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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Technical study of modern drawings, materrial and meaning in twentieth century artists'  practice
  • Non-destructive, in situ analysis of artists' materials
  • Conservation training and development in workld conflict zones
  • Tacit knowledge in visual arts practice


Richard Mulholland is a practicing paper conservator and technical art historian. His research is primarily concerned with material, technique, and studio process for artists from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century, particularly focusing on material and meaning in mid-twentieth century drawings and sculpture.

Richard is also engaged in research on the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage collections at risk in world conflict zones. He is a partner in HUNAR, a collaborative project involving the provision of conservation and collections management education for students and professionals in post-conflict Afghanistan. He has spent time working in the field in Kabul during a series of projects funded by the British Council Cultural Protection Fund. His research looks at the impact of capacity-building in conservation in the region post-2001. It investigates how alternative pedagogies for training cultural heritage conservation in Afghanistan might be effected for a wider cohort of students as the country moves towards recovery.

At Northumbria, Richard teaches on the Theory and Practice modules of the Conservation of Fine Art MA.

Richard studied Art History at the University of Leicester and Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. He completed his PhD in 2010 at the Royal College of Art, London, and carried out post-doctoral research at the Bodleian Library on the identification of eighteenth-century artists’ pigments using portable Raman spectroscopy, XRF and hyperspectral imaging in order to accurately reconstruct a lost colour chart by the Austrian painter Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1826). Before joining Northumbria in 2019, he spent eighteen years as a museum conservator, working for several museums, including the V&A, the Tate, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Harvard Art Museums.

Education/Academic qualification

Conservation, PhD, Royal College of Art

1 Jan 20051 Jan 2010

Award Date: 1 Jun 2010

Conservation, MA, Northumbria University

9 Jan 19989 Jan 2000

Award Date: 1 Sep 2000

History of Art, BA (Hons), University of Leicester

1 Oct 19931 Jun 1996

Award Date: 1 Jun 1996


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