Past projects

Dyes in Archaeology

Maarten van Bommel as member of the project team, see this website page for other members of the team.


Within the framework of the Hallstatt FWF project, research was carried out into the dyes used in the Hallstatt area in the Iron Age. Textile fragments found in a salt mine near the small village Hallstatt, Austria, which have been preserved in relatively good condition, were investigated. Dyes were identified and dyeing technology was reproduced according to historical recipes. The main aim was to achieve better understanding of the dyeing and textile manufacturing technology. In addition, the scientific research was used to inspire students of the University of Applied Art who worked on objects of textile art and textile design. For more information see the BOKU website and the RCE website.

Historic transparent finishes on furniture

Herman den Otter and Sylvia Nijhuis (UvA), project coordinator Paul van Duin and Iskander Breebaart (RMA), Ron Kievits and Henk van Keulen (RCE).


In 2009 this tripartite research project was initiated in the Ateliergebouw to improve the knowledge of original finishes on Dutch furniture. In the hope of finding undisturbed finishes, the initial focus was on furniture from the 19th and 20th centuries. An important outcome was the development of a protocol to determine with VIS and UV light examination and a detailed questionnaire whether a piece of furniture retains its original finish.

International Project on Face-mounted Photographs

Clara von Waldthausen (research partner), project coordinator Bill Wei (RCE) 2004-2011. Other Partners include: Metropolitan Museum, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Fotomuseum Antwerp, Rijksmuseum, MOMA and University of Bern.
Project goal: to research the natural aging and conservation possibilities for face-mounted photographs.

  1. face-mounted-photographsSurvey of visual deterioration characteristics of face-mounted photographs in Dutch museums and institutions,
  2. Research cleaning techniques for face-mounted photographs,
  3. Perform light aging studies and dust studies in collaboration with Dr. Bill Wei
  4. Perform tests on reducing electrostatic charge of PMMA

Paintings catalogue project


Ella Hendriks & Louis van Tilborgh, Vincent van Gogh Paintings, volume 2, Antwerp and Paris, 1885-1888, published 2011

Ella Hendriks, Van Gogh Museum, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE). Shell Netherlands is co-sponsor of the research.

Since the 1990’s systematic technical and scientific study of the Van Gogh Museum collection of over 200 paintings and almost 500 drawings by Vincent van Gogh has been undertaken. The results are being published in a series of seven museum catalogues, six of which have appeared. The final instalment, currently in preparation, focuses on the paintings Van Gogh completed in the final years of his life (1888–90), when he was at the peak of his artistic powers. Publication is scheduled for 2018.
For more information see the website.

Tracing Bosch and Bruegel – Four Paintings Magnified

Jørgen Wadum as part of the Copenhagen team, other teams are from Tallinn and Glasgow
(see website)


Tracing Bosch and Bruegel is an exciting pan-European art detective scenario involving technical art history and conservation. The project that will support the circulation of cultural and artistic works, will provide both a skills exchange for professionals in the field, and a publicly focused new interactive media platform with an emphasis on reaching young people – and all in the context of explaining the complex process involved in understanding the making and meaning of our common cultural heritage and its preservation. For more information see the website.