IMAGING


The Center offers imaging services to meet two distinct needs: to examine artworks in preparation for conservation, and to document items before and after treatment.

Before beginning work, conservators may employ a number of imaging techniques to explore the layers of an artwork that are visible and invisible to the naked eye. Some of these approaches employ standard digital photography and specialized lighting, while others involve equipment capable of producing or capturing electromagnetic wavelengths above or below the narrow band of the visible spectrum. WACC provides all approaches, including:

space

  • Diagnostic photography in raking and reflective light
  • Long-wave ultraviolet photography
  • Infrared photography
  • Radiography
  • Reflectance Transmittance Imaging (RTI)

Diagnostic photography provides useful evidence of the surface condition of artworks.

space

Everything conserved by WACC is photographed to provide a visual document of treatment history. Documentary imaging records all stages of the conservation process, including the object’s condition before treatment, during treatment at key stages of the work, and after treatment is complete. This documentation is useful to the client in understanding all aspects of the treatment, and creates a record of procedure and condition for future curatorial and conservation reference.

s

BeforeBefore
AfterAfter

TYPES OF IMAGING TECHNIQUES


RAKING LIGHT IMAGING

Raking light imaging provides useful evidence of the surface condition of artworks, particularly for documenting stability or structural issues.

ULTRAVIOLET IMAGING (UV)

Ultraviolet imaging reveals fluorescence of materials, indicating their composition and age.

INFRARED REFLECTOGRAPHY (IR)

This type of imaging uses non-destructive infrared wavelengths to reveal hidden aspects of a work of art, especially carbon-based preparatory underdrawing.

X-RADIOGRAPHY

Radiography, or X-ray analysis, records structural elements otherwise impossible to inspect.X-rays are created with a digital Lorad system. WACC’s X-ray room has a 160 kV capacity, allowing us to examine large works in marble and bronze as well as bigger furniture pieces. The digital-capture system allows conservators to assess results almost instantaneously.

REFLECTANCE TRANSMITTANCE IMAGING (RTI)

RTI works by taking a set of images that are lit and shot in a certain way and then processes them through software that applies a mathematically derived specular enhancement.It produces an interactive image file that can reveal subtle information about the surface of an object that might be difficult to resolve otherwise. i