Research programme

The UvA Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) presents the research group, Materiality in the Study and Conservation of Cultural Heritage.

The research programme is divided into four themes:

  1. Making and Meaning
    This theme focuses on the broad context of both manufacture and the changing states of cultural heritage objects. It addresses the problem of interpretation, management and possible reversal of change. It investigates how – at the level of both form and content – the historical use of materials and techniques is intertwined with the history of art.
  1. Site and Context
    This research theme deals with the interpretation and conservation of cultural heritage that is bound to a specific context or location. Research considers techniques that can be used to study such objects in situ and ways in which to conserve them respecting their function or meaning in the fixed setting where they are preserved.
  1. Light, Colour & Transparency
    This research theme investigates light and colour in a variety of materials. It deals with matters such as (original) pigments and dyes, binding media, varnishes, the loss of colour and sheen, the effect of varying degrees of transparency and opacity and their consequences for the appearance, conservation and interpretation of objects.
  1. Adhesives and Adhesion
    This theme concentrates on the problem of the combination of – layers of – heterogeneous materials and the quality and stability of bonding and adhesion. What causes the bond between materials to deteriorate and what are the effects of deterioration on the object? Can we find new and better ways of combining materials?

At the UvA Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) the research group and programme of the Contemporary Art Conservation Research can be found as well, see the website.

Besides the four research themes at the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM), there are priority research areas relating to conservation at the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI). This centre has been set up by the Faculty of Humanities of the UvA. The research domain ‘Conservation and Display’ aims for collaborative research into all aspects of the life of cultural trajectories of objects when documented, stored, conserved, exhibited, discussed etc. etc. For more information see the websites perceptual trajectories and material trajectories.

In addition, the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI) is home to the Digital Heritage Lab, a platform for students and staff members who collaborate on commissioned and fundamental research projects in the field of digital heritage. For more information see the website.