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Dagmar Beyaard, graduate of the Master’s Programme Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the UvA, has won the Rijksmuseum Migelien Gerritzen Thesis Award 2022 with her Master’s thesis, titled ‘NIRME (Near-Infrared for Metals): Researching the Applicability of a MicroNIR for Identifying and Monitoring Protective Organic Coatings on Outdoor Bronze Sculpture’. Beyaard graduated in the specialisation Metals conservation.

Dagmar Beyaard (photo: Bob Bronshoff)
Dagmar Beyaard (photo: Bob Bronshoff)

The jury’s choice for Beyaard was unanimous. The jury praised the novelty of the application of Near-Infrared, the great design of the research and the potential it will have, not only for the field of metal sculpture but hopefully also for a wider range of materials and objects. The other two nominees for the Migelien Gerritzen prize were Clodagh Burns (Book and paper) with a research dedicated to so-called ‘red’ rot in leather book bindings, and Mair Trueman (Wood and furniture) with a study focusing on the understanding of mummy coffin constructions.

Dagmar Beyaards research focused on the use of a near-infrared tool to determine the identity of protective coatings applied on bronze outdoor sculpture. For this she needed to setup a database with NIR spectra of a wide range of different coatings. By data processing she was able to distinguish between them. In the future this can be used as a quick screening tool and hopefully applied to determine if the coating still has its protective properties. In addition Beyaards was able to apply the method on indoor sculptures and there is a possibility it could be used for other materials and object types.

Rijksmuseum-Migelien Gerritzen thesis awards

Since 2013, the Rijksmuseum awards the Migelien Gerritzen Thesis Award to a Master’s student in Conservation and Restoration at the University of Amsterdam. The award consists of a cheque worth € 1.000, 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 award was initiated by the Migelien Gerritzen Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund. This fund was established in rembrance of Migelien Gerritzen from the generous bequest donated after her death which supports educational projects in conservation, restoration and technical art history.

Conservation and restoration at the UvA

The University of Amsterdam is the only programme in the Netherlands that offers education in conservation-restoration according to European standards. It is an interdisciplinary programme aimed at students with a passion for cultural heritage, and a wish to combine theory and practice. The education trajectory starts with a two-year Master’s in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage which consists of nine conservation specialisations as well as a track in Technical Art History. After successful completion of the Master’s programme, conservation students complete their education as a conservator with the two-year Advanced Professional Programme.