Small Project Grant
Resinous wood types may bleed resin, also years after the wood has been processed. Various sculptures by Nicholas Pope (1949) in the collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum and in other collections demonstrate resin bleed. The paint on the surface of these sculptures is locally dissolved by the resin, leading to stickiness, loss of paint and an overall negative appreciation of the object’s aesthetic. Resin bleed has also been found on a former stretcher of Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, indicating it is a wider problem in conservation. The research proposed aims to identify the mechanisms behind resin bleeding and should lead to a well-considered approach for conservation treatment of The Village, the Church and Myself (1986) by Nicholas Pope, so that it can be treated and feature as a key object in the exhibition Art & Project in the Kröller-Müller Museum, allowing a wider audience access to the sculpture.
Identification of the composition of the resin and paint layer provide information to make mock ups and test different options for treatment. Artificial ageing with resinous wood samples under different and abruptly changing climate circumstances will lead to a better understanding of the processes causing resin bleed and how it may be prevented. An artist interview will inform us about the opinion of Nicholas Pope on the degradation of his work. The research should provide a significant contribution to the knowledge of this phenomenon of resin bleed in general and lay the groundwork for further research into treatment options for the other affected works by Pope and other artists. Research results will be disseminated during NICAS symposia and preferably other (ICOM-CC/Future Talks/Ebenist) conferences. The interviews will be disclosed in time aligned transcripts and sustainably archived to make it available for other researchers based on the FAIR Principles, Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. This in order to support further research and insights, enriching the Interviews for Conservation Research collection at DANS-KNAW.