Symposium: Chemical Issues with Contemporary Art

March 4, 2015

Gregory D. Smith of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, Indiana) will preside over this Monday afternoon session.

Session 650, Room 263, 1:30 p.m.

Gregory D. Smith of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, Indiana) will preside over this Monday afternoon session.

Smith will also be the first presenter, with a talk titled “Disappearing Ink! Unraveling the Fading of a Modern Design Object.” Smith’s talk will illustrate how in-situ microfade testing of inks in the Giotto-brand felt tip markers revealed that many of the colorants used are prone to rapid color loss, causing fading. The project highlights the urgency of characterizing the fading rate of potentially fugitive artworks.

The second presentation will be given by Rachel Rivenc of the Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles, California), who will discuss “California Plastics: Materials and Conservation of LA Art After 1960.” Rivenc’s presentation will focus on the findings to date of a project by the Getty Conservation Institute to study the use that Los Angeles artists made of synthetic materials, in particular automotive paints and polyester and acrylic plastics, during the 1960s and 1970s.

Following Rivenc will be Richard C. Wolbers of the University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware), who will give a presentation called “Surfactant Mobility and Monitoring on Artist's Acrylic Dispersion Paints Using 2D DESI Sampling Techniques.” In a study, three-dimensional (3D) microscopy and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) were used to add to and reinforce current understanding of the physical and mechanical changes to acrylic paint films with temperature and RH. The migration of surfactant at the film surface was studied using desorption electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) and attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) microscopy.

After a brief recess, Lynn F. Lee of the Getty Conservation Institute will speak on “Analyzing an Artist’s Use of Modern Metals and Finishes with Portable Instrumentation.” Lee will focus on how advances in portable instrumentation have allowed researchers to study a larger number of works by American artist Donald Judd, whose large body of work spans the two-dimensional and three-dimensional spatial range.

The final presentation will be from Elizabeth Hinde of the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). Hinde’s talk is titled “Fluorimetric Analysis of the Constituent Dyes within Daylight Fluorescent Pigments: Implications for Display and Preservation of Daylight Fluorescent Artwork.” The talk will focus on an analysis designed to ensure best practice in the preservation of artworks that contain daylight fluorescent paint.