CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

A multiyear project, The Panel Paintings Initiative, has been launched by the Getty

A multiyear project, The Panel Paintings Initiative, was launched recently in collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The project is designed to increase specialized training in the structural conservation of panel paintings and to advance the treatment of these works in collections around the world. The initiative will also raise general awareness of panel painting conservation among painting and wood conservators and curators.

Information provided by the Panel Paintings Initiative, 6 January 2009

Today, only a few conservators have the experience necessary to deal with the increasingly complex conservation issues posed by these works. Most of the small number of current specialists will retire in the next ten to fifteen years, and there are no training programs in the US or Europe, apart from the Fortezza da Basso Conservation Studios of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, that offer training in the structural conservation of panel paintings as a specialty.

Guided by an international advisory group, the Panel Paintings Initiative will include a survey of training needs and opportunities, a symposium in May 2009 on panel paintings conservation, and a number of workshops and conservation training fellowships to follow.

One of the first steps of the project is a survey of training needs and opportunities carried out under the supervision of the Statens Museum for Kunst in close collaboration with key staff at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Conservation and the National Museum, all located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through questionnaires, interviews and first-hand investigation, the survey will seek to answer a number of key questions on the number of experts currently in practice, the current state of preservation of panel paintings in major collections, and the employment prospects for specialized panel paintings conservators.

In view of the above we will soon distribute questionnaires by email to a number of CODART members and we would be grateful if you and your institution would fill out the questionnaire in order to assist us in addressing some of the posted questions. You can find out more about the Panel Paintings Initiative Project and the project components on the website of the Getty Conservation Institute:

For further information please contact Anne Haack Christensen, overall project coordinator of the PPI project: or Jørgen Wadum, keeper of conservation and CODART Member:


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