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Saturday, May 31 • 10:30am - 11:00am
(Photographic Materials Session) Technical Investigation of Environmental Concerns for the Exhibition of Diazotypes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Diazotype prints are known to exhibit significant color change over time, which presents concerns for prints held in museum collections that may enter the exhibition rotation. The nature of the color change is not well understood, although it is presumed that both light exposure and environmental factors play a role. Given the relative absence of technical study on this subject, research was carried out at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to better understand how these factors influence change in diazotypes. Student interns Greta Glaser and Margaret Wessling carried out separate experiments on historic and modern diazotype samples leading up to the important exhibition of Francesca Woodman’s mammoth diazotype print, Blueprint for a Temple. The experiments focused on the effects of light and humidity on color change in the diazotype samples, quantified by spectrophotometric measurements with an X-Rite 968 spectrophotometer. Microfading was performed on the historic and contemporary samples to determine whether results varied when light was isolated as the factor of change. Finally, color and environmental monitoring were performed on Blueprint for a Temple before and after exhibition, and the real-time data were compared with the experimental results.

The presentation will outline both experiments performed on the historic and contemporary diazotype samples and present the results and conclusions. The results from microfading tests will also be delivered, along with the real-time results from the exhibition of Francesca Woodman’s, Blueprint for a Temple. All of the data will be considered for the development of exhibition recommendations for diazotype prints in museum collections.


Speaker(s)
avatar for Greta Glaser

Greta Glaser

Owner, Conservator, Crescent City Conservation
Greta Glaser earned her M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/ University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation with a major concentration in photographic materials and a minor concentration in works of art on paper. While at Winterthur she completed internships at the University... Read More →
MW

Margaret Wessling

Morse Fellow in Paper Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Margaret (Maggie) Wessling is the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Fellow for Advanced Training in Conservation of Works of Art on Paper at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Maggie holds an M.A. and a Certificate of Advanced Training in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Katherine Sanderson

Katherine Sanderson

Assistant Conservator of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Katherine Sanderson is Assistant Conservator of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. After receiving her B.A. from Wesleyan University in American Studies and Material Culture, she worked for Christie's and later spent several years as a Collections Care Specialist at the... Read More →


Saturday May 31, 2014 10:30am - 11:00am PDT
Grand Ballroom C