Department of Art History and Art Conservation
Early Netherlandish painting; technical art history; applications of digital imaging in art history; digital humanities
PhD, Groningen University, 2005
Ron Spronk is a professor of Art History with a special interest in painting materials and techniques. He studies the genesis of easel paintings (from Van Eyck to Mondrian) with techniques such as infrared reflectography and X-radiography. Findings from technical examinations often hold critically important art historical information.
Originally from the Netherlands, he moved to the USA in 1993 to start work towards his Ph.D. at Indiana University, Bloomington. Before coming to Queen’s in 2007, he worked at the Harvard Art Museums for 13 years where he undertook several interdisciplinary research and exhibition projects, closely collaborating with other art historians, conservators and conservation scientists.
Among his many publications are two award-winning books: Mondrian: The Transatlantic Paintings (with Harry Cooper) was awarded the 2002 College Art Association/Heritage Preservation Joint Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation, and Prayers and Portraits, Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych (with John O. Hand and Catherine Metzger) received the 2007 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America.
In addition to his professorship at Queen’s, Ron Spronk also holds the Jheronimus Bosch Chair at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He is currently participating in the Bosch Research and Conservation Project, which resulted in a major exhibition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2016 and in a new monograph on this enigmatic artist. He is also closely involved in the current conservation/restoration treatment of the Ghent Altarpiece, for which he coordinated the innovative on-line research tool Closer to Van Eyck. For the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, he co-curated the 2018-19 exhibition Bruegel, The Hand of the Master and the web application Inside Bruegel. At Queen’s, he is currently establishing QU-MoLTAH, a mobile laboratory for technical art history. With this facility, small groups of graduate students will be performing technical examinations in museums in Ontario and beyond.
Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Pénot, Manfred Sellink and Ron Spronk (eds), Bruegel, The Hand of the Master, The 450th Anniversary Edition; Essays in Context, Veurne, 2019.
Matthijs Ilsink, Jos Koldeweij and Ron Spronk, From Bosch’s Stable; Hieronymus Bosch and the Adoration of the Magi, Zwolle 2018.
Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Pénot, Manfred Sellink and Ron Spronk, with Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, Exh. Cat. Bruegel, The Hand of the Master, Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum) 2018; published in Dutch (Hannibal), English (Thames and Hudson) and German (Prestel).
Matthijs Ilsink, Jos Koldeweij, Ron Spronk, Luuk Hoogstede, Robert Erdmann, Rik Klein Gotink, Hanneke Nap and Daan Veldhuizen, Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman, Catalogue Raisonné, London 2016. (Also published in French, German and Dutch).
Luuk Hoogstede, Ron Spronk, Robert Erdmann, Rik Klein Gotink, Matthijs Ilsink, Jos Koldeweij, Hanneke Nap and Daan Veldhuizen, Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman, Technical Studies, Brussels and London 2016.
Ron Spronk, All by Himself? Remarks on painting technique and attributions in regard to Hieronymus Bosch, Nijmegen 2011.
John O. Hand, Catherine Metzger and Ron Spronk, Prayers and Portraits; Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych, Washington D.C. 2006.
Molly Faries and Ron Spronk (eds), Recent Developments in the Technical Examination of Early Netherlandish Painting: Methodology, Limitations, and Perspectives, Cambridge, MA and Turnhout 2003.
John O. Hand and Ron Spronk (eds), Essays in Context; Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych, Cambridge, MA and New Haven 2006.
Harry Cooper and Ron Spronk, Mondrian, The Transatlantic Paintings, Cambridge MA and New Haven 2001.
Maarten van Bommel, Hans Janssen and Ron Spronk (eds), Inside Out Victory Boogie Woogie, Amsterdam and Chicago 2012.