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Media, teaching, presentations

Abbie Vandivere's media appearances about Vermeer and Girl with a Pearl Earring led to her top 3 nomination for Vrouw in de Media (Woman in the Media) award in 2020.

In 2023, Abbie was an expert and judge on the creative competition reality TV show De Nieuwe Vermeer.  She appeared in the documentary Close to Vermeer, which was nominated for a 'Gouden Kalf' award. 

From 2014-22, she co-ordinated and taught within the Technical Art History MA programme at the University of Amsterdam.

Abbie gives presentations about painting conservation, techniques and materials for general and specialised audiences (scientific, conservation, academic), in Dutch and English.

Some of them are compiled on the 'From the Ground Up' YouTube channel.

Media appearances

•   Top 3 nominee for Dutch national media award: Vrouw in de Media (Woman in the Media) 2020

•   Judge for Kunstbende Young Creator’s Festival, Expo category, 30/09/2023

•  YouTube channel of selected lectures



•   Cover and feature interview: Opzij magazine (08/2020)

•   Feature interview in The Analytical Scientist (09/2022)

•   International press related to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, including: New York Times, Quest


Television and film
•   De Nieuwe Vermeer: (Helder TV/NPO 1 MAX): expert and judge on 6 episodes of reality TV program about reconstructing missing paintings by Johannes Vermeer

•   Het Geheim van de Meester: reality TV program on AVROTROS, episodes about Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (S01E01) and Salomon van Ruisdael (S03E05)

•   Documentaries: Close to Vermeer (Dicht bij Vermeer by Docmakers, 2023), nominated for Gouden Kalf award; Japanese documentary about Vermeer (2019)

•   Web videos: BBC Culture, PBS The Art Assignment, NewScientist Aperture
•   News talk shows and interviews (in Dutch): Buitenhof (12/03/2023), Het Klokhuis (16/03/2021, 07/04/2023), Jeugdjournaal / Nieuwsbegrip, Goedemorgen Nederland (WNL), Sterke Vrouwen en Mooie Mannen (AT5, E02), RTL Late Night, Tijd voor MAX

•  Alumni POV: Lewis Centre for the Arts, Princeton University



•   Radio interviews in Dutch, including: NOS Met Het Oog op Morgen (NPO Radio 1), Villa VdB (NPO Radio 1), Spijkers met Koppen (NPO Radio 2), West Word Wakker (Omroep West), BNR De BNR Techniektour, Thuis op 5 (Radio 5), Stadsradio Delft

•   Podcast interview in Dutch: Het Geheim van Meisje met de Parel (E01, E02)

•   Radio interviews in English, including: ARD (German public broadcast)
•   Podcasts in English: Spotless (E12): The Art of Cleaning Art; Expat Enclave


2010 - present

MA in Technical Art History at the University of Amsterdam

The specialisation in Technical Art History began in September 2015 and will be offered very two years within the Conservation & Restoration department of the University of Amsterdam

TAH emphasizes the study of works of art as material objects and bridges the worlds between ‘traditional’ art history, conservation and conservation science. It investigates how the use of specific materials and techniques affect their appearance, and has consequences for the historical development of art.

Between 2014 and 2022, Abbie Vandivere was:

•   Co-ordinator, Technical Art History MA program, Department of Conservation & Restoration, responsible for planning, course offerings and structure of program since its inception, 2014-2022
•   Main lecturer and course organizer for classes (6 ECTS): The Eye and the Object, Microscopy and Microsampling, Colour and Discolouration, Laboratories of Art: Historical Reconstructions, Field Work, 10/2015-08/2022
•   Evaluation of MSc theses at Technical University Delft: 3mE Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering department,  2019-2022

•   Supervision and evaluation of MA theses at the University of Amsterdam,  2010-2022

•   Guest lecturer: MA courses in Conservation & Restoration department, BA course Kunsttechnieken & Visuele Analyse (in Dutch), 2014-2021

•   Co-organiser of monthly Technical Art History colloquium, 2016-2020

•   Co-organiser of 10-day course ‘The Impact of Oil: Historical painting techniques in early Netherlandish paintings’ offered by the Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University,  23/08/2011­–01/09/2011






•   Who’s that Girl?, NN Kunstfestival, Mauritshuis, 08/10/2023

•  Meisje Masterclass, Museumnacht, Mauritshuis , 07/10/2023

•  with K. Harada, ‘Mandijn’s Monsters: shining a light on the techniques and motifs of a Bosch follower,’ Conference: Jheronimus Bosch: His workshop and his followers, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s Hertogenbosch, 12/05/2023

• ‘The Girl in the Spotlight,’ online lecture and Q&A for the Center for Netherlandish Art: Student Session, 21/04/2023

• Meisje Masterclass, Maurits& evening to celebrate the return of Girl with a Pearl Earring to the Mauritshuis, 01/04/2023

• ‘The Girl in 1665: The original appearance of Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ International Vermeer symposium, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam , 28/03/2023


•   Poster presentation with M. van Veldhuizen, R. Wiersma, ‘Animating the artist’s gesture: Using computational techniques to visualise making processes,’ 9th Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Art Technological Source Research Working Group, Paris, (forthcoming), 25/11/2022

