This symposium, captured on video, is the culmination of a five-year grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The talks focus on technological development and implementation of imaging instrumentation, in the areas of reflectance spectroscopy in the visible, near-infrared, mid-infrared, as well as x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Key findings obtained when applying this technology to works of art and the implications for art history are discussed.
What are illuminated manuscripts? How are they made? Explore under the microscope the exquisite detail of these luminous paintings on animal skin. Learn how we treat, store and display illuminated leaves so you and generations to come can enjoy their wonder.
Light is a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum to which the eye is sensitive. Its presence is essential for the most rewarding perception of almost all art. Yet exposure to light can result in cumulative and permanent damage to light-sensitive objects.
The treatment of outdoor works of art requires careful thought about the way an object can be safely preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Past treatments and the environment where the object will be displayed play a role in planning a successful conservation treatment. See how An Entrance to the Paris Métropolitain was carefully cleaned and restored.
See how the treatment of a 15th-century polychrome Madonna and Child was accomplished in the object conservation laboratory.
Temperature and Humidity
Most organic materials absorb and release moisture as the humidity within its surrounding environment increases and decreases. This fluctuation of moisture can accelerate the degradation of objects sensitive to humidity. Potential problems from extreme variations in temperature and relative humidity include biological, chemical, and mechanical deterioration. Click on the image to view the complete article.
Picasso (1881–1973) often left visual clues on the surfaces of his paintings to suggest a hidden image underneath, as in The Tragedy (1903). Artists frequently make changes to a painting or reuse a canvas or panel with an image already painted on it. Explore this painting further to see how it reveals its secrets.