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Subject: Course on microscopical identification of pigments

Course on microscopical identification of pigments

From: Joseph R. Swider <jswider<-a>
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2005
Microscopical Identification of Pigments for Art Conservation and
Architectural Restoration Professionals

On January 1st, 2004 McCrone Associates, Inc. announced the
establishment of the new College of Microscopy
<URL:>. The College marks a
milestone for McCrone Associates, Westmont, IL as it expands its
services to include teaching microscopy on a routine basis. With a
staff that has more than 40 years of teaching experience, the
College will begin by offering classes in Light, Scanning Electron
Microscopy, Sample Preparation and Special Applications (White
Powders, Pharmaceuticals, Trace Evidence, Pigments, etc.).

The College of Microscopy is pleased to offer a course in paint
materials identification for conservation professionals in art
conservation and architecture. The focus of this course will be the
identification of pigments using polarized light microscopy (PLM). A
thorough practical introduction to PLM methods will be taught using
many examples from the world of pigments. Other analytical methods
will also be introduced as confirmatory methods; these include
microchemical methods, elemental characterization using XRF or
SEM/EDS, and Raman and infrared spectroscopy. The student will
examine and sample cultural and architectural artifacts, prepare
specimens for analysis, perform PLM analysis and direct or perform
further confirmatory analyses. Methods for characterization of
binding media and support canvas materials will also be discussed.

Course Outline

    1.  Mechanical and optical alignment of microscope
    2.  Illumination
    3.  Particle handling, manipulation and mounting
    4.  Micrometry
    5.  Morphology
    6.  Color absorption
    7.  Plane-polarized light and refractive index measurement
    8.  Color pleochroism
    9.  Spot, solubility and microchemical tests
    10. Crossed polarizers
    11. Isotropic and anisotropic particles
    12. Birefringence and Michel-Levy Interference Color Chart
    13. Extinction
    14. Compensation
    15. Sign of elongation
    16. Conoscopy and interference figures
    17. Specimen preparation
    18. Confirmatory methods: EDS, FTIR, Raman, microchemical tests
    19. Survey of artist's pigments
    20. Sampling a painting
    21. Sampling architectural materials
    22. Preparing paint cross sections
    23. Introduction to canvas fiber analysis

What you will learn:

    *   How to identify artist's pigments

    *   Polarized light microscopy (Olympus BX51 microscopes and
        SZX12 stereomicroscopes)

    *   How to cross section paint chips

    *   How to sample paintings and architectural materials

    *   Canvas fiber analysis

Who Should Enroll:

    Art Conservation Students
    Architectural Preservationists
    Color scientists

Student Learning Resources:

    Detailed course manual
    Olympus BX51 microscope for each student
    SZX12 stereomicroscopes

Suggested Prerequisites: Experience or training in the analysis and
conservation of pigments. Student should be familiar with polarized
light microscopy concepts


College of Microscopy
850 Pasquinelli Drive
Westmont, Illinois 60559
Fax: 630-887-7417

The cost of the course is $1850 which includes the manual and sample
sets. This cost does not include travel or lodging. Members of AIC
are reminded that FAIC scholarships for continuing education up to
$1000 are available for courses such as this.

The College offers other microscopy courses that are applicable to
conservators and conservation scientists such as particle
manipulation and polarized light microscopy.

For more information, please see

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:52
                    Distributed: Friday, May 6, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-52-002
Received on Thursday, 28 April, 2005

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