Research into the Composition and Application of Dry Cleaning Materials- November 18th

Posted on Nov 7, 2013

A Workshop with Henk van Keulen of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

students participating in a workshop

Monday, November 18, 2013
MacMillan Education Center | Smithsonian American Art Museum

Unvarnished paintings can typically be cleaned by swab rolling the surface with water or aqueous solvents, except in cases where surfaces are sensitive to water or other solvents. In such cases, alternatives are mandatory, as dry cleaning, based on mechanical action. The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) dry cleaning research project 2006-2009 investigated a broad range of dry cleaning materials with very variable affinities with paint surfaces.  Henk van Keulen, conservation scientist, will present the research performed into the composition of the dry cleaning materials, and the possible (long term) effect of chemical residues present on the paint surface after cleaning.

Henk van Keulen is a conservation scientist employed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) since 1994. He was trained in analytical chemistry and particularly in Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. He is currently engaged in the analyses of traditional and modern organic materials from different source, such as paintings, furniture and modern art.

This full day workshop will begin at 10:00 AM. Space is limited. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Christopher Wayner ( to secure your seat and receive additional information.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is located at:
8th and F Streets NW
Washington, DC 20004

Metro: Gallery Place (Red, Yellow and Green lines)