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Conversations on Conservation: Current Issues and Future Strategies in Decision Making

TEFAF Talks are interactive panel discussions, pairing with leading content partners, to share knowledge and expertise to strengthen one’s art knowledge. Conservation is an umbrella term used by ICOM to refer to all measures and actions aimed at safeguarding tangible cultural heritage while ensuring its accessibility to present and future generations. This broad term encompasses approaches which aim to preserve and restore art works for the enjoyment and education of all, marking testimony to our cultural achievements and providing legacy for next generations. Conservation is complex and demands the collaboration of relevant qualified professionals. But who makes decisions within the field of care of collections? This panel will bring together three conservation professionals from three different backgrounds to discuss and debate the key factors that should be considered when making conservation related decisions. The decision-making process should involve many different voices so as to ensure that all facets are considered. We will hear from the conservator, from the art-historian and from the conservation scientist what priorities and input each brings to the decision-making process. Do join this debate at TEFAF to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Museum Restoration Fund.

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Programming will take place at the Programming Hall, MECC Maastricht. The session will be recorded. Please note that TEFAF Programming is free with a valid ticket to TEFAF Maastricht. There is limited availability of seats. If you have not registered for TEFAF programming or bought your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht: click the button “sign up” and purchase your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht.

For questions about registration contact:
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Dr. Mirjam Neumeister, Chief Curator Flemish Baroque Painting, Alte Pinakothek

Mirjam Neumeister studied Art History, German Studies and Urban Design at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. The subject of her doctorate, awarded in 1999, was ‘Nocturnal scenes with artificial light in 16th and 17th-century Netherlandish paintings and prints. Iconographic and colouristic aspects’. From 1999 to 2007 she was a curatorial fellow, a research fellow and a curatorial assistant at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, where she worked on the scholarly catalogue of Dutch Baroque paintings from 1550 to 1800 (author of volumes 1 and 3) as well as various exhibition projects. Since November 2007, Neumeister has been Chief Curator of Flemish Baroque Painting at the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen/Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Major projects related to Jan Brueghel the Elder and Anthonis van Dyck, as well as several collection catalogues.

Dr Cécilia Gauvin, Scientist, CEO S-MA-C-H

During 10 years in research, Cecilia dedicated herself to investigate the thermo- hygro- mechanical behaviour of coated wooden panel within cultural heritage. She drove international experimental research to achieve new breakthroughs and ideas at the interface between arts and engineering. Mechanical behaviour of complex anisotropic orthotropic materials was tested at all scales with innovative optical and mechanical techniques to analyse from deformation to failure behaviour.

Lydia Beerkens, Managing Director, SRAL

Lydia Beerkens is currently Managing Director of SRAL, The conservation institute, Maastricht where she also is employed as senior Conservator of Modern Art since 1998. After her studies in Art History (Radboud University Nijmegen) and in Conservation and Restoration (SRAL Maastricht) she specialised as conservator-researcher during the Dutch research project ‘Modern Art: Who Cares?’ (SBMK/RCE; 1995-1997 – book published 1999). She developed the training programme Modern Art Conservation, at SRAL (1998 – 2003) and later at CICS in Cologne (2004-2006). Beerkens earned her PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2012. As a leading practitioner she contributed to various Dutch research projects: The Artist Interview (SBMK/UvA/RCE - Book 2012), Conservation of Outdoor Painted Sculptures (ICOM-CC/ Getty Conservation Institute – Book 2014), the NWO research project Photoworks (2014-2016), CAFFO project (NICAS / Delft University of Technology; 2016-2018) and Project Plastics, (SBMK / UvA / RCE; 2017 – 2019). Combining many years of conservation practice with her special interest into the artists’ idea, the artist studio and a special focus on the making techniques, has resulted in over 50 articles on case studies and decision-making in modern art conservation, and in many contributions to international conferences.

Moderated by Kate Seymour, Chair, ICOM-CC

Kate Seymour is the Chair of the ICOM-CC Directory Board (2020-2023) and member of ICOM Netherlands. Kate is an art historian with a passion for conservation. She moved to the Netherlands in 1999 to work as a painting conservator at Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL), Maastricht (NL) where she is now Head of Education. Additionally, she is a lecturer of painting conservation at the University of Amsterdam since 2006. She is currently coordinating and lecturing Mist-Lining Workshops, as part of the Getty Foundation’s Conserving Canvas Initiative, hosted and coordinates the Mellon Foundation’s Indian Conservation Fellowship Program (ICFP) at SRAL.