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5. General Session [clear filter]
Friday, June 1


(Imaging Technology) High-Resolution Imaging as a new Research Tool in the Rijksmuseum
With the conservation treatment of the two pendant portraits by the Dutch 17th-century Master, Rembrandt van Rijn (Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit, 1634, canvas, 207.5 x 132 cm, SK-A-5033, SK-C-1768), newly acquired by the Dutch and French Governments, the Rijksmuseum saw an opportunity to push their photographic imaging capabilities even further. Although the Rijksmuseum has a well-established imaging protocol, including consistent lighting and end-to-end color management, it was decided, given the importance of the paintings and their conservation treatment, to utilize high resolution (1200 ppi) and multiple imaging modalities. Additionally, in order to better understand the physical condition of the pictures, they were imaged at each stage of conservation using the same imaging techniques, facilitating high-precision stitching and registration of images of both paintings and across wavelengths. The stitched and registered images, each exceeding 6 gigapixels, were then visualized using the “curtain viewer”, an internet-based image viewing technology developed by Erdmann for the Bosch research and conservation project. For this high resolution photography the museum faced several challenges. For the overall images of these large paintings, a total of 242 images were required. This amounts to approximately 70 Gb per painting per imaging modality. The maximum storage capacity of the Rijksmuseum’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) software is currently only 2 Gb per file. It was also an enormous undertaking to stitch such a large number of composite images and register them for use in the curtain viewers, enabling the conservators to fluidly switch from an overall image to the micro level and back using only the mouse wheel. In this way different technical and chemical images of the paintings, including X-radiographs, ultraviolet fluorescence images, infrared photographs and reflectograms and elemental maps acquired with macro-XRF scanning could be selected and compared ‘side by side’ using the curtain viewer. Despite the challenges, the images have been indispensable for the conservation treatment, providing insight into painting technique and condition including degradation phenomena. For example, lead soap aggregates can clearly be discerned in the high resolution visible light images, and remnants of older coatings in the high resolution UV images. By comparing photographs from before, during and after treatment the conservators could precisely track the area of interest during different stages of treatment. This paper presents the impressive benefits for conservation and research of such a large multimodal data set resulting from the combination of high resolution and multiple imaging modalities. We argue that such imaging strategies could serve as a standard in the future, both for art-historical and conservation research, as well as for comprehensive documentation of the state of a painting and its treatment.

avatar for Susan Smelt

Susan Smelt

Junior Paintings Conservator, Rijksmuseum
Susan Smelt is a junior paintings conservator at the Rijksmuseum. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Amsterdam with an MA and Professional Doctorate in Conservation and Restoration of Paintings. During the two-year postinitial phase she worked at the Stichting Restauratie... Read More →

avatar for Robert Erdmann

Robert Erdmann

Senior Research Scientist, Rijksmuseum
With the latest techniques in the field of computer vision, machine learning, image processing, materials science and visualization theory Erdmann works to preserve, understand and make accessible visual artistic heritage. He is currently a Senior Scientist at the Rijksmuseum. Also... Read More →
avatar for Rik Klein Gotink

Rik Klein Gotink

Photographer, Rijksmuseum
Rik Klein Gotink studied photography at the Institute of the Arts (ARTEZ) Enschede. Prior to that, he studied Applied Physics for two years at the University of Twente. The combination of photography, becoming more and more technical, and physics proved to be very effective in his... Read More →
avatar for Petria Noble

Petria Noble

Head of Paintings Conservation, Rijksmuseum
As Head of Paintings Conservation at the Rijksmuseum since 2014, Petria has expanded the department, laying more emphasis on research into the materials and techniques of artists' as well as those of conservation. Originally from Australia, Petria Noble carried out her post-graduate... Read More →
avatar for Gwen Tauber

Gwen Tauber

Senior Paintings Conservator, Rijksmuseum
Gwen Tauber has been a painting conservator in the Rijks Museum since 1990 and is primarily concerned with the treatment of paintings, their examination and treatment documentation. She works in the midst of an interdisciplinary team comprised of conservators, scientists and curators... Read More →

Carola van Wijk

Photographer, Rijksmuseum
If necessary, can be provided later.

