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Aims and Purpose

Statement of Purpose

The Hamilton Kerr Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for teaching and research in the conservation of easel paintings.

The postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings combines academic teaching and closely supervised studio work and is awarded by the University of Cambridge.

The Institute also offers advanced practical and theoretical internships in the conservation of easel paintings of up to two years’ duration. The internships are designed to allow graduates of a recognised easel paintings conservation training programme the opportunity to concentrate on practical studio work, together with opportunities for research work.

As a department of the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Institute carries out the conservation of paintings and polychromy in its collections, as well as providing conservation services for other clients. These activities provide income to support the Institute and its work, as well as a range of projects which students and interns can undertake, under supervision.

The Institute also undertakes research into conservation techniques, materials and techniques of paintings, disseminating the results by publication, seminars and conferences.

The Institute has the following core aims

  • To teach the postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings to the highest standards and to regularly review the course content in order to respond to the needs of the conservation profession. To this end, staff will be encouraged to keep abreast of new and developing techniques in the treatment and technical analysis of paintings. 
  • To offer internships to recent graduates of recognised conservation programmes. 
  • To undertake the conservation of paintings for the Fitzwilliam Museum and also for a range of public and private clients.
  • To undertake and disseminate research concerning conservation techniques, materials and techniques of paintings. 
  • To actively seek funding in order to undertake research.
  • To collaborate with other institutions on research and conservation projects.
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Artists before Columbus: new research on the Caribbean’s largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art

Oct 30, 2017

Published by the Journal of Archaeological Science on 30 October, the paper reveals key discoveries such as the first direct rock art dates in the Caribbean, how pre-Columbian rock-art was made and their paint recipes.

Two Internships from September 2018

Oct 27, 2017

Two internships will be offered from September 2018. Tenable for 11 months in the first instance, interns may be invited to extend the internship for a further year. Applicants should be recent graduates from a recognised training programme.

A New Intern

Oct 05, 2017

The Hamilton Kerr Institute is delighted to welcome Ms Molly Hughes-Hallett who will join the Institute's prestigious Internship Programme for the academic year 2017-2018.

View all news