Dr Erma Hermens

  • Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in Technical Art (History of Art)

Research interests

Office Hour: Email for appointment

Research Interests

My main research interests concern every aspect of the artistic process: from idea to artwork, the materials chosen and their meaning, tools and processes used, the original intent of the artist, all set against an art historical/cultural/theoretical context. My research focuses on: 

  • Technical art history, and especially historical painting techniques, materials and studio practice of a variety of artists and periods. Technical art history is a new multidisciplinary research area linking together art historical research and scientific analysis. Its emphasis is on the application of new and established scientific techniques to art object-based research, drawing together the disciplines of art history, conservation and the physical sciences to create an interdisciplinary analytical framework in which we can gain insights into artists’ methods and intentions, attribution issues, changes of appearance, and preservation.
  • Testimonies on artistic practice. Research of historic sources: written such as treatises, manuals, recipes, correspondence, ledgers; and visual such as studio interiors images of the artist at work, tools and materials, photographs, film artists’ interviews; material such as historic tools or pigment collections, but also results from material analyses of artifacts.
  • Dutch and Flemish painting of the 16th and 17th century, focusing on the making, meaning and market.
  • Authenticity. The interpretation of authenticity in the context of the material aspects of the artist’s original intent, including modern and contemporary artists' practice.
  • History of Conservation and conservation ethics and especially the role of authenticity in conservation decision-making processes both in the past and present, and in conservation ethics.

Biography

Erma is the Lord Kelvin-Adam Smith Lecturer in Technical Art History andleads the Technical Art History strand of the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History. She is the Convenor of the MLitt programme Making and Meaning: Approaches in Technical Art History. Trained as a paintings conservator and with a PhD in the history of art from Leiden University, she has organised several international symposia in this interdisciplinary field. She is chief editor of the new on-line edition of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and to be launched this autumn.

 

Grants

  • European Culture Fund until March 2013 (399,000 euro, funded for 50%, Strand Collaborative Projects) Partner in collaboration with Glasgow Museums, with Dr Jorgen Wadum and colleagues, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen; Greta Koppel and colleagues, Kadriorg Art Museum, Tallinn. Interdisciplinary, collaborative research on four 16th century Boschian paintings, all showing the same scene of Christ Chasing the Money Lenders from the Temple.
    Four Paintings Magnified - Tracing Bosch and Bruegel
  • National Gallery Travel Grant 2011 (£1,150) with Peter Black (curator, Hunterian Art Gallery), to research the exhibition ‘Rembrandt and the Passion’
  • Chancellor’s Fund 2011 (£3,250) with Dr Richard Jones (Archaeology), Dr Anita Quye (Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History) to hire a portable XRF to support various research projects
  • British Academy Small Research Grant until August 2011(£5,000) with Dr Patricia de Montfort (History of Art, University of Glasgow), ‘Whistler’s Water colours: Technique and Style’, for exhibition at the Freer Gallery, Washington DC and Hunterian Art Gallery
  • British Academy Small Research Grant 2010-11 (£7,000) ‘Tracing Bosch and Bruegel: Four paintings magnified’

 

Supervision

I welcome enquiries about PhD projects in any of the above mentioned areas of interest.

Rebecca Gordon, AHRC PhD candidate ‘Replace, reinstall, restore: a reconsideration of material authenticity in Contemporary Art in Scotland’

This PhD project focuses on material authenticity. ‘Authenticity’ is one of the most influential factors that determine a course of action for a work of art in need of conservation. And yet it is also one of the most contested. At a time when contemporary artists are pushing material authenticity to the extreme, with the traditional notion of the authentic hand of the artist and the resultant authentic experience being overtly flouted, how can the authentic artwork be identified and defined? Degradation and ephemera are often key features in Contemporary Art, and the acts of ‘replacement’ and ‘re-installation’ are frequently essential parts of the artist’s original intent, thrusting the relation between concept and matter into flux. Is the material identity of the artwork still pertinent? Do we need to redefine our notion of authenticity; what implications would that have for the preservation and display of contemporary art?

