Coming symposium


23-24 November 2018
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam


Old and new approaches to furniture conservation


Friday 23 November

9:00 Registration with coffee/tea 

9:45 Word of welcome from the Chair: Miko Vasques Dias 

Moderator morning session: Helbertijn Krudop 

10:00 – 10:30
Over the edge: the future of hand skills in conservation
An investigation into the development and maintenance of practical skills in conservation.
Jonathan Ashley-Smith, teacher, consultant, scientist, former head of the Victoria & Albert Museum conservation department, Cambridge, United Kingdom

10:30 – 11:00
Technical skills in conservation education and practice: (why) do we care?
The development of an educational model for decorative wood and furniture conservation.
Andreas Sampatakos, decorative wood and furniture conservator, tutor at the department of conservation of antiquities and works of art at University of West Attica, Athens, Greece; and Dimitrios Chatzigiannis (co-author), paintings and wooden sculpture conservator, Greece

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee/tea

11:30 – 12:00
The reconstruction of a carved Japanese kaki wood screen
Japanese craftsmen and European conservators share their skills and knowledge to reconstruct the extensive losses of the frame. Beside the reconstructions that were carried out in Japanese kaki and hinoki wood, using traditional Japanese carpentry, the original parts of the frame were conserved.
Benoît Jenn, furniture conservator, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, tutor and head of the wood and furniture department at the Institut Nationale du Patrimoine, Paris, France

12:00 – 12:40
Clamping devices 2.0
An interdisciplinary and innovative approach to clamping decorative surfaces.
Carola Schueller, objects conservator, and Charles J. Moore, cabinetmaker and furniture conservator, former chief conservator at the Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, USA

12:40 – 12:50
3D-imaging techniques for Roentgen furniture
Revealing the mechanism of the tabernacle of the Walderdorff writing desk (c.1758) by Abraham Roentgen in the collection of the Rijksmuseum.
Christian Schenk, furniture conservator, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, Germany

12:50 – 14:00 Lunch

Moderator afternoon session: Federica van Adrichem

14:00 – 14:30
Innovative methods for the treatment of an altar frontal by Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (1787)
Treatment of a gilded altar from the San Francesco d’Assisi church in Turin, using laser and other cleaning techniques, and modified filling materials for re-gilding.
Francesca Zenucchini, conservator, Fondazione Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Turin, Italy

14:30 – 15:00
Traditional and innovative methods for the removal of non-original varnishes and preservation of historic wax finishes on 18th-century marquetries
Removing finishing layers from wax layers using solvents in gel.
Paolo Luciani, head of wooden furnishings and sculpture laboratory, Fondazione Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Turin, Italy

15:00 – 15:30
Traditional and laser cleaning of the baroque sacristies of the Saint Charles church, Vienna
Different cleaning systems were tested, adjusted and carried out to mechanically remove non-original layers, aiming to preserve the historic finish layers.
Peter Kopp, furniture conservator, Kopp Restauratoren, Vienna, Austria

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/tea

16:00 – 16:30
Reinforcing joints by carbon fibre laminate
A new method for reinforcing fractured or fragile areas in furniture with a laminate of carbon fibre.
Anders Abildgaard, furniture conservator, Abildgaard Konservering & Snedkeri, Copenhagen, Denmark

16:30 – 16:45
Gluing delaminated molded plywood through vacuum infusion
Techniques from the car body and boat building industries have been adapted and put into use to restore the broken backs of plywood furniture by Arne Jacobsen.
Stephan de Vries, junior furniture conservator, Cultural Heritage Agency, Rijswijk, the Netherlands

16:45 – 17:15
Steno-injection: an injection technique for the restoration of wooden objects
Development and use of a purpose-built micro-injecting tool to effectively improve glue injection in wooden objects.
Jiří Bém, student, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany; presented by Jörg Weber, FH Potsdam

17:15 End of lectures, closing remarks


Saturday 24 November

9:30 Reception with coffee/tea

Moderator morning session: Machteld Jacques

10:00 – 10:40
Cast or cut: modern and traditional approaches to replace missing parts in Boulle marquetry
Two different approaches concerning the reconstruction of missing parts in Boulle marquetry furniture.
Irmela Breidenstein, conservator, Atelier Breidenstein, Berlin, Germany, and Clemens von Schoeler, conservator, Von Schoeler und Ebinger Restauratoren, Munich, Germany, visiting lecturer Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Science, Lucerne, Switzerland

10:40 – 11:10
Practical laser cutting technology for furniture conservation and restoration
Prospects, limitations, and aspects regarding the ethics of conservation. Practical advise for the use of laser cutting for reconstructing marquetry.
Astrid Beling, student, restoration and conservation of art and cultural property, Cologne Institute of Conservation Science, University of Applied Science, Cologne, Germany

11:10 – 11:45 Coffee/tea

11:45 – 12:00
Algorithms: using advances in technology for the reintegration of lost veneer

The application of digital algorithms to approximate the visual appearance and structure of lost veneer.
Vidar Thijssen, furniture conservator in training, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

12:00 – 12:30
Replacement of a lost marquetry top for a writing desk attributed to Jean-Francois Oeben
Combining traditional French marquetry techniques and a contemporary CNC router to inlay a reproduction floral marquetry desktop.
Alton Bowman, conservator, Texas, USA

12:30 – 13:00
The restoration of an 18th-century marquetry bureau: a mix of technology and craft skills
Reconstructing heavily damaged marquetry decoration using digital photography and scanning techniques, followed by computer-aided laser cutting.
Simon Brown, senior conservator, Conservation Letterfrack, Letterfrack, Ireland

13:00 – 14:15 Lunch

Moderator afternoon session: Tirza Mol

14:15 – 14:45
Reconstructing the music in an 18th-century cabinet coded on pin barrels
The use of 3D-scanning technology, digital photography and software to reconstruct the music of the Lehmann cabinet.
Bodil Stauning, furniture conservator, the Royal Danish Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark

14:45 – 15:15
Breathing new life into Knole House’s kussenkast
A treatment framed within the historic house context, juxtaposing modern and traditional materials and techniques, discussing the balance between treatment and research.
Jan Dariusz Cutajar, objects conservator, conservation research and teaching assistant, UCL Institute of Archaeology, London, United Kingdom

15:15 – 15:30
A contribution toward the identification of wood by heart-cut pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry
Arlen Heginbotham, Conservator, Decorative Arts and Sculpture, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/tea

16:00 – 16:30
Negotiating materials and techniques: the reconstruction of a gilded compo torchere
Applying traditional and new materials to reconstruct missing areas in a gilded compo object.
Michelle Kirk, furniture conservator, the Royal Household, Windsor Castle, Windsor, United Kingdom, and Thomas van Kampen (co-author), freelance furniture conservator, London, United Kingdom

16:30 – 17:00
Back to basics
The use of historical techniques and human-powered tools to make a chair out of a tree trunk.
Caspar Labarre, traditional chair maker, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

17:00 – 17:30 Closing remarks and festive toast


This programme is subject to change 

On Friday evening there will be an (optional) informal dinner to meet and catch up with colleagues from the field.


Registration and payment

Registration has closed



Rijksmuseum, Auditorium
Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam


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