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by Jill Whitten, Robert Proctor & René de la Rie


8th - 10th June 2020 | SRAL Studios


Many different materials have been used for
varnishing and retouching. Traditionally, natural
resins were primarily used for this purpose. In the
20th century synthetic polymers were introduced.
These are often chemically and physically more
stable than their natural counterparts. The optical
properties of varnishes are however largely
controlled by their molecular weight. By using
synthetic low molecular weight resins for
varnishing and retouching, an appearance similar
to that obtained using natural resins can be
achieved. Factors affecting stability and
appearance, as well as application methods and
solvents suitable for these new resins, will be
The workshop will focus on synthetic low
molecular weight resins and how they differ from
polymers and dammar. Participants will use
practical sessions to evaluate the properties of
resins used as varnishes in terms of their
application and appearance. Through these
practical sessions and demonstrations,
participants will establish how the choice of resin,
solvent or stabiliser will affect the properties of the
varnish not only on application but subsequently
upon ageing. Participants will leave the master
class with an individual canvas board (60x80cm)
on which at least 15 varnish recipes have been


René de la Rie (University of Amsterdam & CRCC, Paris) is
currently chercheur associée at the Centre de Recherche
sur la Conservation des Collections (CRCC/CNRS), Paris
and a guest researcher at the UvA. He was head of the
scientific research department at the National Gallery of Art,
Washington, DC from 1989 until 2012, a position endowed
by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Jill Whitten received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art at
the University of Texas, Austin. She studied conservation at
Buffalo State College, where she received a Master of Arts
and a Certificate in Conservation. She has worked as a
conservator and undertaken resin research at the Art
Institute of Chicago, J. Paul Getty Museum and the National
Gallery of Art.

Robert Proctor has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from
Tulane University in New Orleans and a Master of Arts and
Certificate of Conservation from Buffalo State College. He
trained in Munich at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum,
worked at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Indianapolis
Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Jill Whitten and Robert Proctor have been in private
practice in Houston, Texas since 1998. They work on
private and institutional collections.

Early Bird: € 850 (before 1st April) Standard € 950
Fees will include lunches.
Language: English
Social Event: an opt-in dinner (at own costs) will be
organised for the group on Tuesday 9th June
There will be 20 places available for emerging
professionals and mid-career conservators.

Registration requests should be sent to info@sral.nl
by 15th April 2020

Accommodation and Travel arrangements are the
responsibility of the participant. Discount bookings for
accommodation at Townhouse Design Hotel through

Organisers: Kate Seymour and Siska Losse

Avenue Céramique 224   6221 KX Maastricht   Tel: +31(0)433218444   E-mail: info@sral.nl   |   Sitemap

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