Christa Gattringer, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith PhD candidate ‘17th Century Antwerp Studio Practice: an Interdisciplinary Approach’

This PhD Project entails a thorough art historical and technical analysis of a selection of works from the Glasgow Museums, National Galleries of Scotland, and Hunterian Art Gallery, which represent specific aspects of Antwerp 17th-Century studio practice. The research addresses the characteristics of Antwerp painting practice, including preliminary stages such as drawings and oil sketches, by combining art historical and technical research data. Art historical research, and research into contemporary art technological sources will be combined with scientific analyses - lead isotope and elemental analyses of pigments, identification of binding media - done in collaboration with co-supervisors Prof Tony Fallick and Prof Rob Ellam, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and investigation of underdrawings (infrared reflectography), x-radiography and microscopic examination of the paint surface.

Teaching

  • Junior Honours: Dutch Painting in the Golden Age: Technique and Style
  • Senior Honours: Dutch and Flemish 17th-century Painting: Making, Meaning and Market
  • Postgraduate: The Authentic Artwork (MLitt course)
  • Postgraduate: Art in the Making: Historical Techniques (MLitt course)
  • Postgraduate: Deconstructing the Artefact: Materials Investigation (MLitt course)
  • Postgraduate: Technical Art History: Making and Meaning (MLitt programme) - Convenor

Additional information

Administration

External Responsibilities

  • Chief editor, on-line edition of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History

Conference organisation

  • Erma Hermens & Ailsa Boyd, Study and Serendipity: Testimonies on Artists’ Practice, 3rd ATSR conference, ICOM-CC, 9-10 June 2008, University of Glasgow
  • Erma Hermens & Tina Fiske, Symposium Art, Conservation and Authenticities: Material, Context and Concept, 12-14 September 2007, University of Glasgow/ICON Scotland

Selected Lectures and Session Chairs

‘James McNeill Whistler, conservation and experiments’, speaker (and session chair) Technical Art History Conference, Kadriorg Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, 8-9 June, 2011.

Lecture ‘Looking through Vermeer: Reflections on his Painting Techniques’, National Gallery Edinburgh, January 2011 (with exhibition The Young Vermeer)

Sally Rush and Erma Hermens, ‘Portraits of James V of Scotland – adaptation and emulation’, Symposium Tudor and Jacobean Painting: Production, Influences and Patronage, 2-4 December 2010, National Portrait Gallery, London

Session chair, The Technical Examination of Old Master Drawings: a symposium in conservation science, British Museum, 20th May 2010

‘James McNeill Whistler and his studio practice’, National Gallery of Denmark Copenhagen lecture series

‘James McNeill Whistler, fluidity, finish and experiment’, National Gallery London Conference, The National Gallery Technical Bulletin 30th Anniversary Conference 16th – 18th September 2009.

Session convenor ‘Many Hands Make Light Work: the Division, Status and Valuation of Artistic Labour in 16th- and 17th-century Northern European Art’, AAH Annual Conference 2010, 15 - 17 April, University of Glasgow

Key note at Lord Kelvin Adam Smith seminar on interdisciplinary research, University of Glasgow, April 2009

Lecture: ‘Landscapes of Paul Bril: reality or fantasy’, National Gallery, Edinburgh, October 2008

‘En plein soleil: Whistler, Nature and Memory ‘, at ‘Study and Serendipity: Testimonies on Artists’ Practice’, 3rd international Symposium of the Art Technological Source Research Working Group, ICOM-CC, 9-10 June, 2008

‘The Pesaro Court Workshops: Organisation, Collaboration and Production’, 34th annual AAH conference, 2-4 April 2008, Tate Britain

‘The Mariani-Cibo treatise: contents and context’, International Institute of Conservation symposium, Munich, September 2006

Lecture ‘Rembrandt in the studio’, National Gallery, Edinburgh, June 16 2006

Lecture ‘James McNeill Whistler’s oil paintings: texture or conjecture’. March 24, 2006, Conference ‘Authenticity and Conservation’, Glasgow University

Lecture ‘Dutch 17th century landscape painting: making and meaning’, National Gallery, Edinburgh, October 2005

Lecture on Rembrandt’s self portrait , National Gallery, Edinburgh, June 2005

 

 

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2006 | 2005 | 2002 | 2001
Number of items: 26.

