For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Dr. H. (Herman) den Otter

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Conservering en Restauratie

Visiting address
  • Johannes Vermeerplein 1
Postal address
  • Postbus 94552
    1090 GN Amsterdam
  • Teaching activities

    Teaching activities

    Herman den Otter is lecturer in conservation and restoration of wooden objects at the Masters-programme in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. He teaches on a wide range of theoretical and practical subjects in the field of restoration of wooden objects, in particular furniture, both in the classroom and the studio in the University's Ateliergebouw on the Hobbemastraat in Amsterdam. He is a specialist in the study and reconstruction of historical design and production techniques in fine-woodworking.




  • Research

    Research projects

    In his research, Den Otter studies both written and visual sources aa well as historical objects that can provide information on the technical, social and economic history of the fine-woodworking trades in the Netherlands and France up to 1940.

    In 2016 he has finished his dissertation on André-Jacob Roubo’s L’Art du menuisier  (1769-1775), a widely consulted but little understood handbook on interior woodwork and cabinet making. The aim of this research project has been to analyse its contents and elucidate its background and intended purpose.

  • Publications


    - 'Some notes on the historical background of Albrest's L'Art de l'ébéniste.'  in: Albert Albrest. L'Art de l'ébéniste.' Badhoevedorp, 2020.

    - 'Changes in the role of the joiner in eighteenth-century Paris.' Colloque Université de Lausanne/Courtauld Institute, to be published 2020.

    - 'De interpretatie van Roubo's L'Art du menuisier (ca. 1770) en van andere kunsttechnologische bronnen over interieur- en meubelkunst.' Tijdschrift voor Interieurgeschiedenis en Design. vol. 41. (2019) p. 49-58.

    - Naar inzicht en vakmanschap. André-Jacob Roubo’s L’Art du menuisier over interieurbouw en meubelmakerij in de achttiende eeuw. Dissertation University of Amsterdam. (André-Jacob Roubo’s L’Art du menuisier on interior woodwork and cabinet making in the eighteenth century.) Badhoevedorp, 2016.

    - ‘Patina on furniture.’ in: Vasques Dias, Miko. (ed.) Vernacular furniture. Proceedings ninth international symposium on wood and furniture conservation. Amsterdam: Stichting Ebenist, 2008. p. 10-15.

    - ‘De houten etspers in het Rembrandthuis.’ Kroniek van het Rembrandthuis. (2009) p. 36-45.

    - ‘L’Art du menuisier d’André-Jacob Roubo: une source pour l’étude de l’histoire du mobilier.’ Technè. no. 38. (2013) p. 53-58.

    - ‘Craftsmen and gentlemen.’ in: Dubois, Hélène, et al. (ed.) Making and transforming art: technology and interpretation. Proceedings of the fifth symposium of the ICOM-CC working group for Art Technological Source Research. London: Archetype, 2014. p. 139-140.

    - ‘Simon de Boer’ and ‘Hein Stolle.’ in: Nederlandse kunst 1991. Rijksaankopen. Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst. Den Haag, 1991.



  • Background and professional training

    Background and professional activities

    Den Otter trained as a furniture restorer at the the dutch Ministry of Culture and Education's Opleiding Restauratoren (1980-1984). He has worked as a restorer for many museums in the Netherlands, including the Frans Hals Museum, Teylers Museum, the Mauritshuis (The Hague), Duivenvoorde Castle (Voorschoten), the Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo) and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

    Before his appointment as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, Den Otter taught furniture restoration at the Hout- en Meubileringscollege (Cabinetmaking School) and the Instituut Collectie Nederland (Institute for Cultural Heritage), both in Amsterdam.

  • Publications
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities