Sven Dupré is Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at the University of Amsterdam (Conservation & Restoration) and Chair of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University (History & Art History).
Previously he was Professor of History of Knowledge at the Freie Universität and Director of the Research Group ‘Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe’ at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. In Spring 2017 he was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (University of Warwick) and the Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH, University of Cambridge). In Spring 2015 he was Robert H. Smith Scholar in Residence for Renaissance Sculpture in Context at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His research has been supported by visiting fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.
Dupré's research is at the crossroads of technical art history and the history of science and technology. He is the Director of the project ‘Technique in the Arts: Concepts, Practices, Expertise, 1500-1950’ (ARTECHNE), supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, in cooperation with conservators at the Atelier Building in Amsterdam, where the Rijksmuseum, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the University of Amsterdam combine their knowledge in the field of restoration of art objects. Since 2018 he also heads the NWO Smart Culture digital art history project on the history of glass focusing on the archives of the artist Sybren Valkema (1916-1996), in collaboration with the Foundation Vrij Glas, the RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Glasmuseum Hentrich, Dusseldorf. He is a member of the advisory boards of the NIAS-Lorentz Program (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study & Lorentz Center) and the NICAS Scientific Working Group (Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science).
He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Nuncius, Science in Context and Studium, an associate editor of History of Humanities, a former member of the advisory board of Isis, co-editor of the Nuncius book series on material and visual history of science (Brill Publishers), and an advisory board member of the book series Studies in Art & Materiality (Brill Publishers).
Sven Dupré directs the project ‘Technique in the Arts: Concepts, Practices, Expertise, 1500-1950’ (ARTECHNE), supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, in cooperation with conservators at the Atelier Building (Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science - NICAS) in Amsterdam, where the Rijksmuseum, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the University of Amsterdam combine their knowledge in the field of restoration of art objects.
The ARTECHNE project undertakes the experimental reconstruction of historical recipes to open the black box of the transmission of technique in the visual and decorative arts. Considering ‘technique’ as a textual, material and social practice, this project writes a history of ‘technique’ in the visual and decorative arts between 1500 and 1950. The three central research questions here are: (1) what is technique in the visual and decorative arts, (2) how is technique transmitted and studied, and (3) who is considered expert in technique, and why? This project integrates methodologies typical for the humanities and historical disciplines with laboratory work, and lays the historical foundations of the epistemologies of conservation, restoration and technical art history.
The ARTECHNE project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 648718).