Friday June 1, 2018 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston


(Imaging Technology) A Study of Two Picasso Blue Period paintings in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, La Miséreuse accroupie (1902) and La Soupe (1903)
In anticipation of a multi-disciplinary exhibition devoted to a reassessment of Picasso's Blue Period (with the Phillips Collection, Washington, in 2020) the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) engaged Senior Imaging Scientist John Delaney and the special expertise of scientists at Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago (NU-ACCESS) to study two important Picasso Blue Period paintings:  La Miséreuse accroupie (1902) and La Soupe (1902-3).  The research has provided valuable insights into the artist's process with a particular focus on his materials, the relationship of underpainting to the visible composition, the chronology of the pentimenti and the relationship of all forms to extant drawings and other paintings of the period. Diffuse hyperspectral infrared reflectography was used to expand on the results of traditional infrared reflectography and x-radiography of both paintings. Fibre optics reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) was also collected from numerous sites to help with pigment identification. Hyperspectral image cubes consisting of ~200 images (spectral range 967 to 1680 nm) were generated. Significant changes in composition were revealed in both paintings. One of the major findings was that La Miséreuse accroupie is painted over another composition estimated to be by an artist and friend of Picasso, in Barcelona at the time. In addition, reflectance transformation imaging combined with photometric stereo provided detailed information about the brush strokes as well as the application of colour, and served to clarify complexity in the surface texture. New findings were further explored with point and 2D macro-X-Ray Fluorescence analyses. Elemental maps revealed more subtle changes in the composition of the underlying paint layers. It also helped selecting sites from which cross-sections were sampled, to potentially elucidate the chronology of the image changes. A complex stratigraphy was frequently revealed. Micro-sampling analyses allowed further differentiation of the artist's palette in the development of the painting and will be discussed within the context of current Blue Period Research. In depth studies of Pablo Picasso’s painting materials and techniques, though rare in the past, have seen a resurgence in the past ten years. This study is exemplary because of the high level of integration of curatorial, conservation and conservation science research. Curatorial input on visual sources for the artist, in the form of related drawings and artworks has accompanied the analytical campaign hand in hand, influencing, directing and inspiring interpretation of the scientific imaging. Furthermore, two different groups of scientific experts have been involved, thus pushing the limit of interdisciplinary research beyond the boundaries of a single discipline or institution in a fully integrated, not consultancy-based framework. This study greatly enhances our knowledge of the AGO Picasso Blue Period paintings and their relationship to other paintings and drawings of the period by drawing on a global network of experts and increasing body of knowledge.

avatar for Sandra Webster Cook

Sandra Webster Cook

Conservator of Paintings, Historical and Modern, Art Gallery of Ontario
Sandra Webster-Cook became an employee of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in 1987. She is currently responsible for the conservation of the historical and modern paintings in the collection of the AGO. Her work on the Canadian Historical collection included research on the paintings... Read More →

avatar for Kenneth Brummel

Kenneth Brummel

Assistant Curator of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Ontario
Kenneth Brummel has been the Art Gallery of Ontario’s assistant curator of modern art since August 2014. A specialist in late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century international modernism, he has undertaken different curatorial roles at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum of Fine... Read More →
avatar for Francesca Casadio

Francesca Casadio

Andrew W. Mellon Senior Conservation Scientist and Co-director NU-ACCESS, The Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University
Francesca Casadio joined the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 to establish and direct a state of the art conservation science laboratory. In January 2018, she will assume the post of Executive Director of Conservation and Science in the same institution. Dr. Casadio has also established... Read More →
avatar for John Delaney

John Delaney

Senior Imaging Scientist, National Gallery of Art
John K. Delaney, Ph.D. is the Senior Imaging Scientist at the National Gallery of Art, where his research focuses on the development and application of remote sensing imaging methods for the study of works of art.
avatar for Gianluca Pastorelli

Gianluca Pastorelli

Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern/ARTIC Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts
avatar for Emeline Pouyet

