Training: general information

It is possible to do a work placement within each of IRPA's three departments:

Conservation-Restoration: In Conservation-Restoration, interns are accepted in any one of the following studios: paintings, wall paintings, stone sculpture, polychrome wood sculpture, textiles, glass or decorative finishes on historic buildings. They carry out a range of conservation and restoration projects at the Institute and on site in churches and museums. Prior to any conservation treatment, interns thoroughly examine and document the art object. The interns also undertake technical and art historical research on the works of art in their care. For both examination and research purposes, interns are encouraged to exploit a variety of methods including x-radiography, infrared reflectography, ultraviolet fluorescence examination, binocular microscopy and sample analysis. Guided by the head of studio, interns learn to organise their own practical and research projects and gradually become autonomous in their work.

Laboratories: In the Laboratories, interns specialise in one of the following: paper analysis, textiles analysis, monuments, paint layer analysis, dating techniques (radiocarbon 14 dating, dendrochronology). They carry out scientific analyses related to the study of the techniques and materials of works of art as well as materials used in conservation. Scientific projects are possible in the framework of a particular analytical technique, applied research projects or a combination of both. Interns become familiar with a variety of analytical apparatus which they learn to operate. In case of applied research projects, interns are required to prepare at least one paper for publication in an international journal.

Documentation: In Documentation, interns work in the Documentation Centre and the archives. They learn how to use the archiving system through the introduction of complete data entries in the ADLIB database. Interns participate in inventory work and research and help manage the reading room and public service desk.

To complement their practical training, interns attend a series of lectures and visits related to conservation practice, materials and techniques of works of art in Belgium and analytical research. The lectures are given by members of staff in their particular fields of expertise as well as by outside speakers. The programme is revised and adapted each year.

At the end of the internship, interns are required to submit a detailed written report. They are also expected to give an illustrated oral presentation of their most interesting project(s) to staff members.

The individual supervisors and supporting staff do their utmost to ensure that interns receive the highest quality training and experience during their time at KIK-IRPA. The internship coordinator, Géraldine Patigny, is always available to help out with any problems or questions.

Placement openings can vary from year to year, depending on staff availability and projects.