Scientific Examination of Art

MODERN TECHNIQUES IN CONSERVATION AND ANALYSIS

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Washington, D.C.

March 19–21,2003

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis Scientific Examination of Art MODERN TECHNIQUES IN CONSERVATION AND ANALYSIS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Washington, D.C. March 19–21,2003 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 This work includes articles from the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis held at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C., March 19-21, 2003. The articles appearing in these pages were contributed by speakers and attendees at the colloquium and were anonymously reviewed, but they have not been independently reviewed by the Academy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this work are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the U.S. Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. International Standard Book Number: 0-309-09625-1 (Book) Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 in the Washington metropolitan area; Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover: “Corner of the Studio” by Antonio Ciocci. Courtesy of Catherine and Wayne Reynolds

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis Arthur M. Sackler, M.D. 1913-1987 Born in Brooklyn, New York, Arthur M. Sackler was educated in the arts, sciences, and humanities at New York University. These interests remained the focus of his life, as he became widely known as a scientist, art collector, and philanthropist, endowing institutions of learning and culture throughout the world. He felt that his fundamental role was as a doctor, a vocation he decided upon at the age of four. After completing his internship and service as house physician at Lincoln Hospital in New York City, he became a resident in psychiatry at Creed-moor State Hospital. There, in the 1940s, he started research that resulted in more than 150 papers in neuroendocrinology, psychiatry, and experimental medicine. He considered his scientific research in the metabolic basis of schizophrenia his most significant contribution to science and served as editor of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Psychobiology from 1950 to 1962. In 1960 he started publication of Medical Tribune, a weekly medical newspaper that reached over one million readers in 20 countries. He established the Laboratories for Therapeutic Research in 1938, a facility in New York for basic research that he directed until 1983. As a generous benefactor to the causes of medicine and basic science, Arthur Sackler built and contributed to a wide range of scientific institutions: the Sackler School of Medicine established in 1972 at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science at New York University, founded in 1980; the Arthur M. Sackler Science Center dedicated in 1985 at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts; and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, established in 1980, and the Arthur M. Sackler Center for Health Communications, established in 1986, both at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts. His pre-eminence in the art world is already legendary. According to his wife Jillian, one of his favorite relaxations was to visit museums and art galleries and pick out great pieces others had overlooked. His interest in art is reflected in his

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis philanthropy; he endowed galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University, a museum at Harvard University, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. True to his oft-stated determination to create bridges between peoples, he offered to build a teaching museum in China, which Jillian made possible after his death, and in 1993 opened the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University in Beijing. In a world that often sees science and art as two separate cultures, Arthur Sackler saw them as inextricably related. In a speech given at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Some reflections on the arts, sciences and humanities, a year before his death, he observed: “Communication is, for me, the primum movens of all culture. In the arts… I find the emotional component most moving. In science, it is the intellectual content. Both are deeply interlinked in the humanities.” The Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia at the National Academy of Sciences pay tribute to this faith in communication as the prime mover of knowledge and culture.

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis ORGANIZING COMMITTEE BARBARA BERRIE, Senior Conservation Scientist, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. E. RENÉ DE LA RIE, Head of Scientific Research, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. ROALD HOFFMANN (NAS) (Chair), Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Cornell University JANIS TOMLINSON (NAS), Director of University Museums at the University of Delaware TORSTEN WIESEL (NAS) (Chair), President Emeritus, The Rockefeller University JOHN WINTER, Conservation Scientist, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. Staff KENNETH R. FULTON, Executive Director ALYSSA CRUZ, Program Administrator (from October 2005) MIRIAM GLASER HESTON, Program Officer (until October 2005)

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis Preface The study of works of art using scientific methods dates back to the late 18th century but expanded exponentially in the late 20th century. The Sackler conference held March 19-21, 2003, assembled a group of leading conservators and conservation scientists to present and assess recent initiatives providing a unique overview of this important field. Six of the following fourteen papers begin with a key material for cultural artifacts (Venetian pigments, works of art on paper, photographs, stone sculpture, modern paints, and early Chinese jade) and enumerate various means of identification and analysis. Four of the papers start with an advanced analytical method and discuss its applications: infrared reflectography, multi-spectral imaging, Raman microspectroscopy, and quantitative gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Two papers focus on mechanisms of deterioration—biodeterioration of outdoor stone and disruptions in the surfaces of aged paint films. The breadth of the discourse is well illustrated by the topics listed above and by three summary papers: an overview of the concept of conservation science, a brief history of the evolution of practical conservation techniques and attitudes in the 20th century, and a discussion of the impact of collaborative research among conservators, scientists, and art historians. These fourteen contributions exemplify the wide variety of art materials that challenge the investigative scientist and the increasing sophistication of an array of scientific tools that now aid in the decision making for the important task of the preservation of works of art and cultural heritage. Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner, Professor and Paintings Conservator Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis Contents THE STATE OF THE FIELD         Overview John Winter   3     Material Innovation and Artistic Invention: New Materials and New Colors in Renaissance Venetian Paintings Barbara H. Berrie and Louisa C. Matthew   12     The Scientific Examination of Works of Art on Paper Paul M. Whitmore   27     Changing Approaches in Art Conservation: 1925 to the Present Joyce Hill Stoner   40     An Overview of Current Scientific Research on Stone Sculpture Richard Newman   58     Biodeterioration of Stone Thomas D. Perry IV, Christopher J. McNamara, and Ralph Mitchell   72

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Scientific Examination of Art: Modern Techniques in Conservation and Analysis TECHNIQUES AND APPLICATIONS         Analytical Capabilities of Infrared Reflectography: An Art Historian’s Perspective Molly Faries   87     Color-Accurate Image Archives Using Spectral Imaging Roy S. Berns   105     Multi-Spectral Imaging of Paintings in the Infrared to Detect and Map Blue Pigments John K. Delaney, Elizabeth Walmsley, Barbara H. Berrie, and Colin F. Fletcher   120     Modern Paints Tom Learner   137     Material and Method in Modern Art: A Collaborative Challenge Carol Mancusi-Ungaro   152     Raman Microscopy in the Identification of Pigments on Manuscripts and Other Artwork Robin J. H. Clark   162     Paint Media Analysis Michael R. Schilling   186     A Review of Some Recent Research on Early Chinese Jades Janet G. Douglas   206 APPENDIXES     A   Contributors   217 B   Program   225 C   Participants   228