About me

Ivo Hammer (born May 18, 1944 in Ulm-Söflingen) is an Austrian conservator-restorer, art historian and professor. He is an internationally active expert in the preservation of murals/architectural surfaces 

Photo: Dieter Reifarth 2022
Photo: Dieter Reifarth 2022


Ivo Hammer is the second son of the artist and conservator Walter Hammer (1910, Schwendi -1980, Ulm) and the artist Annemarie Hammer-Fleck (1913, Allenstein - 2001, Ulm). Grandfather Max Hammer (1884-1973) and great-grandfather Karl 'Charles' Hammer (1846-1925) also worked as restorers and conservators.


Ivo Hammer took part in exhibitions with woodcuts and drawings: "Ulmer Kunst 1964" in the Ulm Museum, purchase of 2 woodcuts by the city of Ulm) and "1. Art exhibition of the landscape of Upper Swabia” in Ravensburg together with HAP Grieshaber.


Empowered by the handicraft and artistic tradition alive in the family, he worked in the renowned conservation-restoration studios of his father and grandfather, from 1965 partly in a managerial position. From 1965 to 1975 he attended the advanced training courses and workshops organized by Rolf E. Straub at the Institute for Painting Technology at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. From 1971-75 he worked as a freelance conservator-restorer in the conservation laboratory of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office in Vienna on polychrome sculptures and wall paintings.


Parallel to his practical work as a conservator-restorer, from 1966 to 1969, he studied art history, classical archaeology, Christian archeology and philosophy at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg im Breisgau (with Professors Kurt Bauch, Walter-Herwig Schuchhardt and Willibald Sauerländer) and from 1969 at the University of Vienna (with Professors Otto Pächt, Otto Demus and Gerhard Schmidt). In 1975 he graduated from the University of Vienna (Dr. phil.) with a doctoral dissertation in art history entitled “Typology and Early Bourgeois Realism”. The Biblia Pauperum Weigel-Felix, Pierpont Morgan Library New York, Ms.230.


From 1976 to 1997 he worked as a civil servant in the field of wall painting/architectural surfaces as head conservator in the department for conservation and restoration of the Federal Heritage Office. In 1977 he was granted Austrian citizenship. In the same year he completed the international course "Peinture Murale" at the ICCROM.


As a university lecturer he taught from 1978 to 1997 at the Vienna University of Technology (preservation of architectural surfaces) and from 1988 to 1997 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (technology and materials science). From 1980 to 1996 he held courses in historical craft techniques for craftsmen in several Austrian states.


In order to develop the profession, he participated in the founding of the Association of Freelance Restorers in Baden-Württemberg e.V. in 1970, was a staff representative at the Federal Heritage Office from 1979-1983 and was a founding member and board member of the Austrian Restorers Association ÖRV in 1985, he is a member of ICOM (since 1985), from ICOMOS and Docomomo International, ISC Technolgy and the VDR (Conservators Association, Germany)


In 1997 he was appointed Professor for the Conservation and Restoration of Murals at the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim, where he worked until 2008. As the first dean and later vice-dean of the conservation faculty at the HAWK, he was involved in setting up the first bachelor’s degree in preventive conservation (2002) and the first master’s degree in conservation and restoration in Germany (2004). In 2004 he introduced the first Master's course (M.A.) in the conservation and restoration of architectural surfaces internationally.


From 2003 to 2010 he was the coordinator of the international campaign for the scientific investigation of the Tugendhat house ”CIC”.

From 2010-2012 he was the chairman of the international expert commission THICOM advising the city of Brno on the restoration of the Tugendhat house, appointed by the city council.


Together with the Brno City Museum, he designed and coordinated the international conferences MATERIALITY. SURFACES OF MODERN MOVEMENT ARCHITECTURE in Brno 2006, and MATERIALS INSIDE-OUTSIDE in Brno 2011.


Until 2013 he worked as a protagonist and consultant for the film edition Haus Tugendhat by Dieter Reifarth and in 2016 as a scientific consultant for the exhibition MIES AND THE INHERITANCE OF MODERNISM. MIES VAN DER ROHE – HOW TO PRESERVE MODERN MASTERPIECES, SCHUNCK Glaspaleis Heerlen/NL.


Brno City Prize for 2015 in the field of international cooperation (together with Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat).


In 2017 he led the first scientific conservation-science study of the building structure and surfaces of Josef Frank's main work, the Villa Beer from 1930 in Vienna-Hietzing.


In 2017, the German Association of Restorers VDR nominated Ivo Hammer for the Karl Friedrich Schinkel Ring award from the German National Committee for Monument Protection.


He has worked as a court witness, wrote peer reviews, and gave lectures in 12 European countries, the USA and Mexico in five languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian.


Ivo Hammer has two siblings: Heinrich Hammer, shipbuilding engineer (*9/19/1940) and Maria U. Hammer, neuropsychologist (*6/26/1949-+2/24/2019)


He lives with the art historian and culture historian M. Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat since 1970. The couple has two sons: Matthias Hammer (* 1980) and Lukas Hammer and 5 grandchildren: Anouk (*2011), Theo (*2013), Suna (* 2018), Naima (*2013), Yara (*2021).



Specialist focus

Historical plasters

  • Historical plaster and other elements of the architectural surface as the subject of art historical and interdisciplinary technological research.
  • Application of historical technology of manufacturing and repairing architectural surfaces (plaster, stucco, sgraffito) using traditional materials and methods.
  • Development of methods of preserving historical plaster and other historical wall elements in cooperation with the trade.
  • craft courses


Mural painting

  • Development and systematization of survey building physics investigations including electrical conductivity ELF, electric capacity measurement CAP, calcium carbide measurement CM, porosity measurement (Mirowski, Karsten) and climate measurement.
  • Preservation of wall paintings in situ by treating the causes of damage.
  • Mineral hydrophilic consolidation with silicic acid ester and nanolime in air-conditioned conditions
  • Salt reduction using cellulose compresses ARBOCEL (first international application), short-term compress, compress plaster, stabilization of cellulose compresses on facades,
  • Gypsum transformation (after Enzo Ferroni and Mauro Matteini)
  • Visual documentation as a means of identifying damage processes
  • Efforts to find specialist terminology that takes foreign languages into account.