2014

Gordon, R., Hermens, E. and Lennard, F., (Eds.) (2014) Authenticity and Replication: The ‘Real Thing’ in Art and Art Conservation. Archetype Publications, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982999 (In Press)

Hermens, E., (Ed.) (2014) European Paintings 15th-18th Century: Copying, Emulating and Replicating. Archetype Publications. ISBN 9781909492066

Black , P., Hermens, E., and Howard, H. (2014) After Raphael: the Hunterian Entombment copy examined in the context of copying practices in early 17th-century Rome. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) European Paintings 15th-18th Century: Copying, Replicating and Emulating. Archetype, London, pp. 95-104. ISBN 9781909492066

2013

Gordon, R., and Hermens, E. (2013) The artist's intent in flux. In: Conservation: Cultures and Conventions: ICOM-CC Theory and History Working Group, 16-17 May 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hermens, E., and Townsend, J. (2013) Binding media in Western European painting. In: Stoner, J.H. and Rushfield, R. (eds.) Painting Conservation. Swales & Willis, London, UK, pp. 207-213. (In Press)

Nadolny, J., Clarke, M., Hermens, E., Massing, A., and Carlyle, L. (2013) Art technological source research: documentary sources on European painting to the twentieth century, with appendices I-VII. In: Stoner, J.H. and Rushfield, R. (eds.) Painting Conservation. Swales & Willis, London, UK, pp. 4-32. (In Press)

2012

Black, P., and Hermens, E. (2012) Rembrandt and the Passion. [Exhibition]

Black, P., and Hermens, E. (2012) Rembrandt and the Passion. Prestel, Munich, London and New York. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E., ed. (2012) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781904982784

Haack-Christensen, A., Hermens, E., Nurske, A., Tempest, H., Smith, P., and Wadum, J. (2012) Christ driving the traders from the temple: painting materials and techniques in the context of 16th century Antwerp studio practice. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781904982784

Hermens, E. (2012) Technical art history: the synergy of art, conservation and science. In: Lenain, T., Locher, H., Pinotti, A., Rampley, M., Schoell-Glass, C. and Zijlmans, K. (eds.) Art History and Visual Studies in Europe: Transnational Discourses and National Frameworks. Series: Brill's studies in intellectual history (212/4). Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789004218772

Hermens, E. (2012) The passion in paint, a technical investigation. In: Black, P. and Hermens, E. (eds.) Rembrandt and The Passion. Prestel Verlag, Munich, Germany, 101 -134. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E. (2012) The passion in paint: a technical investigation. In: Black, P. (ed.) Rembrandt and the Passion. Prestel. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E., and Koppel, G. (2012) Copying for the art market in 16th century Antwerp: a tale of Bosch and Bruegel. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 81-95. ISBN 9781904982784

2011

Hermens, E., and Wallert, A. (2011) James McNeill Whistler, fluidity, finish and experiment. In: Spring, M., Howard, H., Christensen, C., Lomax, S.Q., Palmer, M. and Wilcox, S. (eds.) Studying Old Master Paintings: Technology and Practice: the National Gallery Technical Bulletin 30th Anniversary Conference Postprints. Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 229-236. ISBN 9781904982630

2010

Hermens, E., Meacock, J. and Petri, G., (Eds.) (2010) Connecting Whistler: Essays in Honour of Margaret F. MacDonald. Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, pp. 49-56.

Hermens, E. (2010) A note on Whistler's Venetian pastels: bright beauty - merry lightness and daintiness. In: Hermens, E., Meacock, J. and Petri, G. (eds.) Connecting Whistler: Essays in Honour of Margaret F. MacDonald. Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, pp. 49-56.

