Conference on Modern Oil Paints Amsterdam, 23-25 May 2018

On the occasion of the conclusion of the research project ‘Cleaning Modern Oil Paints’ (2015-2018), the Rijksmuseum, in collaboration with the CMOP project partners cordially invite you to the three-day Conference on Modern Oil Paints.

Test paints made from raw materials, CMOP Workshop, Amsterdam 10–14 April 2017

Test paints made from raw materials, CMOP Workshop, Amsterdam 10–14 April 2017

This conference will address conservation challenges particularly associated with twentieth- and twenty-first-century oil paintings. These challenges are distinct from those found in paintings from previous centuries. Phenomena that have been recently observed include the formation of vulnerable surface ‘skins’ of medium on paint surfaces, efflorescence, unpredictable water and solvent sensitivity, and alarming incidences of dripping paints several years after the paintings have been completed. Many of these paintings are also unvarnished, rendering their surfaces particularly vulnerable.

Marking the completion of ‘Cleaning Modern Oil Paints’ (2015-2018), the conference will provide an opportunity to share the outcomes of this major research initiative and will also provide a follow-up to the Issues in Contemporary Oil Paint symposium held at the Cultural Heritage Agency in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, in 2013. ICOP’s proceedings were published: “Issues in Contemporary Oil Paint” (K.J. van den Berg, A. Burnstock, M. de Keijzer, J. Krueger, T. Learner, A. de Tagle, G. Heydenreich, editors), Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014.

Logotype European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

The focus of the conference will be on the outcomes of recent research and emerging practice in the conservation of sensitive contemporary oil paint surfaces and the condition of oil paintings seen from various perspectives. The conference aims to address a wider public of conservators from all fields including e.g. painting, sculpture, paper; as well as researchers, artists, curators, paint manufactures and other interested practitioners.

A particular focus will be on the practice of conservation and how knowledge is transferred from conservators to researchers and vice versa.

The conference topics are:

  • cultural historical context of use of oil paint in the 20th Century
  • developments in artists’ oil paint technology; paint manufacturers; patents
  • characterization of modern-contemporary oil paints and paint surfaces
  • paint degradation and long term stability
  • the artists’ voice and influence on perception of curators, conservators and scientists
  • approaches to conservation and display
  • conservation of oil paintings; practical surface treatment

The abstracts will be distributed to the participants at the conference. Presenters will be asked to submit a paper to be published in the postprints of this conference.

For more information on e.g. abstract submission, the symposium program, social programs  and admission fees, please visit:  


The conference is organised in partnership with the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS) and financially supported by Akzo Nobel.