experience restoration internship Joanna Pietrzyk
One of the key experiences recommended during your time as an undergraduate is doing an restoration internship. Student time is time to deciding for the future and without exploring certain areas of interest, choosing can be difficult or pointless. Gaining work experience is key for boosting your employability, especially as a conservation art student. That’s why, after my third year of education on Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków I decided to go to Spain for student exchange. The first trip proved to be an ideal opportunity to continue foreign experiences around Europe.
The level of art in the Netherlands has always been at a very high level. Hieronymus Bosch detailed and fantastic paintings, amazing precise still lifes by Willem Claesz or masterpieces of Jan Davidsz de Heem, and Rembrandt’s outstanding paintings, amazingly innovative for their time have always made a huge impression on me. Considering this level of art I thought: working with such outstanding world heritage works, conservation and restoration of piece of arts must also be characterized by incredible professionalism. Personally, these factors and the opportunity to go to Den Haag made me want to visit the Netherlands to broaden my professional experience. So after searching for a suitable place for me, I decided to write an email to Restauratieatelier Marjan de Visser located at Van Limburg Stirumstraat in the center of Den Haag. That’s how my internship began, adventure and great learning time to be a restorer.
Restauratieatelier Marjan de Visser
I undertook a month internship at a thriving studio providing by Marjan de Visser. Atelier specializes in the conservation and restoration of paintings on wooden panels and canvas. Marjan is the owner of the studio, cooperating with her professional colleagues from the industry. The studio is professionally equipped with stuff needed for conservation treatment. What’s more, the studio does not lack suitable chemical products related to the conservation of works of art. Besides, the studio is properly ventilated and has air purifiers, the presence of which guarantees comfort work in the right conditions. Marjan de Visser is a professional restorer, never stopping at finding new, better solutions exudes energy and a positive attitude to work. Her broad knowledge is constantly expanded by her, e.g. by participating in various types of worldwide training related to the conservation and restoration of works of art.
Conservation Siep van den Berg
I usually started work at around 10.30 and finished around 18.30. However, the working time was loose, not strictly binding. Sometimes my schedule was made more pleasant by going to the museum or visiting private clients to get acquainted with their art collection. During my practice, I had the opportunity to work with various paintings on wooden panel and canvas. Each object was distinguished by different maintenance problems, a different technique closely related to damage and exhibition problems. A very interesting challenge for me personally, was the conservation of two paintings from the Groningen Museum made by artist Siep van den Berg. The paintings stored in the museum, which are not the artist’s main collection, have become a challenge for me and an interesting conservation lesson under Marjan’s advice. Another object I had the opportunity to work with was the acrylic painting from 1991. The canvas painting had a dozen of colourful and metal abrasions that harmed the reception of contemporary painting. Under Marjan’s direction, I performed paint layer cleaning with an innovative MCP method. It is for me a very interesting area of Modern Cleaning Method, which I will expand for sure.
overview restoration internship Marjan de Visser
During these four weeks, I made friendships with my coworkers received feedback from my superiors, I got acquainted with the realities of running my own business based on work with works of art and their owners. A month at Marjan’s studio influenced my professional and personal development. Also, my knowledge has been enriched and supplemented in the field of contemporary art and contemporary conservation methods. But most importantly, I gained a new sense of professionalism and a clearer view of what it meant to be in the professional world. So, I would advise everyone to take the opportunity and do an internship, even if it is not necessarily in the industry that you wish to work in. There is much to gain from it on both a professional and personal level.