2009

Hermens, E. and Fiske, T., (Eds.) (2009) Art, Conservation and Authenticities: Material, Concept, Context. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982517

Hermens, E. and Townsend, J., (Eds.) (2009) Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artists' Practice. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982524

Hermens, E., and MacDonald, M. (2009) En plein soleil: Whistler, nature and memory. In: Hermens, E. and Townsend, J.H. (eds.) Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artists' Practice. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982524

2006

Hermens, E. (2006) The Mariani-Cibo Treatise: Contents and Context. In: Proceedings IIC Symposium 'The Object in Context: Crossing Conservation Boundaries', 28 August - 1 September, Munich.

2005

Dik, J., Hermens, E., Peschar, R., and Schenk, H. (2005) Early Production Recipes for Lead Antimonate Yellow in Italian Art. Archaeometry, 47 (3). pp. 593-607. ISSN 0003-813X (doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2005.00221X)

Hermens, E., and Weerdenburg, S. (2005) Prints and Painting: A note on the use of Andrea Mantegna's Entombment Print. ArtMatters, 2 . pp. 109-116. ISSN 1571-3806

Hermens, E., and MacDonald, M. (2005) Whistler in the studio. In: Clarke, M., Townsend, J. and Stijnman, A. (eds.) Art of the Past: Sources and Reconstruction: Proceedings of the First Symposium of the Art Technological Source Research Study Group. Archetype Publications with the participation of ICN Amsterdam, London, UK, pp. 78-84. ISBN 9781904982012

2002

Hermens, E., Kwakernaak, A., and van der Berg, K.J. (2002) A Travel Experience: the Corot Painting Box. Mathijs Maris and 9th Century Tube Paints. Art Matters, 1 . pp. 104-121. ISSN 1571-3806

2001

Hermens, E. (2001) Two landscape drawings by Gherardo Cibo. In: Bartelings, N. and de Clerck, B. (eds.) Uit het Leidse Prentenkabinet. Over tekeningen, prenten en foto's bij het afscheid van Anton Boschloo. Primavera , Leiden. ISBN 978-90-74310-79-6

This list was generated on Fri Oct 24 11:03:46 2014 BST.
Number of items: 26.

Article

Dik, J., Hermens, E., Peschar, R., and Schenk, H. (2005) Early Production Recipes for Lead Antimonate Yellow in Italian Art. Archaeometry, 47 (3). pp. 593-607. ISSN 0003-813X (doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2005.00221X)

Hermens, E., and Weerdenburg, S. (2005) Prints and Painting: A note on the use of Andrea Mantegna's Entombment Print. ArtMatters, 2 . pp. 109-116. ISSN 1571-3806

Hermens, E., Kwakernaak, A., and van der Berg, K.J. (2002) A Travel Experience: the Corot Painting Box. Mathijs Maris and 9th Century Tube Paints. Art Matters, 1 . pp. 104-121. ISSN 1571-3806

Book

Black, P., and Hermens, E. (2012) Rembrandt and the Passion. Prestel, Munich, London and New York. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E., ed. (2012) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781904982784

Book Section

Black , P., Hermens, E., and Howard, H. (2014) After Raphael: the Hunterian Entombment copy examined in the context of copying practices in early 17th-century Rome. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) European Paintings 15th-18th Century: Copying, Replicating and Emulating. Archetype, London, pp. 95-104. ISBN 9781909492066

Hermens, E., and Townsend, J. (2013) Binding media in Western European painting. In: Stoner, J.H. and Rushfield, R. (eds.) Painting Conservation. Swales & Willis, London, UK, pp. 207-213. (In Press)

Nadolny, J., Clarke, M., Hermens, E., Massing, A., and Carlyle, L. (2013) Art technological source research: documentary sources on European painting to the twentieth century, with appendices I-VII. In: Stoner, J.H. and Rushfield, R. (eds.) Painting Conservation. Swales & Willis, London, UK, pp. 4-32. (In Press)

Haack-Christensen, A., Hermens, E., Nurske, A., Tempest, H., Smith, P., and Wadum, J. (2012) Christ driving the traders from the temple: painting materials and techniques in the context of 16th century Antwerp studio practice. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781904982784

