The Getty Conservation Institute

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The Getty Conservation Institute

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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News Article | November 15, 2016

The IPERION CH Project allows researchers to harness the most appropriate technology to carry out their projects independently of their work centers Just as astrophysicists and physicists depend on telescopes and particle accelerators which are often shared by several countries to carry out observations and experiments, researchers into cultural heritage are about to share a network of facilities and equipment located across Europe in order to advance their research projects into preservation and restoration. This is the main aim of the IPERION CH project, an initiative made up of 11 European Union countries, among them Spain, through the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), plus the United States. Its ultimate goal is to set up a single infrastructure across Europe for the scientific research of cultural heritage. "To give two examples, one researcher may need to determine the authenticity of a painting which has been stored in a museum's vaults for many years, whilst another might need access to a particle accelerator to understand the deterioration of a nugget of pre-Colombian gold. IPERION CH makes research much easier, given that its aim is to encourage a new culture of cross-disciplinary exchange and co-operation between cultural heritage scientists" explains CSIC researcher Emilio Cano from Spain's National Metallurgical Research Centre. The project brings together research centres, museum laboratories, and universities from each participating country. It seeks to establish a network with a plan containing sustainable activities, and which includes access to a full spectrum of high quality scientific instruments which are specially adapted to the study of cultural heritage. The initiative builds upon the experience and knowledge acquired by the consortium of partners whilst setting up the latest European Framework Programmes, namely Eu-ARTECH y CHARISMA, which laid the foundations for transnational access to scientific infrastructures for the preservation of cultural heritage. In order to create a stable infrastructure to follow on from THE IPERION CH project, in 2016, the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap was submitted as E-RISH (European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science). E-RISH was approved in March 2016 and is now it taking the first steps to setting up the mechanisms of the scientific, administrative and political aspects of a robust infrastructure. "By volume, significance and variety, Europe's cultural heritage one of the most important worldwide. As well as allowing us to understand our past in order to understand the present, it is a unique resource, not only in terms of social development and improving quality of life, but also from an economic viewpoint. Yet it is a fragile and irreplaceable resource which requires continual research to guarantee its preservation, promotion and valuation" notes Cano. According to the members of the initiative, many cultural properties like The Alhambra or The Colosseum, are delicate, unique and irreplaceable. They are impossible to move and share characteristics that necessitate the development of specific infrastructures which come with the support and knowledge of specialists in cultural heritage. IPERION CH tackles these needs through its three platforms. Firstly, MOLAB is offering the use of innovative scientific equipment, as well as the scientific research staff to visit and study objects in situ which would otherwise be damaged if moved. Secondly, FIXLAB will allow the use of large scale scientific facilities along with the full support of its staff and development instruments which are specific to cultural heritage. Finally, ARCHLAB makes available a huge amount of scientific data, technical and restoration reports- as well as individual and unique archived examples from some of the leading museums and preservation institutes from across Europe- available to the scientific community. The majority of these written works, have never been made public and are difficult to gain access to. 23 partners from 12 countries (11 of them European, plus the United States) comprise the IPERION CH consortium which is an initiative under the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. Research groups from the Europe's top scientific councils (CNR, CNRS and CSIC) are highlighted, as are universities and research centres, first-rate museums such as The British Museum and The National Gallery in the UK, or Denmark's National Gallery. Also included are some centres for the conservation of cultural heritage such as Belgium's KIK-IRPA, Italy's Opificio delle Pietre Dure, in Florence, the Rathglen Laboratory from the Museums of Berlin, or The Getty Conservation Institute in the United States. As for Spain, apart from CSIC, other participants in the initiative include the Prado Museum, as well as collaboration from the Spanish Institute for Cultural Heritage which belongs to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Cancino C.,The Getty Conservation Institute | Torrealva D.,Catholic University of Peru
Seismic Retrofitting: Learning from Vernacular Architecture - Vernacular Seismic Culture in Portugal Research Project Funded under the National Research Agency FCT, SEISMIC-V 2013 | Year: 2015