Emeline Pouyet

Post doctoral fellow, Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago
Emeline Pouyet is a post-doctoral fellow at the NU-ACCESS center (Chicago, U.S.A). She received her M.S. degree in Archaeometry in 2010 and completed her Ph.D. studies in 2014 at the ID21 beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France). Her activities focused... Read More →
avatar for Marc Sebastian Walton

Marc Sebastian Walton

Co-Director, Research Professor, Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts
Marc Walton joined the Northwestern University / Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts in 2013 as its inaugural Senior Scientist and as a Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. In January of 2018, he was appointed... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston


(Imaging Technology) Optimizing Imaging Modalities to Improve Understanding Materials
Imaging has been through the fashion cycle with a move away from the importance of materials analysis through microscopy, back to the current realization of how different imaging modalities complement each other. Spectral imaging utilizing controlled and modified modes of illumination provides a synergistic approach to materials analysis, while also mapping the spectral response of all materials across a document or object to augment the workflow for analysis by knowing what other regions on heritage materials require additional analytical techniques for characterization. The spectral imaging system at the Library of Congress was carefully customized to incorporate a number of imaging components that allow for multiple types of materials information within a single capture sequence. The base imaging sequence begins with reflected illumination throughout the visible and invisible range single LED illumination wavebands with a monochrome camera that assists with the full range of data in a high resolution 16-bit TIFF file. This is followed by raking (or side lighting at specified angle) illumination in both the blue and infrared (IR) regions of the spectrum to capture the topography of the object, and provides extremely useful information about production techniques, tool marks etc. and indentations remaining if ink or pigments have been eroded. The IR often shows the base substrate material without covering by inks and colorants. Raking at 90-degree angles or more essentially provides the information often associated with RTI. All image sequences are fully registered, greatly improving the productivity and workflow for processing of the image stack, as no re-registration is required since there is no filter used for the base sequence. Understanding materials refers not only to their characterization, but also to tracking change over time due to the impact of treatments, natural aging or specific environmental parameters. A standardized process for assessing any variation from the baseline has been invaluable for assisting the assessment of conservation treatments as well as change due to exposure to light or other factors, without the need for additional micro-fading. Additionally, z-plane imaging (focusing at multiple levels) adds a three-dimensional component and is enhanced within the workflow process by the inclusion of a laser for controlled layering. A fluorescent wheel incorporates multiple broadband filters to capture and enhance the fluorescent response for greater ease of characterization between similar colorants to assist pigment identification. Extending our understanding of materials is assisted with the addition of transmitted illumination, through a selected spectral range. The incorporation of transmitted imaging into the base sequence allows a combination of reflected and transmitted captures to be used in spectral processing and provides invaluable information about the impact of treatments on materials, disturbances with the base substrate, and imaging through treatments such as lamination. Overall, a structured standardized approach to integrated spectral imaging provides a thoughtful and nuanced approach to a better understanding of materials, while allowing for the potential of additional information to be captured from a diverse modality imaging methodology.

avatar for Fenella France

Fenella France

Library of Congress

avatar for Chris Bolser

Chris Bolser

Preservation Technician (Imaging), Library of Congress
Chris Bolser is a Preservation Technician specializing in Imaging with a degree in Forensic Science from West Virginia University.
avatar for Meghan A. Wilson

Meghan A. Wilson

Preservation Specialist, Library of Congress
Meghan Wilson is an imaging specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress. She has worked extensively with multispectral imaging technology, developing guidelines and workflows for technical operation of equipment and image quality control... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston


