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Collection Knowledge 2.0/Photography Project

Between October 2020 and October 2023, Museum Boijmans is taking part in a new large-scale research project initiated by the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) into the conservation of photographic artworks.

This large-scale collaborative project, initiated by the SBMK, involves grouping the resources of sixteen museum collections, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE): Collection Knowledge 2.0/Photography Project. The purpose is to sustainably conserve the photographic artworks in Dutch museum collections and to keep them as accessible as possible for the public. Most museums do not have this specialism. The project is about knowledge and research relating to printing processes, finishing, supports and terminology. How can prints best be stored and presented while taking into account conservation for the future? Participating museum staff learn how to identify photographs on the job on the basis of their own collections. Their experiences provide the basis for developing, detailing and testing a digital tool, and further research is being conducted. Ultimately every participating museum will have an identified and registered sub-collection of photographic works. The project follows the successful Collection Knowledge 2.0/Plastics Project (2017-2019), which focused on the conservation of plastics in museum collections. 

Under the auspices of the project, the UvA, in cooperation with the RCE’s Cultural Heritage Laboratory, is training two young professionals who are specializing in photography conservation. Sub-studies in the project are being carried out by students on the UvA’s conservation and restoration master’s course. The results of the project will be broadly applicable. There will be an online platform in Dutch and English on which the identification tool will be available free of charge to everyone interested in photography conservation. The overall results will be presented at the end of the project at a public symposium.

The ‘Photography Project’ is being coordinated by the SBMK in collaboration with the UvA. Thirteen organizations with a photographic collection are partners in the project: Amsterdam Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Bonnefanten, De Domijnen, Frans Hals Museum| De Hallen, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Huis Marseille, Kröller-Müller Museum, Kunstmuseum Den Haag / Fotomuseum Den Haag, National Museum of World Cultures Foundation, Rabo Art Collection, RCE Art Collections and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum, NICAS, National Archives of the Netherlands and Netherlands Photo Museum are supporting/advising partners.

The project is receiving financial support from the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, the Mondriaan Fund, the UvA, the RCE and the Wertheimer Fonds, managed by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

About the SBMK
The SBMK works on projects related to the maintenance and conservation of contemporary visual art. The objective is to develop good practice from which all interested parties can benefit. The SBMK recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. More about 25 years SBMK.

More information about the photography project.