•   with A. van Loon et al., ‘What makes a Vermeer a Vermeer?’; with M. Albrecht et al. ‘How to paint a bouquet MA-XRF analysis of 17th-century Netherlandish flower still-lives from the Mauritshuis’ MA-XRF scanning in Conservation, Art and Archaeology, 3rd conference on the use of XRF imaging in conservation, art and archaeology, Delft, 26-27/09/2022

•   ‘The Pigment Reference Set: A resource for non-invasive imaging and analysis’; with J. Schilder, ‘Bear with us… a Boar-ing presentation about Paulus Potter and the Stier,’ Picture Meeting, RCE, Amersfoort , 16/09/2022

•   with A. van Loon: ‘Pigment Reference Set: Resource for technical art history (MA) and scientific analysis,’ Inaugural Conservation Science Education Online (CSEO) conference, 19/05/202                

•  with Jan Bustin, ‘A matter of manner? Material aspects of style, and reconstructions as a research tool,’ ‘Alla Maniera’: Technical art history and the meaning of style in 15th to 17th century painting, Symposium XXII for the study of underdrawing and technology in painting, 28/03/2022

•  The Girl in the Spotlight: Results from the technical examination:

  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 05/11/2022

  •  Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain, 04/02/2022

  •  Online lecture for Harvard University, Freshman Seminar: ‘Changing perspectives: The science of optics in the visual arts’ , 17/03/2022    



•  Video about the restoration of a painting attributed to the Master of the Brandon Portrait, in exhibition Facelifts & Makeovers, Mauritshuis, 07/10/2021–09/01/2022

•  ‘Historical canvas supports for painting: materials and techniques,’ Online master class The Dutch Method Unfolded, Getty Foundation / University of Amsterdam, 04/03/2021. Link

•  The Girl in the Spotlight: Results from the technical examination:

   -  Online lectures for: Winterthur / University of Delaware program in art conservation, National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum voor Kunst), Columbia University Alumni Association


•  The Girl in the Spotlight (EN) / Het Meisje in de Schijwerper (NL):

   -  Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (INHA), Paris, France (EN), 09/01/2020

   -  Online lectures for: University of Delaware, Princeton Academy of Art, University of Syracuse, Queens University, Friends of the Mauritshuis

   -  Vlogs for the Mauritshuis: Changes, Steps of Vermeer, Pigments, Visual Effects


•  'Comparing pictorial effects in selected paintings by Rogier van der Weyden,’ and with C. Pottasch: ‘Many hands make light work: Evidence of workshop practice in the Mauritshuis Lamentation,’ Symposium Rogier van der Weyden & the Mauritshuis Lamentation, RKD, The Hague,  22/11/2019

• ‘Rembrandt paintings at the Mauritshuis: Conservation and format changes,’ Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.18/09/2019​

•   'Technical aspects of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch,’ Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., 17/09/2019

•   The Girl in the Spotlight (EN) / Het Meisje in de Schijwerper (NL):

   -  NICAS project day, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (EN), 09/12/2019

​   -  Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. (EN), 19/09/2019

   -  Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Utrecht University (EN), 02/07/2019  ​

​   -   Keynote lecture, NICAS Match Day, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (EN), 20/05/2019

   -   Symposium ‘Art & Technology’, KNUS, Radboud University, Nijmegen (EN) , 14/05/2019

   -   Opening lecture, TECHNART conference, Bruges, Belgium (EN), 07/05/2019

​   -   Courtauld Institute of Art, London, U.K. (EN), 25/02/2019

   -   ‘Andere kijkje op Vermeer’, Delfia Batavorum, Prinsenhof Delft (NL), 20/02/2019​

   -   Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden (EN), 28/01/2019


•  The Girl in the Spotlight (EN) / Het Meisje in de Schijwerper (NL)

   - Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge, UK (EN) , 14/11/2018

   - Keynote lecture, Nederlands Octrooibureau (Patent Office), Societeit de Witte, The Hague (NL), 13/11/2018

   - NN Group, The Hague (EN and NL) , 01/10/2018

   - ArtTube, Lowlands Music Festival, Biddinghuizen (NL), 17-18/08/2018

   - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, U.S.A. (EN) , 02/08/2018

   - Summer Technical Institute in Technical Art History, Yale University, New Haven, U.S.A. (EN). Link, 01/08/2018

   - Public lectures (EN and NL) ,  09/03/2018

   - Technical Art History Colloquium (EN), 08/03/2018

   - American Womens Club / Princeton University Alumni (EN), 08/03/2018
   - Vereniging Rembrandt (NL), 01/03/2018


2017 and earlier

•  with J. Ribits, ‘Gilded Goddess: The technical examination of an anonymous Italian gilt leather painting at the Mauritshuis,’ ICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference, Copenhagen, 06/09/2017
•  ‘Beneath the Surface,’ Symposium for book presentation of Genre Paintings in the Mauritshuis, Mauritshuis, The Hague, 18/12/2016

