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Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
37. (Paintings) Archiving for the Museums Using the Ultra-High Resolution Scanning System

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On May 18, 2015, the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation (Tokyo, JAPAN) closed its doors in preparation for the construction of a new building, presenting us with a unique window of opportunity for performing ultra-high resolution scans of the museum’s most valuable paintings. The Ishibashi Foundation Collection includes more than 2,600 works of art. The core of the collection consists of 19th century Impressionist paintings from France, 20th century Western art, Japanese Western-style paintings, and so on. While the museum was closed to the public, an ultra-high resolution digital archiving project was undertaken for conservation of artworks and digital exhibitions. The museum chose to use scanners manufactured by Sabia Inc., developed at the Advanced Imaging Technology Laboratory of Kyoto University for its large-scale digitization project.  The Ultra-High resolution imaging is on the rise in the field of digital archiving of cultural heritage. Conventional commercially available systems are both time consuming and costly for museums and galleries. However, by using a high resolution scanner which is particularly designed to address the limitations of conventional techniques, we could reduce both time and cost significantly. We have brought the scanners to universities, museums, and temples around the world and has digitized thousands of works. The main feature of the scanner is its excellent portability, so it can be carried around to the site and the scanning time is very shorter compared to other available technologies. The scanner features a dual line camera head which can take simultaneous visible and near infrared images. This unique feature offers greatly reduced the acquisition time unlike conventional imaging techniques where these two types of images must be acquired separately. The light sources used were a visible LED and near infrared LED (~850nm spectral peak). The cameras were two line CCD cameras. One camera was filtered using a UV/IR cut filter while the other camera was filtered with an IR filter. At the Bridgestone museum scanning project, the scanning resolution was 1000dpi (~39 pixel/mm). There were over 100 oil paintings digitized belonging to the collection of Bridgestone Museum of Art at the Art Research Center in Tokyo and it only took around 10 days to acquire multiple types of ultrahigh resolution images which include symmetrically-lit visible images, specularly-lit visible light images and near. In this Bridgestone Museum project, these paintings represent the best of the best in their collection. The paintings vary in sizes the largest of which is around 2 x 2 m. In this paper, we present the result of our scanning and share some insights on how to do a large-scale ultrahigh resolution digitization projects within a practical budget and time limit. Our more than 10 years of experience in digitizing large objects would be of interest to the museum community who are planning to do a similar project. We would also share how we can use these ultrahigh resolution images for studying the material and techniques used in the artworks for conservation and preservation efforts.


Yasuhide Shimbata

Curator, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation

Jay Arre Toque

CTO, Sabia Inc
Dr. Jay Arre Toque is currently the Chief Technical Officer of Sabia Inc. He has doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University, specializing in developing high-resolution analytical imaging technology. He was a JSPS postdoctoral fellow for two years before... Read More →


Ari Ide-Ektessabi

Professor, Kyoto University
To follow

Ryota Magara

Researcher, Sabia, Inc

Koji Okumura

CEO, Sabia Inc
To follow

Masahiro Toiya

Director, Sabia Inc
To follow

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston