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NICAS Colloquium Online

10 June 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CEST


We are pleased to announce a new, online edition of the NICAS colloquium on Thursday 10 June 2021 from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place online through Microsoft Teams.


Throughout the year, NICAS organises a bi-weekly Colloquium consisting of two short research lectures. It provides researchers with the opportunity to present ideas for, updates on or results of their activities. The NICAS Colloquium allows people to stay informed on a regular basis about the latest developments and results of research and to exchange information and expertise.



The chair of this colloquium will be Francesca di Cicco (DelftUniversity of Technology)


The presenters are:


 Mitra Almasian – Revealing the structure and topology of paint layers of the Night Watch using OCT



Within Operation Night Watch, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) was applied to non-invasively image the varnish and paint layers. In collaboration with the Biomedical Engineering and Physics department of Amsterdam UMC, we collected virtual cross-sectional images from selected regions of interest. These images revealed the internal structure of varnish and semi-transparent layers, and enabled the micro-scale mapping of the paint topology underneath semi-transparent layers. During this talk, we will discuss some high-lights, the added value of OCT within Operation Night Watch and possible future perspectives of OCT research in cultural heritage.

About the technique: OCT is a medical imaging technique, which, in recent years, has been introduced to cultural heritage studies. Using near-infrared light, OCT creates high-resolution virtual cross sections of biological tissues and other (semi-transparent) complex materials. In cultural heritage research, it is most commonly applied to image varnish and paint layers in paintings.



Mitra Almasian is a postdoctoral researcher at both the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam UMC, University Medical Centers. Her research focusses on the use of optical techniques for non-invasive imaging and diagnostics, with a main focus on OCT. She studied beta-gamma (BSc) and Physical Chemistry (MSc) at the University of Amsterdam. The topic of her PhD research, at the Biomedical Engineering and Physics department of the Amsterdam UMC, was the analysis of OCT signals and their medical application.



 René Lugtigheid – From earthly fabric to heavenly praise: an object-based research into why women gave their best dresses to the Catholic Church in the 18th century.



The bodice of a precious gown in a Catholic Church drawer and conspicuous sewing holes and fold marks in the beautiful fabrics of old mass vestments were the reason for research into eighteenth-century Catholic ecclesiastic robes in Dutch churches. It became clear that mainly wealthy ladies donated their best silk dresses to the church. Vestments made of used clothing raise questions, especially as a gift of wealthy women. Little has been recorded in writing as to why women donate used clothing to the church. However, the objects themselves turn out to be a rich source of information. This presentation explains which research method has been used to answer the question. The research shows, among other things, that the women attached a special significance to these worn clothes and this sacred reuse.



René Lugtigheid obtained a Ph.D. on 5 March this year with the research Van aardse stof tot hemels lof at the University of Amsterdam. She is a lecturer in textile conservation in the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage program. Trained as an art historian and after years of working as a textile conservator, this research brings together her knowledge and experience in a special way.

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10 June 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CEST
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