Editor's Note

Technical Research

It was announced in the previous eZine that the theme of the current issue would be the technical research of artworks. During various activities organized by CODART in recent years, attention has frequently been paid to this subject in lectures and market tables, and on tours of permanent displays, exhibitions and museum restoration studios. These tours were conducted not only by CODART members – curators of Dutch and Flemish art – but also by professionals in other disciplines, since the technical research of art objects takes place at the interface of art history, restoration and science. Each of these disciplines has its own history, methodology and technical jargon. Overstepping the traditional bounds of these fields – an essential part of interdisciplinary research – has proved extremely fruitful.


Winesburg, Ohio

Somewhere between Toledo and Oberlin, about seven miles south of Interstate 90, lies the town of Winesburg, Ohio. Its fame is due to Sherwood Anderson’s eponymous cult novel, a book that is not really a novel at all, but a series of sketches about various personages living in the town. Anderson, born in 1876, came from a family of seven children and worked at various jobs until he began to concentrate on his literary career in 1912

Curator's Collection

Städel Museum

Infrared reflectography, X-radiography and dendrochronology – these are part of the standard arsenal of analytical methods that have long been used to carry out technical research on the paintings listed in the scholarly collection catalogues of the Städel Museum. In exceptional cases, of course, additional – sometimes even invasive – research methods may prove necessary in order to answer particular questions. Intensive research on our own Old Master holdings was begun more than twenty-five years ago.

Curator's Collection

Patrimonio Nacional Tapestries

The Patrimonio Nacional tapestry collection is comprised of 3,000 pieces, ranging from Flemish tapestries treasured by the Hapsburg monarchs and Spanish tapestries made for the House of Bourbon, to preserved collections from the Royal Monasteries and Palaces of Las Huelgas (Burgos), Las Descalzas (Madrid), and the Colegio de Doncellas Nobles (Toledo).

Curator's Project

Saul and David

The painting of Saul and David shows two figures against a dark background. At left is Saul, seated, holding a spear and wiping his eye on a curtain. David, playing his harp, kneels before him at right. The subject is usually considered the moment before the frenzy of King Saul, which twice caused him to hurl his spear at David (I Samuel 18:9-11). This was an unconventional choice of subject, as most other artists opted to show Saul’s fury.

Curator's Project

Metalpoint Drawings

The long-awaited exhibition that will open this autumn at the British Museum is remarkable for its focus on a particular drawing technique rather than on one specific artist or period. It is the first exhibition to examine comprehensively the history of metalpoint – a technique whereby a metal stylus is used on a prepared ground – and to explore the evolution of metalpoint and its different functions in different schools.

Curator's Interview

Van der Snickt Interviewed

This eZine, which is wholly dedicated to material and technical research, would not be complete without Dr. Geert van der Snickt’s report on Macro XRF scanning. Geert, a cultural heritage scientist at the University of Antwerp, recently acquired a professorship sponsored by the IBL fund.

Dr. Van der Snickt was interviewed at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, where he was scanning one of the highlights of the museum’s collection. For the occasion, Jan van Eyck’s Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele was in the depot, standing on an easel, without its usual protective glass – a rare sight even for the staff members of the Groeningemuseum.

Curator in the spotlight

Jørgen Wadum

In January 2005, after fifteen years at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, I began my current job as head of conservation, the registrar’s office and the photographic department at the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), the national gallery of Denmark. I had to plunge right in, since the museum was in the midst of preparations for a number of upcoming exhibitions, including Rembrandt? The Master and his Workshop, scheduled for the spring of 2006. In addition, my new job entailed not only the supervision of a large department but also the daily challenge of introducing new documentation and research practices and being part of the museum’s management team.


Stein Berre Interviewed

Stein Berre, who became a Patron of CODART in 2013, studied public policy at Princeton and received a master’s degree in history from Harvard. Currently, Mr. Berre is Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He also serves as a board member of the Royal Oak Foundation, which is the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although he started out as a collector of contemporary art, Mr. Berre purchased his first Old Master painting in 2000 and never looked back. His collection of Old Masters includes the likes of Jacob van Ruisdael, Willem Claesz Heda, Salomon Koninck, Nicholaes Berchem, Jan van Goyen and Hendrik van Vliet.

CODART Activities


The theme of the eighteenth CODART Congress, Curators and the Art Trade: A Discussion of Opportunities and Dilemmas, was timely and relevant for those working in the art world, particularly those representing the public sector. The Congress, organized in collaboration with the National Gallery and The Wallace Collection, attracted to London over one hundred professionals from around the world.