Last week, under the auspices of the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Arts and Science (NICAS) and in the presence of Jet Bussemaker, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, the Rijksmuseum signed two agreements with American museums to promote innovative scientific research into the conservation and restoration of works of art.
One is with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the other with the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. They run for a period of five years.
Minister Jet Bussemaker is delighted with this international collaboration: “Art and heritage allow us to express and communicate who we were, and the extent to which this has determined who we are. Works of art tell stories that help us to understand our history – but it is not possible without thorough research. This exceptional cooperative venture facilitates new applications that will enable us to better understand, preserve and visualize our national and world heritage.”
The minister is currently in the United States, on a trip to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where she is visiting cultural institutions, technology companies and centres of excellence.
Taco Dibbits, the Rijksmuseum’s Director of Collections, says, “It is fantastic that students, scientists and other professionals will be able to undertake new ground-breaking research into the conservation and restoration of works of art thanks to this initiative.´
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Arts and Science (NICAS) have drawn up a Memorandum (MOU) whereby cooperation between the institutions will enable international research into sustainability and art.
“Both The Met and NICAS have a keen interest in sustainable management of the museum environment, making us ideal partners,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Our collaborative research in conservation aligns and enhances the work we are already doing in our respective institutions, and our joint projects will not only safeguard our collections, but also realize considerable energy efficiency.”
The J. Paul Getty Trust and The Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Arts and Science (NICAS) have drawn up a Memorandum (MOU) whereby cooperation between the institutions will enable international research into the scientific and art historical study of works of art. This project ‘Computing in art history and heritage conservation’ is headed by Professor Robert G. Erdmann, senior scientist at the Rijksmuseum and Professor of Conservation at the University of Amsterdam.
“We are pursuing an ambitious vision,” says J. Paul Getty Trust President and CEO James Cuno. “But it’s an appropriately aspirational one. Together we can lead the way in developing new technologies for gathering, processing and visualizing the vast amounts of data that is transforming our fields to break new ground in research and conservation.”
NICAS, set up in September 2015, is a research centre in which art history, conservation and restoration, and science come together for the better preservation of the cultural heritage. The Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) work together in NICAS. NICAS is chaired by Dr. Robert van Langh, head of Conservation & Restoration.