Dr Mark Richter
Lecturer in Technical Art History
History of Art, University of Glasgow
Mark is currently leading the scientific examination of five 16th-century Spanish portrait paintings being investigated for the project Unwrapping an Icon: New Research on the Lady in a Fur Wrap in the Stirling Maxwell Collection, Pollok House (Glasgow). This is a collaboration with colleagues (Dr Hilary Macartney and Professor Nick Pearce) in History of Art at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Museums, Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid and National Trust Scotland. He is also leading the scientific examination of two important monumental polychrome Romanesque choir screens in Halberstadt and Eilenstedt (eastern Germany). This is a collaboration between Technical Art History at Glasgow, Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art (Halle, Germany) and the Doerner Institut (Bavarian State Paintings Collection, Munich, Germany). Other projects include the material-technical investigation of Alexander Runciman’s murals ‘Ascension of Christ’ and ‘Samaritan Woman at the Well’ in the former New Episcopalian Chapel in Edinburgh.
Mark has a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a masters degree in the conservation-restoration of easel paintings and polychrome wooden sculpture from the University of Applied Sciences (Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences).
He began his career as a freelance conservator specializing in the conservation-restoration of easel paintings and polychrome sculpture in Munich (Germany). Between 2000 and 2009 he moved his focus completely towards art-technological research, and was technical coordinator and researcher of research projects on German and Japanese polychrome sculpture funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Council respectively. From 2010 to 2012 he was a researcher on work packages WP3 (Scientific excellence) and WP10 (Innovative methodologies and instrumentation for laboratory research) of the EU-Project CHARISMA (Cultural Heritage Advanced Research Infrastructures: Synergy for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Conservation/Restoration), focusing on the use and analysis (Raman microscopy) of natural and early synthetic organic pigments and dyes in paintings (Doerner Institut, Munich).
Mark joined the Technical Art History Group in 2013, bringing experience of practicing Technical Art History for over two decades as a research methodology for the study of paintings (easel and mural) and polychrome works of art (sculpture, architecture). He has worked with internationally recognized specialists and institutions such as AMOLF (Laboratories of the MOLART group, Amsterdam), the Doerner Institut (Bavarian State Paintings Collection, Munich), Bern University of Applied Sciences (Department of Conservation HKB, Art Technological Laboratory, Bern) and Museo del Prado (scientific department). He specializes in the scientific examination of cultural heritage, with a specific focus on the study of materials, artistic techniques and material degradation as well as the use of scientific examination techniques suitable for the investigation of cultural heritage objects. His methodology includes a comprehensive approach to analysis of paint samples, and he has a special interest in artists’ pigments and the localisation and identification of binding media within paint cross sections.