Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

19Apr2018 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 19 April 2018, from 12:00 to 13:00 in conference room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).


The chair of this colloquium will be Yuliia Orlova (UvA), PhD-candidate in the NICAS project PREDAGIO.


The following presentations are scheduled for this edition of the NICAS Colloquium:

Indra Kneepkens

Surprise findings and infinite doubt - embracing the subjective in reconstruction-based art technological research
Art technological reconstruction experiments are gaining importance as a method to obtain insight in historical practices,
their relation to art technological sources and the behavior of particular combinations of materials over time. Standards
for such experiments are still developing and adjacent research fields, such as the natural sciences and archeology are
sometimes taken as inspiration. The concept of historical accuracy, that has been developing since the beginning of this
century has had a significant impact on the way art technological reconstruction experiments are performed today. But
how does historical accuracy relate to scientific standards of reproducibility and falsification? And how should experiments
be documented so one can optimally benefit from what are essentially subjective experiences? Does it help to turn to
scientific analysis or does it create a false sense of reliability? In other words: how does one reconcile history and science
in reconstruction-based research?

Indra Kneepkens has a background in Art History and is currently finalizing her dissertation, which is focused on the effects
of processed linseed oils and particular paint additives on the practice painting in the fifteenth and early sixteenth century.

Birgit Reissland

Blooming once, forgotten today - the early industrial production of inks

For generations writing with ink was a shared habit. Ink bottles were a common household item. Since the second half of
the 19th century ink production increased and became an industry. However, the decline began soon after the second
world war, with the introduction of the ballpoint pen. In the 1960ies nearly all ink factories closed their doors. Within a
period of only 50 years, their archives disappeared and the knowledge about an entire industrial sector vanished. While
investigating van Goghs writing and drawing inks (Revigo project, NWO Science4Art), the question occurred why the
established ink composition differed from contemporarily published recipes. Was it due to contaminated raw materials?
Or caused by the production process? Research into rare archival collections of early ink manufacturers revealed unique
insights into the working practice of historic ink factories in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Birgit Reissland is a heritage scientist at the RCE. Professional focus is on art-technological research of heritage on paper.
She is currently a PhD Candidate in the NICAS-project: 'Drawing out Rembrandt'. For nearly 20 years, she was editor-inchief
of the "Journal of Paper Conservation" and is web-editor of “The Iron Gall Ink Website”.

NICAS Colloquium

More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.



Thursday, 19 April 2018


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS