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Princeton University Art Museum names Bart J. C. Devolder new Conservator of Collections
Widely recognized for his technical skills, Devolder has coordinated an international team of conservators on the Ghent Altarpiece Restoration Project for the past five years. Photo: Griet Dekoninck.

PRINCETON, NJ.- The Princeton University Art Museum announced that Bart J. C. Devolder will join the Museum staff as conservator of collections, beginning July 1, 2018. Devolder will be responsible for leadership and operation of the Museum’s conservation laboratory and for the physical care of the Museum’s extensive collections.

As conservator at the Princeton University Art Museum, Devolder will examine, document, analyze, research and preserve objects from all areas of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning a period of 50,000 years. As a paintings specialist, Devolder is expected to personally oversee and carry out the conservation of works in the Museum’s paintings holdings. Additionally, he will develop and oversee faculty and student collaborations, including innovative art–science partnerships.

“Building on an august legacy of paintings conservation at Princeton, Bart Devolder brings important scientific, aesthetic and leadership skills, especially as we consider how to grow the conservation work we do at Princeton,” notes James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher-David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director. “We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to the Princeton community.”

Widely recognized for his technical skills, Devolder has coordinated an international team of conservators on the Ghent Altarpiece Restoration Project for the past five years. This large, complex altarpiece, designed and painted by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck and dedicated in 1432, is considered one of the world’s greatest artistic treasures. Before joining the team as on-site coordinator and painting conservator for the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece, Devolder worked for the Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, first as assistant conservator of paintings (2007-10) and later as associate conservator of paintings (2010-12).

Devolder received his Master of Arts in painting conservation from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium, in 2002. He held internships at the Akademia Sztuk Pieknych Krakow, Poland; the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels; and the Musée du Louvre, Paris. He received a fellowship from the Straus Center for Conservation at the Harvard University Art Museums (2004-2005) and was the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Painting Conservation at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2005-2007).

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