(Imaging Technology) A New Workflow for Color and Tone Calibrated Multispectral Imaging
Multispectral imaging has become a critical analytical tool in the examination and documentation of cultural heritage. But despite the popularity of this technique there are numerous impediments to standardization and repeatability. Within a single institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we found that approaches to capture, processing, archiving methods and even terminology varied significantly between the various conservation labs. This talk will introduce the ways in which the Met has begun to address these issues, and will focus specifically on our efforts to standardize a reliably repeatable in-house image capture workflow that can be adopted both internally, and across institutions. Our work is indebted to the CHARISMA project (Cultural Heritage Advanced Research Infrastructures: Synergy for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Conservation/Restoration) spearheaded by the British Museum. CHARISMA made great strides in presenting a capture methodology and an open source solution for standardization of post processing; however, our efforts at unifying our results through CHARISMA met with limited success. Rather than relying on post-processing to standardize results, our methodology uses scene referred capture, which uses targets to correct for color, tone, and white balance during the capture process to achieve a successful image regardless of the camera, lens, and light source used for capture. We started by creating a protocol to capture visible light images, the backbone of which leverages the new ISO19264 artwork reproduction standards. Images are captured using an X-rite Color Checker Digital SG Card and a Munsell Linear Grayscale, and we chose to use Adobe Lightroom to evaluate captured images, as it is one of the few applications that gives a read-out for L* values. Through the evaluation of the targets, we are able to obtain a color profile that falls within the acceptable range of color fluctuation as defined by ISO and tone curve for any camera and lighting set-up that can be applied to all subsequent images. The same color profile and tone curve obtained through this process can then be applied to the multispectral imaging suite, including Ultraviolet-induced Visible Luminescence imaging, Visible-induced Infrared Luminescence imaging, Ultraviolet-reflected imaging and Infrared-reflected imaging. Through using this workflow, we have found that one is able to achieve repeatable, high quality images and produce similar results across multiples set ups. This paper will share the step-by-step details of this workflow and case studies for which this workflow has been applied in Objects Conservation, Paper Conservation and other labs at the Met. Additionally, ongoing research on light sources and other aspects of multispectral imaging practice will be presented.

avatar for Marina Ruiz Molina

Marina Ruiz Molina

Associate Conservator, Paper Conservation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Marina Ruiz Molina is an Associate Conservator in the Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper Conservation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She trained as a paper conservator at the Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales de Madrid, Spain, and joined... Read More →
avatar for Anna Serotta

Anna Serotta

Associate Conservator, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Objects Conservation
Anna Serotta is an Associate Conservator in Objects Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is primarily responsible for the Egyptian Art collection. She received her Master’s Degree in Art History and an Advanced Certificate in Art Conservation at the Institute... Read More →

avatar for Scott Geffert

Scott Geffert

General Manager for Advanced Imaging, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Scott Geffert currently heads up the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Advanced imaging team within the Imaging department. Advanced imaging at the Met supports conservation through 3D imaging, color management, and the development and implementation of ISO imaging standards. His interests... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston


(Imaging Technology) Integrating Multispectral Imaging, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), and Photogrammetry for Archaeological Objects
This project utilizes a 3D-model built with photogrammetry as scaffolding for the combined display and analysis of other types of imaging data, such as Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), and broadband Multispectral Imaging (MSI). Photogrammetry, RTI, and broadband MSI are well-established imaging techniques widely used by cultural heritage professionals. These techniques have seen rapid adoption by archaeologists and conservators working together in the field. While recognizing that no technique produces a perfect or undistorted representation, the data that this project integrates complement each other very effectively and result in high-resolution and visually expressive renderings that emphasize physical shape, surface variability, and spectral properties. Combining techniques facilitates very detailed study and visualization of an artifact that both highlights otherwise invisible features. Furthermore, it can effectively communicate these aspects without requiring direct inspection or handling of the object. Three-dimensional models were built of a stone object from Sardis, Turkey and an Egyptian painted wood fragment using Agisoft Photoscan Pro. RTIs were created of the worked surfaces of each using the RTIBuilder 2.0.2 available from Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI). MSI images were processed with the add-in for nip2, the graphical interface of the free processing system VIPS, developed as part of the CHARISMA project, available from the British Museum. So-called “connection images” were used to integrate and align the data sets. These evenly lit images, taken with the same camera position and parameters as the auxiliary data sets, are included in the set of images used to build the 3D model with photogrammetry. The data sets were combined and visualized using Blender, an open-source 3D graphics and animation software. We stress that this project uses software, equipment, and methods that are readily accessible to conservators and archaeologists in museum photo studios and in the field. We have also established a workflow for combining potentially any source of imagery. This technique shows promise for many applications where advanced visualization can contribute to analysis and conservation treatment, particularly in situations where ongoing contact with the object is limited or ill advised. In summary, the successful combination of RTI, MSI, and photogrammetry data sets results in 3D models that support compelling interactive visualization and analysis of archaeological materials.

