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Assistant Professor Sanneke Stigter from the Conservation and Restoration department has been awarded an NWO grant from Creative Industries - KIEM programme for her research proposal ‘Interviews in Conservation Research’. This project aims for an integral approach in using oral history for research in art conservation.

Sanneke Stigter

Interviews in Conservation Research

What happened during the restoration of Rembrandt's Night Watch (1642) in 1975-76? Or with Karel Appel's wall painting in the former restaurant of the Stedelijk (1956)? What is the story behind Alessandro Mendini's chest of drawers Nigritella Nigra (1993)?

Although museums and heritage institutions are constantly looking for new and sustainable methods for the conservation of our cultural heritage, personal testimonies are rarely formally recorded and archived, whereas these are crucial for research into an artwork’s life.

In recent years a lot of attention has been paid to interviewing artists and the dynamics of artworks in collections. However, most institutions are barely equipped to use interviews in conservation research in a sustainable and methodologically sound way. This project aims for an integral approach to the use of oral history for research in art conservation in a responsible way, using case studies from the Rijksmuseum and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency. The aim is to design an overarching model for museums, heritage institutions and conservators in the field that seeks to reflect the use of interviews as a dynamic process, as a living archive with room for interpretation of users, so that our insight can be deepened and knowledge is not lost, but rather enriched.

NWO KIEM

NWO KIEM (Knowledge Innovation Mapping) is aimed at the development of sustainable partnerships between universities and private parties, including small and medium-sized enterprises. This research concerns a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency and the Rijksmuseum.

Conservation and restoration at the UvA

The UvA offers a unique interdisciplinary Master's and post-Master's programme in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, aimed at students with a passion for cultural heritage who want to combine theory and practice. The application deadline for enrolment in the academic year 2019-2020 is 1 February.