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Van Gogh Exposed: What Restoration Research Can Tell Us About the Artist's Technique

TEFAF Meet the Experts are interactive conversations about the artworks presented at TEFAF to engage with the vast knowledge and incredible objects at the fair. In this interactive conversation the restoration research on the Populierenlaan bij Nuenen (Poplars near Nuenen) of Vincent van Gogh will be discussed. After almost 140 years the work is in need of restoration. The paint layers are unstable, an issue partly caused because Van Gogh painted the work on top of another painting, which has caused problems with adhesion. As such the restoration process will focus on consolidating the loose paint and possibly removing the varnish. In 1903, the painting Populierenlaan bij Nuenen (Poplars near Nuenen), 1885, oil on canvas, 78 x 98 cm, by Vincent van Gogh was the first work by the artist to enter a public museum collection. It was donated by 26 art friends of the Museum. Van Gogh painted the work in Nuenen in 1885 and is believed to have added further touches of paint to the work in Paris, giving the work an important place in the artist’s oeuvre. In 2022 TEFAF celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Museum Restoration Fund. One of this years winners is the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The grant program created 10 years ago in support of the international art community’s vital work to preserve artistic and cultural heritage. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund, for the first time ever, the recipient’s work of art will be shown, pre-restoration, at TEFAF Maastricht during the run of the fair. A dedicated space at the fair will be designed to showcase this work by Van Gogh. Later in summer 2022, the restoration project will start at the Boijmans Depot, where visitors are able to follow the restoration project. The Meet the Experts is organized in collaboration with ICOM-CC, and supported by Aon, the TMRF Anniversary Supporting Partner.

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Programming will take place at the Programming Hall, MECC Maastricht. 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 programming or bought your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht: click the button “sign up” and purchase your ticket for TEFAF Maastricht.

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Moderated by Kate Seymour, ICOM-CC

Kate Seymour is the Chair of the ICOM-CC Directory Board (2020-2023) and a 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. She has also hosted and coordinates the Mellon Foundation’s Indian Conservation Fellowship Program (ICFP) at SRAL.

Erika Smeenk-Metz, Restauratieatelier Metz

Erika Smeenk-Metz studied Art History in Amsterdam and Conservation of Easel Paintings at SRAL (Maastricht). After having worked in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for almost 7 years, she founded Restauratieatelier Metz in 2014. The studio has both museums (Amsterdam Museum, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen) and private collectors as clients.

Sandra Kisters, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Dr. Sandra Kisters, since 2015, is Head of Collection and Research at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. since 2015. Previously, she taught art history at VU University, Radboud University and Utrecht University. Ms Kisters was closely involved in the realization of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen which opened to the public in November 2021.