because its analysis allows a critical examination of previous research approaches, especially with regard to historical, content-related and ethical caesurae. The history of restoration does not begin with the onset of a concrete handling of the object, preferred for various reasons, but with the processes and events of negotiating between the signatures and qualities of a work and the needs of a group of actors. This is done with the aim of finding a practical applicability of this negotiation, which is then materially reflected in the work in the form of a restoration. The thesis is that it is not the existence of a preferred standard, but precisely the changeability that must be considered as the most concise characteristic of restorative activities.

The late 18th and early 19th centuries produced an enormous variety of restorative strategies due to different circumstances, demonstrating the present negotiation space in terms of its transformative properties. By identifying central patterns of negotiation that bundle specific dynamics with a repetitive (partial) character, restoration as a space of negotiation is unrolled using the example of the genre of sculpture. In the process, the newly emerging perspectives will also be questioned with regard to their potential for the present and future of restoration.

Scholarly Career

  • Since 10/2022: Researcher (doctoral candidate) in the DFG Research Training Group “The Documentary. Excess and Withdrawal”, Ruhr University Bochum
  • 07/2020 to 06/2022: Research Volunteer of the Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm
  • 10/2017 to 03/2020: Master’s degree in History of Art, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • 10/2014 to 09/2017: Bachelor’s degree in History of Art (main) and Philosophy (subsidiary), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


  • Demary, Lena (ed.): Hans Kaiser: Wirklichkeiten. Die Sammlung im Gustav-Lübcke-Museum, Catalogue for the exhibition „Hans Kaiser: Im Dazwischen“ (Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm), Köln 2022
  • Demary, Lena/ Tazuke-Steininger, Nana/ Eick, Eva Caroline et al.: “Museum of the Future”: A Manifesto?, in: HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig. together for and against it, Catalogue for the exhibition (Museum Ludwig Köln), S. 182-197, Köln 2022
  • Wiener, Jürgen/ Köpf, Reinhard (eds.): Moderne Glasmalerei in Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach 2021, Written entries: Wilhelm Teuwen, Walther Benner, Ernst Otto Köpke, Emil Glücker und Günter Peltzer


  • “Transparenz und Verschleierung? Ambivalenzen früher restauratorischer Dokumentationen in Katalogen antiker Bildwerke”, will be presented as part of the colloquium “Find and Display – Fragment and Whole. Visualizing Antiquity. On the Episteme of Early Modern Drawings and Prints – II.”, 31.01.2024 at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte München
  • Podcast // “ewiggestrig? progressiv? Der Museums-Podcast” by Eva Caroline Eick and Yagmur Karakis, Episode “Konservierung und Restaurierung: Kulturgüter wie erhalten, wenn alles vergeht?”, 25.10.2022, https://open.spotify.com/episode/5tmjg7YsXuEdihGbihHvIe?si=3a68278f3def4f52
  • “Ganzheiten des Fragmentarischen: Das Dokumentarische im Spannungsfeld von Skulptur, Restaurierung und Diskurs zwischen 1750 und 1820”, presented as part of the Research Colloquium of the Institute of Art History and Archaeology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (23.11.2022)
  • „Nur Entwurf? Zur Bedeutung der Vorstudie bei Hans Kaiser“, presented as part of the symposium „In progress! Zum Vor- und Nachleben von Glasmalerei nach 1945“, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm (18.02.2022)
  • „Because we do not like the authentic state? Das Authentische im Spannungsfeld von Restaurierung und musealer Forschung“, presented as part of the lecture „Forschung im Museum“, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (15.12.2021)

Organisation of Events

  • „Hans Kaiser: Im Dazwischen“, Exhibtion, 05.06.2022 to 04.09.2022, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm
  • „In progress! Zum Vor- und Nachleben von Glasmalerei nach 1945“, Symposium on the occasion of the restoration of Hans Kaiser’s drafts for the Dickinson Window in the Washington National Cathedral, 18.02.2022, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm
  • „Verwandlungen des Lichts: Die Glasmalerei im Œuvre Hans Kaisers“, University Course in collaboration with Dr. Reinhard Köpf, Department of Art History, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Summer Term 2021


  • 10/2016 to 10/2019: Fellowship „Deutschlandstipendium“ (fellowship holder of the Herzog Erik von Arenberg Stiftung)
  • Membership: Association of German Art Historians