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avatar for Dr. Esther van Duijn

Dr. Esther van Duijn

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Paintings conservator / researcher
Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands
In 1996 Esther van Duijn finished her Art History study at the University of Utrecht with a M.A. During the subsequent five-year training program for paintings conservation at the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg in Maastricht, the history of her own profession turned into a lifelong passion that has run as a thread throughout her career ever since. As paintings conservator and researcher, she was involved in significant projects such as the conservation treatment of the large paintings in the galleries of the Royal Palace Amsterdam and the research project on the making of Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie(1942-44). Within both projects she was responsible for the study of the conservation history of the works of art. As independent conservator she worked for several institutions and museums, including the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE, formerly ICN), the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Mauritshuis, where she worked on or studied paintings by Van Goyen to Van Gogh. Between 2008 and 2013 she has worked part time – alongside her work as a conservator – on her Ph.D. thesis All that glitters is not gold. The depiction of gold-brocaded velvets in fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Netherlandish paintings. This study was part of an interdisciplinary research project called The Impact of Oil: A history of oil painting in the Low Countries and its consequences for the visual arts, 1350-1550, which was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Since February 2015 she is working in the Rijksmuseum on a research project into the conservation history of the museum’s paintings collection. This research is financed by the Luca fund.