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Kirsten Derks, UvA alumna of the Master's programme Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, has won this year's Rijksmuseum-Migelien Gerritzen Thesis Award for her Master’s thesis Blue cabbages and invisible onions: Discolouration in the oeuvre of Joachim Beuckelaer. Derks graduated in the specialisation of Technical Art History.

Kirsten Derks
Kirsten Derks (photograph Abbie Vandivere)

In her research, Derks convincingly shows how painter Joachim Beuckelaer (1533 – c.1575) mastered the rendering of materials, through texture and reflection of light on materials to achieve the perfect ‘stofuitdrukking’ (the lifelike depiction of objects and garments), while this is overshadowed by discolouration. Where published research primarily focuses on the iconography, style and historical context of Beuckelaer’s paintings, Derks' thesis focuses on discolouration of his works and the art historical consequences of this.

The Rijksmuseum-Migelien Gerritzen Thesis Award consists of a check worth 1,000 euros, half of which is awarded to the recipient directly, while the other half can be redeemed after publication of the research in a professional journal for research in conservation and restoration. The prize has been made available by the Migelien Gerritzen Fund of the Rijksmuseum, established for educational projects in conservation and restoration.

Conservation and Restoration at UvA

The two-year Master's and post-Master's Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage is a unique interdisciplinary degree programme designed for students with a passion for cultural heritage who want to combine theory and practice. The specialisations on offer for the academic year 2019-2020 are Technical Art History, Contemporary Art, Textiles, Glass and Ceramics and Paintings. For these specialisations, the programme is open for application until the deadline of 1 February 2019.