ESR10 – Jan Cutajar

Jan Cutajar

Country of Origin: Malta
Host Institution: UiO


Jan completed a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Malta and Bishop’s University, Canada. He went on to train as an objects conservator at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, obtaining an MA in Principles of Conservation, and an MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. He has then worked as a research assistant on joint UCL and National Trust projects, whilst also undertaking conservation projects in the capacity of freelancer in the UK and in the Netherlands, and further afield in Egypt (with the Institut francais de l’archeologie orientale in Cairo), in Sudan (with the University of Michigan and Boston MFA). His professional interests touch upon modern oil paints and monumental canvas paintings, furniture and wooden objects, decorated surfaces, conservation fieldwork on heritage sites, conservation science and conservation outreach (having also published on some of these subjects).

Aspirations within projects:

Jan’s research will revolve around Edvard Munch’s UiO Aula paintings. He is looking forward to building and strengthening his professional network across the conservation and cultural heritage field. He is also keen to learn more about the potential of, and advances in, digital imaging techniques and their application in the heritage domain, and to make them more accessible to conservators in the lab, and on the field, as part of their toolkit for treatment. He also anticipates immersing himself in Munch’s unique artworks, and fostering a growing awareness for his works in the public eye within a European context and beyond. Finally, in merging aspects of both conservation science and practice, he hopes this project will stimulate the continued honing of his skills both as a practicing conservator and as a heritage researcher, and thus allow him to contribute towards the improvement and amelioration of the profession and the care of cultural heritage.

ESR10: Imaging-based documentation and analysis for change monitoring of novel dry-cleaning restoration/ conservation methods for unvarnished canvas paintings


  • Identify unvarnished oil paints on Munch’s UiO Aula paintings that are vulnerable to dirt accumulation and related dry-cleaning methods.
  • Develop representative paint mock-ups for documentation and novel cleaning tests.
  • Perform relevant accelerated aging and testing followed by documentation.
  • Investigate, evaluate and document changes with support of case-studies.

Main Supervisor:


  • Cutajar, J. D., J. Y. Hardeberg, E. Joseph, T. Frøysaker (2020): “MUNCH: Monitoring Munch’s monumental Unvarnished oil paintings: exploring Novel change documentation methods and Cleaning techniques using Hyperspectral imaging”. In: The AIC Paintings Speciality Group Postprints, 48th Virtual Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, May 21-September 2, 2020, vol 33. Washington DC: AIC. [In press].
  • Cutajar, J., A. Babini, H. Deborah, J. Y. Hardeberg, E. Joseph, T. Frøysaker (2022). Hyperspectral Imaging Analyses of Cleaning Tests on Edvard Munch's Monumental Aula Paintings. Studies in Conservation.