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Thursday, May 29 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Research and Technical Studies Session) An examination of light-induced color change in anoxia and hypoxia using the microfading tester

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The exposure of cultural heritage artifacts to light represents one of the fundamental agents of deterioration in the museum setting. Mitigation of light damage to an artifact is typically achieved by limiting the intensity and duration of light exposure. As a consequence, the visitor’s viewing experience may be diminished by dim lighting conditions or lost when an artifact is placed in storage when nearing a pre-determined light dosage.

The housing of light-sensitive artifacts in reduced oxygen microenvironments, however, may serve to reduce the rate of light damage, for which color change is often used as a proxy. While several research groups have explored the effect of oxygen on color change for various materials, widespread use of reduced oxygen environments as a means of limiting light damage has been constrained by a) a limited dataset of anoxic color change results that has been clouded by a small sample subset which exhibit accelerated color change in such conditions, and b) the lack of readily available and affordable technology for establishing reduced oxygen microenvironments.

This study will focus on the expansion of the anoxic color change dataset by employing a micro-fading tester (MFT) to examine light-induced color change of a varied sample set in a reduced oxygen environment. Sample types exposed include organic dyes, gouaches, and natural history materials. In addition to inducing color change with the use of a high-intensity xenon lamp, the MFT is capable of simultaneous and continuous color measurement, allowing for an examination of the kinetics of color change.

The anoxic color change results obtained with the MFT will also be compared to previous results from a similar experiment in which an overlapping sample set was housed in anoxic conditions and exposed to halogen lamps using a traditional lightbox protocol. While acknowledged that the spectral power distribution and light intensities of the xenon and halogen lamps are different, a quantitative and qualitative comparison of results generated by exposure to the relatively experimental MFT and the more conventional lightbox method will advance our understanding of the relationship between the two experimental techniques.

avatar for Vincent Beltran

Vincent Beltran

Assistant Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute
Vincent Beltran joined GCI Science in 2002. He has been an active participant in a range of research projects including the mechanical characterization of historic materials, the effect of reduced oxygen environments on color change, evaluations of packing case performance during... Read More →

avatar for Andrew Lerwill

Andrew Lerwill

Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute
Dr. Andrew Lerwill is a Research Scientist at the Image Permanence Institute. Building upon his PhD dissertation "Micro-fading Spectrometry: an Investigation into the Display of Traditional Watercolour Pigments in Anoxia," his research interests have focused on the use of diverse... Read More →
avatar for Christel C. Pesme

Christel C. Pesme

Chief Conservator/ Deputy Director, Heritage Conservation Centre
Since November 2021, Christel Pesme holds the position of Chief Conservator at the Heritage Conservation Centre, the centralised purpose-built repository and conservation facility for the National Collection of Singapore. Prior to this role, she worked at M+ in Hong Kong, from... Read More →
avatar for James Druzik

James Druzik

Senior Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute
James Druzik is a Senior Scientist at The Getty Conservation Institute since 1985. His research interests have focused on preventive conservation including the origin and fate of anthropogenic oxidant air pollutants and particulates in museum environments and their control technologies... Read More →

Thursday May 29, 2014 2:00pm - 2:30pm PDT
Seacliff C-D