Hermens, E. (2012) Technical art history: the synergy of art, conservation and science. In: Lenain, T., Locher, H., Pinotti, A., Rampley, M., Schoell-Glass, C. and Zijlmans, K. (eds.) Art History and Visual Studies in Europe: Transnational Discourses and National Frameworks. Series: Brill's studies in intellectual history (212/4). Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789004218772

Hermens, E. (2012) The passion in paint, a technical investigation. In: Black, P. and Hermens, E. (eds.) Rembrandt and The Passion. Prestel Verlag, Munich, Germany, 101 -134. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E. (2012) The passion in paint: a technical investigation. In: Black, P. (ed.) Rembrandt and the Passion. Prestel. ISBN 9783791347363

Hermens, E., and Koppel, G. (2012) Copying for the art market in 16th century Antwerp: a tale of Bosch and Bruegel. In: Hermens, E. (ed.) On the Trail of Bosch and Bruegel: Four Paintings United Under Cross-examination. Series: CATS series of technical studies . Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 81-95. ISBN 9781904982784

Hermens, E., and Wallert, A. (2011) James McNeill Whistler, fluidity, finish and experiment. In: Spring, M., Howard, H., Christensen, C., Lomax, S.Q., Palmer, M. and Wilcox, S. (eds.) Studying Old Master Paintings: Technology and Practice: the National Gallery Technical Bulletin 30th Anniversary Conference Postprints. Archetype Publications, London, UK, pp. 229-236. ISBN 9781904982630

Hermens, E. (2010) A note on Whistler's Venetian pastels: bright beauty - merry lightness and daintiness. In: Hermens, E., Meacock, J. and Petri, G. (eds.) Connecting Whistler: Essays in Honour of Margaret F. MacDonald. Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, pp. 49-56.

Hermens, E., and MacDonald, M. (2009) En plein soleil: Whistler, nature and memory. In: Hermens, E. and Townsend, J.H. (eds.) Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artists' Practice. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982524

Hermens, E., and MacDonald, M. (2005) Whistler in the studio. In: Clarke, M., Townsend, J. and Stijnman, A. (eds.) Art of the Past: Sources and Reconstruction: Proceedings of the First Symposium of the Art Technological Source Research Study Group. Archetype Publications with the participation of ICN Amsterdam, London, UK, pp. 78-84. ISBN 9781904982012

Hermens, E. (2001) Two landscape drawings by Gherardo Cibo. In: Bartelings, N. and de Clerck, B. (eds.) Uit het Leidse Prentenkabinet. Over tekeningen, prenten en foto's bij het afscheid van Anton Boschloo. Primavera , Leiden. ISBN 978-90-74310-79-6

Edited Book

Gordon, R., Hermens, E. and Lennard, F., (Eds.) (2014) Authenticity and Replication: The ‘Real Thing’ in Art and Art Conservation. Archetype Publications, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982999 (In Press)

Hermens, E., (Ed.) (2014) European Paintings 15th-18th Century: Copying, Emulating and Replicating. Archetype Publications. ISBN 9781909492066

Hermens, E., Meacock, J. and Petri, G., (Eds.) (2010) Connecting Whistler: Essays in Honour of Margaret F. MacDonald. Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, pp. 49-56.

Hermens, E. and Fiske, T., (Eds.) (2009) Art, Conservation and Authenticities: Material, Concept, Context. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982517

Hermens, E. and Townsend, J., (Eds.) (2009) Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artists' Practice. Archetype, London, UK. ISBN 9781904982524

Conference Proceedings

Gordon, R., and Hermens, E. (2013) The artist's intent in flux. In: Conservation: Cultures and Conventions: ICOM-CC Theory and History Working Group, 16-17 May 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hermens, E. (2006) The Mariani-Cibo Treatise: Contents and Context. In: Proceedings IIC Symposium 'The Object in Context: Crossing Conservation Boundaries', 28 August - 1 September, Munich.

Exhibition

Black, P., and Hermens, E. (2012) Rembrandt and the Passion. [Exhibition]

This list was generated on Fri Oct 24 11:03:46 2014 BST.