News & events > Workshop: "Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer" | Netherlands
15 May 2017 - 19 May 2017

Workshop: "Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer" | Netherlands

recent-advances-in-characterizing-asian-lacquer A workshop entitled "Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer" will be held at the Ateliergebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 15 and 19 May 2017. The workshop is the result of a partnership involving the Getty Conservation Institute, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and the Rijksmuseum. It is held in the context of a broader project with the same title, developed by the Getty Conservation Institute. This five-day workshop will explore newly developed analytical procedures for acquiring detailed compositional information about Asian lacquers, their additives, and their European substitutes. During the workshop, conservators and scientists will work together in research teams to study and discuss historic lacquer samples. "Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer" thus presents a unique opportunity for collaboration and discussion of topics such as the compositional variation in lacquered objects made in different countries and time periods, the relevance of analytical research to the conservation and interpretation, and the identification of research priorities and potential collaborations.


The workshop aims to:
  • demonstrate new analytical protocols and the level of information that can be gathered using these methods;
  • provide participants with the tools necessary to use these methods, such as a marker compound database and custom data evaluation tools;
  • highlight the benefits that collaboration between scientists and conservators can provide;
  • identify pressing analytical and conservation issues in the field and priorities for future research.
Participants Applicants to the workshop "Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer" should be conservators, scientists, or conservation scientists. Scientists should have an established record of using Py-GC/MS or GC/MS; familiarity with AMDIS and Excel is helpful. Experience in lacquer analysis is not required, although priority will be given to those with current or future projects involving the analysis of Asian lacquer. Conservators should have experience treating Asian lacquer and be familiar with its properties and production. Scientists and conservators work in research teams of two during the workshop. Proposed partnerships are encouraged but not required. Proposed partnerships that include one scientist and one conservator will be given priority. Ideally, partners will be committed to future collaboration. Conservators are asked to propose sample material from a specific lacquered object for potential use in the workshop, based on the following criteria:
  • object should be of significance within its collection and considered important from the historical and/or technological point of view;
  • conservator should be confident that permission of the owner will be given to remove a sample of approximately 2x2mm from the object for destructive analysis;
  • participant must ensure that permission is granted to present and discuss analytical results acquired during the workshop.
The working language of the workshop is English. Applications should be sent by 31 January 2017. The final selection of applicants will be notified no later than 13 February. For additional information and application, please visit  
Pictured above: Lacquered object from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum