BAPCR Conference 2020: (British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers)

Visit us at the BAPCR Conference 2020: “Tales Of The Unexpected” In Conservation on Friday 31st January 2020 at The Wallace Collection in London.

Blue Scientific is the official UK and Nordic distributor for Bruker Micro-XRF instruments. For more information or quotes, please get in touch.

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BAPCR 2020

BAPCR 2020 is a one day conference organised by the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers. The event is held once every three years, focussing on a theme.

The conference provides a platform for those working in art conservation and restoration to share and discuss considerations relating to their research and experience.

The theme of the 2020 conference is “Tales of the Unexpected”.

Tales of the Unexpected

New and unexpected discoveries are often made during the course of conservation; sometimes unusual for the artist or period:

  • Unorthodox support or priming
  • Surprising use of a pigment, medium or coating
  • Non-original materials, coatings or additions by a previous conservator/restorer

As well as conservation challenges, sometimes these discoveries have significant implications in terms of art history and ethics.

Technical analysis is often part of this process, especially in museums and galleries. Imaging techniques such as micro-XRF mapping can help reveal and explain unexpected layers, changes in composition and artists’ reworkings. Scientific analysis can also provide information about the materials used, to inform decisions about the conservation process.

Discoveries about unusual materials and previous restorations can alter the course of conservation treatments (strategies, materials or equipment). To reach an appropriate ethical decision, it can be necessary for art historians, heritage professionals, stakeholders and sometimes even the artists themselves to collaborate and work together.

Micro-XRF element mapping of a painting
Micro-XRF is a non-destructive technique for mapping elements used in pigments – more info

Preliminary Programme

The conference will run from 9:30am until 6pm, followed by an evening reception.

  • Hélène Dubois – Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) and Ghent University
    Keynote Address: Conservation, Restoration, Research: The Unexpected Revelations of the Brothers’ Van Eyck Ghent Altarpiece
  • Molly Hughes-Hallett – Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge
    Shedding the Centuries: The Rediscovery of an Early 16th Century Predella
  • Emma Boyce Gore – KSH Conservation Ltd
    When the Unexpected Becomes Expected: Tudor Portraits in Historic Family Collections
  • Marta Melchiorre (speaker), Catherine Higgitt, Rachel Billinge, Marika Spring – The National Gallery, London
    Integration of MA-XRF Scanning and Hyperspectral Imaging into Research and Conservation Activities at the National Gallery
  • Jae Youn Chung (speaker), David Peggie – The National Gallery, London); Mary Kempski, Spike Bucklow – Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge
    Cracking the Dutch Painter Jan Van Der Heyden’s “Special Tricks”
  • Miranda Brain (speaker), Jon Old – The Bowes Museum
    Landscape or Portrait? Ethical Considerations on the Treatment of a Partially Cleaned Painting
  • Rachel Turnbull (speaker), Alice Tate-Harte – English Heritage
    Discovering Beuckelaer
  • Sarah Murray (speaker), Barbara H. Berrie – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
    Sometimes the Unexpected is as Good as Gold: Discovery of Gilded Elements in Tiepolo’s Bacchus and Ariadne
  • Joanna Strombek – Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg – SRAL
    Revealing Secrets of Louis Joseph Le Lorrain? Three Figures Dressed for a Masquerade
  • Joyce Townsend (speaker), Susan Breen, Ian Warrell – Tate
    Turner’s Unknown Portraits
  • Rosanna de Sancha – The Royal Collection Trust
    An Unexpected Product of the George Dawe Painting Factory
  • Silvia Rita Amato (speaker), Maureen Cross, Professor Aviva Burnstock (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Koen Janssens (University of Antwerp); Joris Dik (Delft University of Technology); Laura Cartechini (CNR-ISTM, Perugia); Anne Michelin, Aurélie Tournié (Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris)
    Examining Édouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe from the Courtauld Gallery Using Spectral Imaging Techniques
  • Laura Raven, Erma Hermens – Rijksmuseum
    Conception, Idiosyncrasy and Immateriality in the London Paintings of Matthijs Maris (1839-1917): Reinterpretation and Reassessing Treatment
  • Francesca Secchi – Tate
    A Brief Comparative Study Between Some of Tate’s Collection of Léger Paintings
  • Professor Aviva Burnstock – Courtauld Institute of Art; Sarah MacDougall – Ben Uri Gallery and Museum
    Beneath the Surface: intention and practice in the early work of Mark Gertler


BAPCR will be on Friday 31st January 2020 at The Wallace Collection in London. There are discounted rates for BAPCR members:

  • BAPCR members: £115
  • Non-members: £135
  • BAPCR student members: £57.50 (limited availability)

To book your place, email


The conference will be at The Wallace Collection in London:

Micro-XRF in Art Conservation

Come and see us at BAPCR 2020 to find out about micro-XRF mapping can be used to analyse paintings, and possibly reveal unexpected or hidden details!

Find out how The National Gallery used micro-XRF to reveal a hidden sketch under the paint on a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece for their current exhibition. More info…



  • Large area micro-XRF for museums and galleries
  • Fast, non-destructive element mapping and analysis
  • Convenient portable rig
  • Scan vertically or horizontally
Bruker ELIO Manuscript
Elemental distribution maps reveal hidden details that were later painted over. Taken with the Bruker ELIO.

Further Information

Blue Scientific is the official distributor of Bruker Micro-XRF in the UK and Nordic region. We’re available to answer all your questions – just get in touch:

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or

 Micro-XRF in art conservation