Art Conservation and RTI

CHI's Mark Mudge with Conservators of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

CHI's Mark Mudge with Conservators of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Learn more about what CHI is doing in the field of art conservation using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) technology. RTI can be applied to many materials to reveal fine surface details often not visible with the naked eye.


Article: “Advanced Imaging Tools for Museum and Library Conservation and Research”

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This article appears in the February/March 2012 Issue of Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (PDF)

About This Publication

Article Author Carla Schroer, Co-founder and Director of Cultural Heritage Imaging
Download the Article “Advanced Imaging Tools for Museum and Library Conservation and Research” (PDF)
Download the ASIS&T Bulletin February/March 2012 Issue (PDF) of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Description

To a special section of this bulletin entitled “Museum Informatics: Something New, Something More,” CHI Director Carla Schroer contributed an article that highlights CHI's work in art conservation using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) technology. Among other examples, the author cites a microscopy study during an RTI training session at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies of the Harvard Art Museums. In that study, the participants examined makers' marks on gold and silver objects. This study was part of a 2011-2012 training project sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 21st Century Museum Professionals grant program.

Microscope setup at the Straus Center at the Harvard Art Museums   Microscope setup at the Straus Center at the Harvard Art Museums
Tiny spheres were placed near a small, monochromatic maker's stamp of the Florentine art dealer Stefano Bardini (1836-1922). The stamp was then imaged under the microscope. An RTI of the stamp imaged in the Straus Center study. The bottom of the figure shows the subject under normal light; the upper portion shows the enhanced reflectance revealing the surface shape.