John K. Delaney
Senior Imaging Scientist
National Gallery of Art, Washington
John K. Delaney is senior imaging scientist in the scientific research department of the conservation division of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. His research focuses on the adaptation of remote sensing sensors and processing methods for the study of paintings and works on paper. Before joining the Gallery, Delaney was chief scientist for the Advanced Sensors Business Unit of the ISR Airborne Systems Division of the Goodrich Corporation. He received his BS from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and his PhD from the Rockefeller University, and he completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Arizona and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Delaney has published more than 75 papers in the areas of imaging and spectroscopy in publications including Analytical Methods, The Analytical Scientist, Applied Physics, The Burlington Magazine, Chemical Physics, Heritage Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature, Optics Communications, and Studies in Conservation.
When Delaney joined the Gallery in 2007 thanks to funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gallery became the first art museum to have an imaging scientist on staff. In his role as senior imaging scientist, Delaney was tasked with developing and adapting remote sensing imaging cameras and methods and using those advanced digital imaging methods to obtain new information that could be used for conservation and art historical research. Following the end of the Mellon grant–funded position, Delaney permanently joined the Gallery in 2011. In the years since, Delaney and colleagues in the scientific research department have optimized hyperspectral visible and infrared imaging cameras and image processing to better visualize painted-over compositions and map the distribution of pigments. Additional funding from the Mellon Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and National Science Foundation has supported the ongoing training by Delaney of fellows in new advanced imaging methods.
In addition to his work at the Gallery, Delaney also served as a research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the George Washington University from 2011 to 2013. He is also an associate editor of Heritage Science, and associate editor of Science Advances, and was previously an associate editor of Studies in Conservation from 2010 to 2017.
Updated: June 5, 2018
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Biography: John K. Delaney
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