avatar for Emily Frank

Emily Frank

PhD Candidate | Objects Conservator, Institute for Study of the Ancient World at NYU
Emily Frank is an objects conservator; a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Study of the Ancient World at NYU; and a recent graduate of the joint MS in Conservation of Artistic & Historic Works and MA in History of Art & Archaeology at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Sebastian Heath

Dr. Sebastian Heath

Clinical Assistant Professor of Ancient Studies, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Sebastian Heath is a specialist in Roman pottery, the Roman economy, and the application of digital technologies to the study of the ancient Mediterranean. He has participated in excavations and surveys in Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom... Read More →
avatar for Chantal Stein

Chantal Stein

Graduate Student – Institute of Fine Arts Fellow in Conservation, New York University
Chantal Stein is pursuing a joint Masters of Art in Art History and Masters of Science in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is currently completing her fourth-year internship at the Brooklyn... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston


(Imaging Technology) Using Photogrammetry to Understand the Mechanical Behavior of Bound Volumes
Image Permanence Institute (IPI) has been studying the chemical and mechanical stability of collection materials for thirty years. One area of focus has been on the rate of moisture equilibration of library and archive materials. That research has led us to understand that it may take weeks or even months for an entire bound volume to equilibrate to a change in ambient relative humidity. However, experiential evidence demonstrates that the outer layer, or “skin,” of a book can react quickly to certain environmental changes leading to potential mechanical deformation. Studying the mechanical behavior of books is particularly challenging as they are three-dimensional, complex, composite objects made of diverse materials and constructed in a variety of ways. IPI is currently using a photogrammetry technique called Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to further our understanding of the mechanical behavior of common library and archive materials as well as the “skin” of bound volumes. Individual materials such as paper, book cloth, leather, and parchment were tested as well as bound volumes that range in date from early 18th century to late 20th century. Book samples are bound with a variety of materials and have varying structures, including tight back, hollow back, and perfect bindings in full, half, and quarter leather, cloth, and paper as well as full vellum bindings. DIC is a relatively new imaging technology that allows for the study of dimensional changes in two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. A random dot pattern is applied to the test material and imaged in stereo. Software analyzes the images and measures dimensional displacement within the material producing 2-D and 3-D strain models. Of particular interest is the correlation between moisture transfer and strain, and the amount of strain experienced in bound volumes with changes in environment. This data will help determine the upper and lower limits of temperature and relative humidity necessary to avoid permanent deformation and will better inform our models for sustainable preservation environmental parameters.

avatar for Alice S. Carver-Kubik

Alice S. Carver-Kubik

Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute
Alice Carver-Kubik is a Research Scientist at Image Permanence Institute. Her research focus is on collection storage environments and the mechanical behavior of library and archive materials. She received her M.A. in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson... Read More →

avatar for Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Senior Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology
Jean-Louis Bigourdan is a senior research scientist at the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA. He has a background in Chemistry, photography and conservation of photographic materials. He received his diploma in the conservation... Read More →
avatar for Douglas Nishimura

Douglas Nishimura

Senior Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute
Douglas W. Nishimura, Senior Research Scientist, received his degree in chemistry from McMaster University in Canada. He is a member of the joint ISO-ANSI committee responsible for the physical properties and permanence of imaging materials. Before joining IPI as a research scientist... Read More →

James Reilly

Founder and Director, Image Permanence Institute
James M. Reilly is the founder and director of IPI. He has made important contributions to image preservation, environmental management, and sustainable preservation practices. During its tenure, Jim was Co-director of the Advanced Residency Program in Photographic Conservation, a... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Texas Ballroom D Marriott Marquis Houston