Conservation and restoration: theory and practice
Conservators collaborate closely with scientists, (technical) art historians, archaeologists and anthropologists to preserve cultural heritage objects, serving as a vital connection with art and heritage works and playing a pivotal role in multidisciplinary projects. Technical art historians investigate the materials, techniques and production methods that went into the making of cultural heritage objects.
The curriculum covers conservation theory and conservation science, together with the specialised research and practical skills needed for both the investigation of cultural heritage objects, and the conservation of such objects (for conservation specialisations). You will gain expertise in assessing an artefact’s condition, exploring the manufacturing methods, and understanding causes of decay while performing hands-on object investigation, developing skills in conservation decision-making and treatment. The programme is taught by renowned (inter)national experts in UvA’s own conservation studios.
Is Conservation and Restoration right for you?
- You want to understand and assess the historical context and condition of objects of cultural value and identify possible causes of decay.
- You have a passion for both the theoretical and practical aspects of art conservation.
- You have a deep interest in caring for cultural heritage.
- You have very good hand and observational skills.
In this video, teachers and a student of the Master’s in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage share their experiences with this study programme at the UvA.
Specialising in conservation or technical art history
Right from the outset, you have the unique opportunity to choose one of the nine branches of specialisation offered within Conservation or the separate track of Technical Art History. Each of these areas of specialisation has its own focus and you will be trained to become an expert in your chosen field from day one. Be aware that the nine conservation specialisations and the separate technical art history track are offered in alternating years.
Becoming a conservator
The Master’s in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage is a two-year programme and marks the first step to becoming a fully qualified conservator. Following the Master’s, you can transition into a two-year Advanced Professional Programme in which you further develop practical experience, expand your scientific knowledge and complete one or more internships to achieve the international level required to work as an independent professional conservator in your field of specialisation.
Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage is an accredited Master’s degree programme. Upon successfully completing this programme, you will obtain the legally recognised Master’s degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and the title Master of Science (MSc). With this degree in hand, technical art history students can enter the field (museums/heritage institution) as qualified technical art historians. To qualify as a conservator, in conservation you need to successfully complete the subsequent Advanced Professional Programme.