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Clarence White, Girl with Muff, 1906 (AIC 1949.856 ). Pt print. MRI: Acquisition of an FT-Raman Spectrometer for Interdisciplinary Art Materials Research and Education Francesca Casadio, The Art Institute of Chicago, DMR 0723053. Coating. No coating.

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Clarence White, Girl with Muff, 1906 (AIC 1949.856 ). Pt print

MRI: Acquisition of an FT-Raman Spectrometer for Interdisciplinary Art Materials Research and EducationFrancesca Casadio, The Art Institute of Chicago, DMR 0723053

Coating

No coating

  • Coatings are often applied to photographs for aesthetic, practical or protective reasons and were historically made of biomaterials such as waxes, oils, resins, gums or proteins.
  • Coatings may degrade or get damaged, critically affecting the photograph and the perception of the image. Thus, identification of a photographic coating is crucial to inform appropriate conservation treatments and for a better understanding of the coating’s originally intended function.
  • Sampling is almost never allowed from historic photographs.
  • For the first time a non-invasive, non-contact FT-Raman method of identification of photographic coatings was used on photographs of one of the highest-profile photographic collections of the United States, that of Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). Gum arabic and beeswax were identified.
  • An FT-Raman database of common coatings for historic photographs was established.

Photomicrograph showing cracking of a superficial coating

FT-Raman spectra allow unambiguous identification of micrometric films

A: Spectral subtraction of paper substrate from B, showing linseed oil on surface; B: Linseed oil on Albumen paper; C: Albumen paper, no coating

Edward Steichen, Rodin, Paris,1907 (AIC 1949.826) . Pt and Gum dichromate print

A

B

C

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MRI: Acquisition of an FT-Raman Spectrometer for Interdisciplinary Art Materials Research and EducationFrancesca Casadio, The Art Institute of Chicago, DMR 0723053

OUTREACH

PI Francesca Casadio presented highlights of her research during numerous public lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago and in the greater city of Chicago, reaching several hundred people. Amongst the lectured groups are Community groups, University students, Museum support groups, the Chicago chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy , various Chicago high school and college groups, spanning the age range from ninth grade to retirement..

Particularly noteworthy is the initiative “Science Chicago: Life’s a Lab”, aimed at engaging the public by underlying the relevance of science in everyday life. (http://sciencechicago.com/).

34 students and Professors from DePaul University and two of the City Colleges of Chicago, Harold Washington College and Harry S Truman College, received a tour of the laboratory as part of the summer program: "Building a STEM Pipeline in Chicago." funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education at the NSF through the STEP program (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics – STEM- Talent Expansion Program). PI Prof Chris Goedde Department of Physics DePaul University.

http://storyandspace.blogspot.com/2009/04/session-6-art-institute-of-chicago.html

EDUCATION

Eva Grieten (shown at right), Mellon fellow in Photo conservation at AIC developed a database of FT-Raman spectra of early photographic coatings. As a results of her research experience, she has decided to go back to graduate school to study Chemistry.

Group tour and lectures for 6 Iraqi conservators and archaeologists spending 6 months in Chicago at the Oriental Institute and Field Museum to be trained in conservation, museum practice and museum science