Reconstructed 19th century cochineal lake pigment drying on filter paper [Photo: Mark Clarke]

ATSR: Working Group on Art Technological Source Research


The main objective of the ATSR working group is to encourage research into art technological sources, i.e. historical documentary sources that describe and explain artists' materials and techniques, and to promote the use of these sources in a variety of related fields.

'Art technological source research' is an essential component of 'technical art history', of the science of conservation/restoration, and of art history.


ATSR is a Working Group of The International Council of Museums - Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC).

As such, ICOM requires that full membership of the ATSR Working Group be available only to members of ICOM. ATSR would encourage any individual or institution that is interested and eligible to consider taking out ICOM membership.

      [How to join ICOM] and the [Benefits of ICOM membership]

See also the official ICOM-CC website for ATSR:

     Non-member 'Friends' of ATSR
Nevertheless both the ATSR group and ICOM-CC value non-members and welcomes them in all events, meetings and conferences. Consequently individuals, organisations, and institutions that are not members of ICOM are welcome to attend ATSR meetings, and may request to be added to the mailing list : being such a 'friend' of ATSR is free of charge.

Requests for membership, to be added to the ATSR mailing list (either as ICOM member or as an 'interested friend'), or simply for further information, email

Forthcoming conference

     Sources on Art Technology: Back to Basics

     The sixth symposium of the ICOM-CC Working Group Art Technological Source Research
     Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th of June 2014
     At the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

     [Conference website]

Recent conference / Forthcoming publication

      Making and transforming art: changes in artists' materials and practice

      22-23 November 2012 Brussels
      Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA)


The proceedings will be published by Archetype Publications Ltd.

ATSR Publications

Art of the Past - Sources and Reconstructions London: Archetype 2005. ISBN: 1904982018
Art Technology : Sources and Methods London: Archetype 2008. ISBN: 9781904982296
Sources and Serendipity: Testimonies of Artist's Practice London: Archetype 2009.ISBN 9781904982524
The Artist's Process: Technology and Interpretation London: Archetype 2012. ISBN 9781904982739
  In addition, papers from the ATSR Working Group are published in the proceedings of the ICOM-CC Triennial Meetings for 2008 (New Delhi) and 2011 (Lisbon).   [Details]

The History of ATSR
The Art Technological Source Research working group (ATSR) was conceived of by Ad Stijnman and inaugurated at a meeting at the Instituut Collectie Nederland in Amsterdam on 20 March 2002. The ATSR held four international symposiums (Amsterdam 2004, Madrid 2006, Glasgow 2008, Vienna 2010), with another forthcoming (Brussels 2012). The proceedings of these have been published, see above. ATSR has been accorded Working Group status by the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC).


[] [ATSR Home Page at ICOM-CC]     Website maintained by Mark Clarke     Last updated 13 August 2012