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ARTECHNE – Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950

Burgundian Black

This research is an initiative of the  ARTECHNE ProjectMuseum Hof van Busleyden, and Studio Claudy Jongstra. The historical research, coordinated by dr. Jenny Boulboullé, is done in collaboration with the Department Heritage of the University of Antwerp and the Cultural Heritage Agency Research Laboratory.

Burgundian Black

Burgundian Black is a collaborative project on pre-modern black color technologies, in particular the famous Burgundian blacks that we can admire today in Flemish portrait painting. The project is a collaboration between the ERC project ARTECHNE (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam), the Belgian Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen, the Dutch contemporary artist Claudy Jongstra, the University of Antwerp and the research laboratories of The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE). The collaborative work will result in the research-driven exhibition Back to Black at the Museum Hof van Busleyden (20 June 2019 until June 2021), a workshop at the OSK Course Materials & Materiality in Art History (see impressions below), the ROOHTS summerschool (1-5 July 2019) organised by the University of Antwerp, and in several peer-reviewed publications, including a planned e-book project with the working title Burgundian Black. As part of this research and in preparation for the planned e-book, Jenny Boulboullé has organized a 3-day expert workshop Burgundian Blacks Collaboratory (14-16 January 2019) in collaboration with Natalia Ortega Saez (University of Antwerp), Art Gaibor Proaño (RCE), and Claudy Jongstra and her team from Studio Claudy Jongstra, who hosted the workshop at their farm in Húns, Friesland.

See also the blogs by workshop participants Jessie Chen, Paula Hohti and Sharifa Lookman.

Dutch fashion design duo Victor & Rolf teamed up with textile artist Claudy Jongstra for the making of Viktor & Rolf’s AW19 Couture collection. The coats – sharp, theatrical silhouettes – are all burgundy black, a natural dye which Jongstra, together with the Artechne project, has spent the last year rediscovering, decoding recipes that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Discover the collection through this video:

Laura van Kins werkt als stagiaire in Museum Hof van Busleyden te Mechelen, BE, en houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met het project Back to Black. In een nieuwe reeks vlogs neemt ze jullie mee op pad tijdens haar zoektocht naar de betekenis van de kleur zwart, vroeger en vandaag.

Impressions from the OSK Course Materials & Materiality in Art History (14-16 January 2019, photo credits: Jenny Boulboullé):

Impressions from the vernissage of the Back to Black Exhibition (20 June 2019, photo credits: Sophie Nuytten, Museum Hof van Busleyden):

RMA-student Laura van Kins interns at the Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen, BE. As part of her internship she made a series of vlogs in which she introduces the Back to Black project, the exhibition and the research on historical black colours to a wider audience. In this series she will take you with her into her search for the meaning of the colour black in the past and present: