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Historic Interiors 17th–20th Century

by dr. Richard Harmanni and Barbara Laan

4-day course on Mondays 17 September–15 October 2018

This series of lectures is offered within the Historic Interiors specialisation of the Master's programme in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. There is room for up to 4 professionals from the field of Conservation and Restoration to join these lectures on four Mondays in September and October 2018.

In the first year of this specialisation, the aim is to gain knowledge of and insight into the analysis of historic exteriors and their related interiors. This will be achieved through theoretical lectures on the last four centuries of architectural history in the Netherlands, focusing on the interior (historical and art historical layers) but also relating the interior to the exterior (building physics). These introductory lectures will be followed by excursions to houses and buildings of the specific period. Putting the theory into practice in this way will allow students to develop a methodology for analysing historic buildings and their interiors. This is the first step towards the conservation and restoration of historic interiors. 


17th,18th and 19th-century will be covered by dr. Richard Harmanni and the 20th century by drs. Barbara Laan.

Richard Harmanni is an art historian specialised in decorative arts and design, with the historic interior as his particular field of expertise and a focus on decorative painting and historic wallpaper. He works as an independent researcher and as a guest lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and the Hogeschool of Utrecht. He has been a member of the board of the Dutch Foundation for Historic Wallpaper and Wall Decorations since 1993 (chairman since 2012). He obtained a PhD on the subject of Jurriaan Andriessen (1742–1819), 'behangselschilder' in 2006. Since 2007, he has worked as researcher and advisor on a great number of projects. He participates in the NWO-funded Vidi project: From Isolation to Coherence: An Integrated Technical, Visual and Historical Study of 17th and 18th Century Dutch Painting Ensembles.
Barbara Laan is an architectural historian specialised in 19th and 20th-century interiors. She combines her expertise in interior history with management and organisational skills. After graduating as an architectural historian, she conducted research on different subjects, including 'the appreciation of the Dutch interior in the period 1850–1900. In 2001 she founded her own company and has been the leader of the Stichting Historische Interieurs in Amsterdam since 2007. She is also a member of the board of a number of historic house museums, including the Rietveld Schroderhuis. She is currently a guest lecturer at the University of Amsterdam.

Practical information

Dates 17 September 2018
24 September 2018
1 October 2018
15 October 2018
Structure of the lessons Each day one century is discussed in a 3-hour lecture in the morning, followed by an 4-hour excursion in the Randstad in the afternoon
Lecturers Richard Harmanni (17th–19th C)
Barbara Laan (20th C)
Costs € 350 (excluding catering, travel costs and access to the excursion locations)


If you are interested in joining, please send an email to The deadline for registration is 13 August 2018.