During the 1990s, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) carried out a major research and laboratory testing program - the Getty Seismic Adobe Project (GSAP) - to investigate the seismic performance and develop effective retrofit methods for historical adobe structures. In April 2006, the GCI’s Earthen Architecture Initiative (EAI) hosted an international colloquium, in order to assess the impact and efficacy of the GSAP. The participants concluded that the GSAP methodology was reliable and effective, but its reliance on high-tech materials and professional expertise was a deterrent to its wider implementation. In response to these conclusions, the EAI initiated, in 2010, the Seismic Retrofitting Project (SRP) with the objective of adapting the GSAP guidelines, so that they better matched the equipment, materials, and technical skills available in many countries with earthen buildings. Peru was selected as the project’s location, due to its current and historical knowledge and professional interest in the conservation of earthen sites. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Canamares M.V.,City College of New York | Leona M.,The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Bouchard M.,The Getty Conservation Institute | Grzywacz C.M.,The Getty Conservation Institute | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy | Year: 2010

The identification of organic colorants in works of art (such as dyes on textiles or organic pigments) by Raman spectroscopy is generally limited by the presence of a strong fluorescence background. In this paper, the effectiveness of minimizing fluorescence in the analysis of Cape Jasmine (Gardenia augusta L.) by dispersive Raman spectroscopy at three different excitation wavelengths (633, 785 and 1064 nm) and by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) with and without acid hydrolysis is evaluated and compared. It is shown that these vibrational techniques offer an alternative analytical approach, when, as is particularly the case of Cape Jasmine, sample preparation procedures that are routinely applied for natural organic dyes andpigments cause alterations that leadto low sensitivityin the more classical high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiodearray (HPLC-PDA) analytical protocols. Samples of the yellow dyeG. augustaL. In the following forms were analyzed: dyed on alum mordantedwool, dyed on nonmordanted and alum mordanted silk, pigment precipitated on hydrated aluminum oxide, extract mixed with a protein binder and painted on glass, and as a water-based glaze applied on a mock-up of a typical Chinese wall-painting. Raman bands at 1537, 1209 and 1165 cm-1 are identified as discriminating markers for the carotenoid colorant components crocetin and crocin. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Baeten J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Romanus K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Degryse P.,Catholic University of Leuven | De Clercq W.,Ghent University | And 7 more authors.
Microchemical Journal | Year: 2010

During archaeological excavations of the Castle of Middelburg (Belgium), a 16th century ceramic vessel containing a greasy substance was found. A wide range of chemical techniques was applied on what was presumed to be an ointment to reveal its nature and function. The organic fraction, constituting about 24 wt.%, was analyzed by chromatography and mass spectrometry and consists of beeswax next to smaller amounts of a triglyceride lipid source. Infrared analyses indicated the presence of calcium carboxylate soaps. The inorganic ingredients represent about 30% of the total mass. While calcium, lead and iron were detected by elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction revealed calcium sulfate (gypsum) and lead sulfate as major minerals. Detailed study by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of lead as a divalent species. Altogether, these results point to a medicinal formulation of a lead plaster, used for treating bruises, mixed with beeswax, which was added for easy application on the skin. It is further assumed that lead carboxylates, originally present in the sample, reacted with gypsum, resulting in the formation of calcium carboxylates and lead sulfate. Gypsum could have been added to whiten or to strengthen the plaster. Hence, the analyses confirm the presumed medicinal nature of the find and add it to the list of very rare finds of preserved historical ointments. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hagan E.W.S.,Canadian Conservation Institute | Charalambides M.N.,Imperial College London | Young C.R.T.,Somerset House | Learner T.J.S.,The Getty Conservation Institute
Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing | Year: 2015

Acrylic artist paints are viscoelastic composites containing a high molecular weight copolymer, pigment and a variety of additives.The glass transition temperature of the latex binder is typically slightly below ambient conditions, giving mechanical properties that are strongly dependent on strain rate and temperature. In previous work, the viscoelastic behaviour of custom-formulated latex artist paints was reported for films with known volume fractions of pigment using data from uniaxial tensile tests at different strain rates and temperatures.Secant Young’s modulus and failure strain master curves were constructed for each film through time-temperature superposition, allowing predictions beyond the experimental timescale at a selected reference temperature.A similar analysis is now presented for a small set of commercial artist paints tested at ages of 1 and 27 years. Experimental shift factor values are reported with fits to the Arrhenius, WLF and Vogel Fulcher equations, along with a comparison with published data for acrylic polymers. The tensile results highlight a spectrum of properties that acrylic paints may exhibit—brittle glass to hyperelastic—depending on the conditions during deformation. Strong similarities are shown between products from different manufacturers, and the findings suggest a high degree of stability with age. A method for predicting failure as a function of strain rate and temperature is also presented, and the methodology gives a framework for investigating other artist materials and the factors influencing their mechanical properties. © 2015 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada as represented by Canadian Conservation Institute

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