Mikkel Scharff
1981 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Mikkel Scharff, associate professor at the Institute for Conservation at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design, and Conservation (KADK), Copenhagen, Denmark, IIC Fellow, received MSc in Painting Conservation in 1987 from the School of Conservation, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK), Copenhagen, Denmark. From 1987 lecturer at the School of Conservation, from 1992 Head of the Department of Paintings (and Provost 1992-2008). In addition, head of the Monumental Art department 2004-2010). 2013-2018 Head of the School of Conservation, and head of the Institute of Conservation, at KADK.

Scharff has been lecturing and/or researched structural treatment of canvas paintings, technical-analytical photography, preventive conservation, ancient and medieval sculptural polychromy, technical art history, and history of conservation of paintings in Denmark and abroad.

Scharff has a wide network within conservation and conservation science and has been partner in national and international research projects on a selection of the mentioned subjects. 

Scharff has been involved in the national research collaboration on technical art history, CATS (financed project by the Velux and Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundations 2011-2016 - and ongoing as research network, consisting of three partners: the National Museum of Denmark, SMK - the National Gallery of Denmark and the School of Conservation KADK) and a number of international EU-funded projects, such as INCCA (1999-2002), PROPAINT (2007-2010), MEMORI (2010-2013), CollectionCare (2019-2022). The latter three projects examine how cultural heritage (eg paintings) can be protected against unfavourable climatic variations or conditions in micro climate frame systems and using specially designed sensors and software in order to be able to alert users at unfavourable consitions in museums and storage. In association with CATS Scharff is since 2015 participating in the European research infrastructure IPERION_CH - and preparations are ongoing to establish a permanent research infrastructure for heritage science in Europe.

Scharff has lectured at international conferences, written or co-written a number of papers, book chapters and other types of professional dissemination on the mentioned subjects. Furthermore, dissemination to the interested public by means of the printed and electronic media, exhibitions, etc. 

Mikkel Scharff has served as council member of international professional museum and conservation organizations, for example: 1990-1996 as coordinator for the working group on paintings at the International Council of Museums - Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC), 1996-2004 as Treasurer of the ICOM-CC Council, 2000-2012 as Secretary of the Danish ICOM National Committee, and since 2007 as member of the IIC Council, serving as vice-president since 2013.

In connection with the work of international conservation organizations, research projects and research networks, Mikkel Scharff has participated in the planning and organization of estimated 20 major international congresses / conferences, each with 500-1000 participants. Furthermore Scharff has been participating in the planning and organization of a number of smaller international congresses / conferences (100-300 participants), typically in connection with research projects.Peer-review and editorial work in connection with these conferences / projects, where each of the larger congresses has resulted in 50-150 peer-reviewed articles and lectures.



Research area

  • Conservation
  • Conservation of paintings
  • Structural treatment of canvas paintings
  • Multispectral imaging
  • Preventive conservation
  • Technical art history
  • History of conservation
  • Materials
  • Cultural and natural heritage
  • Analysis and deterioration