•  Co-organizer of monthly Technical Art History Colloquium. Speaker at 6th colloquium: ‘Genre Paintings: Beneath the Surface,’ Mauritshuis, The Hague,  13/10/2016                                                      

•  ‘A translucent flesh-coloured primuersel: Intermediate layers and visible underdrawing in Jheronimus Bosch’s paintings,’ Jheronimus Bosch: His Life and His Work, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s Hertogenbosch, 16/04/2016

•  ‘Gilded Goddess: The technical examination of a gilt leather painting from the Mauritshuis,’ Symposium Improved conservation strategies for gilt leather, SRAL and Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, 31/03/2016

•  ‘Tempera en olieverftechnieken’ and ‘De opbouw van schilderijen op paneel en op doek,’ Lectures for BA course Kunsttechnieken en Visuele Analyse II, University of Amsterdam, 2014–2021  

•  ‘Surface effects in the Leiden and Amsterdam painters' workshops,’ Colloquium Cornelisz Engebrechtsz in Context, Lakenhal, Leiden, 24/04/2014

•  ‘De restauratie en schildertechniek van vier schilderijen van Kenau,’

  •  lecture in Dutch at the City Hall, Haarlem, 28/05/2014

  •  five public lectures in Dutch for the ‘Neighbours evening’ and ‘Museumweekend’, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, 04-05/04/2014     

•  ‘From the ground up,’

   -  lecture for Conservation Masters students, IAKH, University of Oslo, Norway, 20/08/2014

   -  lecture for Research group in ancient and medieval history at IAKH, University of Oslo, Norway ,  28/08/2013      

•  ‘Surface Effects in Paintings by Jan van Eyck and his predecessors,’ Study Day for The Road to Van Eyck, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 29/10/2012                                                                                        

• ‘Surface effects in paintings by Jan van Eyck,’ Van Eyck Studies Colloquium, Symposium XVIII for the study of underdrawing and technology in painting, Brussels, Belgium, 19/09/2012                          

• ‘From the ground up: Research into early Netherlandish paintings for the Impact of Oil project,’ Gerry Hedley Student Symposium, London, U.K.,  12/06/2012                                                                       

• ‘Introduction to the Impact of Oil’, ‘In search of Van Mander’s primuersel,’ ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice’, and ‘Painting techniques of the sixteenth-century Leiden School’

  -  for the course ‘Materiële Kunstgeschiedenis’ at the University of Amsterdam, 16/04/2012

   -  Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge, U.K., 11/01/2012
• ‘From the ground up,’ Progress report for the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis, University of Utrecht, 24/02/2012

• ‘In search of Van Mander’s primuersel: Coloured intermediate layers in early 16th-century Netherlandish paintings,’ ICOM-CC 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 20/09/2011                        

•  ‘Purpura and proto-changeant: the earliest representations of shot silk fabrics’, presentation with Mark Clarke at ICOM-CC 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal,  20/09/2011                             
•  ‘Making historically appropriate materials from scratch,’ ‘Cornelis Engebrechtsz’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary’, ‘Techniques of the 16th-century Leiden school painters,’ ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice,’ and practical demonstrations as part of the course “The Impact of Oil: Historical painting techniques in early Netherlandish paintings,” Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University, 23/08/2011–01/09/2011.

•  ‘De restauratie in schildertechniek van De Inneming van Damiate van C.C. van Wieringen’, two public lectures in Dutch about a completed treatment, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 17/12/2010, 14/01/2011

•  ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice’, presented with Mark Clarke at the conference Vision & Material: Interaction between art and science in Jan van Eyck’s time, Vlaams Academisch Centrum, Brussels, Belgium, 26/11/2010

•  ‘Art Conservation’, and ‘The restoration and technique of The Capture of Damiate’: two lectures and a museum tour for the American Women’s Club, The Hague, The Netherlands, 14/10/2010, 13/01/2011

•  ‘Restauratie halverwege: De Inneming van Damiate van C.C. van Wieringen’, four public lectures in Dutch about a treatment in progress, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands. Link, 26-27/01/2010     

•  ‘Painting Techniques of the Sixteenth-century Leiden School: The Modelling of Fabrics and Draperies’, presented at the Picture Meeting, Instituut Collectie Nederland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 15/01/2009, and at the Impact of Oil Symposium, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , 26/02/2009

•    ‘Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen’s Cardinal Erard de la Marck and The Holy Family: A Diptych Reunited?’,
  -  at the opening of the exhibition Erard de la Marck en de Heilige Familie: Twee panelen of een tweeluik? at the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 27/01/2008                                        
  -  Diptychs Symposium in connection with the exhibition Vlaamse Primitieven: De mooiste tweeluiken, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium,  26/04/2007                                                          

•    A series of hour-long lectures on the subject of Art Restoration, presented to Canadian schoolchildren aged 13-18. Demonstrated the egg tempera painting technique to groups of students aged 16-18, 10/2007    

•   ‘The Effect of Selected Materials Used for Surface Cleaning Unvarnished Paintings’, presented at the Gerry Hedley Student Symposium, London, UK , 06/2006


2010 - present

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