About me

Claartje van Haaften, a member of the Association of Restorers (VDR), is an employed conservator of plastics at the German Historical Museum and offers restoration services for modern and contemporary art for museum clients, galleries and private individuals in her own studio in Berlin. She also passes on her practical experience in the context of teaching assignments and workshops as well as accompanying research projects. She studied art history at the University of Amsterdam (master's degree) and subsequently completed a degree in the restoration of paintings and painted objects, specialising in modern art, at SRAL (Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg) in Maastricht. From 2006 to 2009 she worked at Contemporary Conservation, Ltd. with Christian Scheidemann in New York. From 2010 to 2012 she was coordinator of the postgraduate programme Restoration of Modern Art at SRAL, affiliated with the University of Amsterdam. From 2013 to 2014 she was a sculpture conservator at Tate Britain. From 2014 to March 2018, she was a special projects conservator at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where she published her book on the conservation of slide installations (together with Barbara Sommermeyer). From 2019 and through the Covid pandemic until July 2024 she co-organised nineteen art exhibitions and two auction events with project space GLUE, curated by DAG, besides other artists, in her function as a board member of Werketage e.V., Berlin.

The restoration of modern and contemporary art is a new area of specialisation. Contemporary art often finds its meaning in unconventional materials and very individual methods. For example, artists use food, plastics, industrially manufactured objects, electrical appliances and household paints in their works. Over time, the context of the work changes, creating new, contemporary meanings. The materials also age, changing their appearance and enabling a new interpretation of the work. These important aspects are taken into account in the professional restoration of damaged works of contemporary art, whereby the artist's original idea and the integrity of the materials take centre stage.