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ARTECHNE – Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950

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Sven Dupré appointed as professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities

Professor S.G.M. Dupré (1975) has been appointed professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities. This concerns a part-time chair, to be combined with the chair Dupré already holds at Utrecht University (UU), and will fall within the framework of a research project he is conducting with an ERC Consolidator Grant at the UvA and UU.

Sven Dupré conducts research at the intersection of art history and the history of science and technology. In the coming years, he will focus on techniques in the visual and applied arts of the 16th century up to the present. Two key questions within his area of research are: how did artists learn techniques and what role did recipes play in this regard? To answer these questions, Prof. Dupré will partner with a team of conservators and conservation scientists to reconstruct historical recipes in the conservation studios of the Atelier Building. This is where the conservation and restoration expertise of the UvA, the Cultural Heritage Agency and the Rijksmuseum come together within the recently established Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science. In addition, Prof. Dupré will map the consequences that the introduction of new visualisation techniques and scientific analysis methods had for conservation and restoration practice and art history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sven Dupré has been professor and chair of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University since 2015. In that same year, he received a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for his research project ‘ARTECHNE: Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950: Concept, Practices, Expertise’. From 2011 to 2015, Prof. Dupré was professor of History of Knowledge at the Freie Universität Berlin and director of the research group ‘Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe’ at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.

In addition to being Robert H. Smith Scholar in Residence for Renaissance Sculpture in Context at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Prof. Dupré has also held visiting fellowships at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science of the University of Sydney. His most recent publications include Early Modern Color Worlds (Brill, 2015), Embattled Territory: The Circulation of Knowledge in the Spanish Netherlands (Academia Press/LannooCampus, 2015), Laboratories of Art: Alchemy and Art Technology from Antiquity to the 18th Century (Springer, 2014), and Art and Alchemy: The Mystery of Transformation (Hirmer, 2014), published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. Prof. Dupré has published extensively in numerous academic journals, including Studies in History and Philosophy of Science and Intellectual History Review, and is chief editor of the book series Nuncius (Material and Visual History of Science). He is also a member of the advisory board of the series Art & Materiality and of various journals, including History of Humanities and Science in Context.

Text: UvA News