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Subject: Symposium on XRF

Symposium on XRF

From: Aniko Bezur <abezur<-a>
Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Art Conservation Symposium: XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence):  What is It?
    And What is It Doing in an Art Museum?

at the Caroline Wiess Law Building,
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Oct 18, 2008

This symposium is generously sponsored by the Institute of Museum
and Library Services (IMLS).

A new tool has propelled the science of photography conservation
light years into the future. Called XRF for X-Ray Fluorescence, this
small, portable analyzer probes deep inside the surface of a
photograph, identifying the elements that comprise the supporting
layers and final image materials, and revealing the extraordinary
nature of photographic processes through nondestructive "chemical

The museum's photography collection contains more than 22,000
prints, many of them turn-of-the century vintage prints with complex
chemical compositions, the result of hand-mixing and coating in the
field. In order to obtain the knowledge to properly conserve
photographs which have experienced deterioration, conservators must
be able to identify the imaging and toning materials before a
treatment process can be outlined and implemented. Thanks to XRF,
many photographs in the museum's collection which previously could
not be completely identified to inform conservation treatment are
now undergoing systematic treatment to restore them for the future.

This afternoon symposium explores the initial development of XRF for
the space shuttle, its subsequent adaptation for industrial and
photographic use, the science of photo conservation, and the
implications of XRF for the continuing evolution of the museum's
photography collection.

1 pm-6 pm

    Welcome and Opening Remarks
    Wynne H. Phelan, Director of Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts,

    The Yin and Yang of XRF Technology as Applied to Art
    Conservation and Restoration
        Dr. Bruce Kaiser, Chief Scientist and Art Conservation
        Expert, Bruker AXS, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah

    The Impact of Electronic Imaging and Non-Destructive Analytical
    Techniques in Photograph Conservation
        Ralph Wiegandt, Assistant Director for Conservation
        Education, Advanced Residency Program in Photograph
        Conservation, George Eastman House International Museum of
        Photography and Film, Rochester, New York

    Short Refreshment Break

    Looking over the Shoulder of the Artist: Adapting XRF
    Spectroscopy to the Study of Photographic Techniques
        Dr. Aniko Bezur, Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist, the
        Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection,

    Case Studies: The Photography Collection at the MFAH
        Toshiaki Koseki, The Carol Crow Conservator of Photography,
        the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

    Looking at Pictures: No Longer By My Eyes Alone
        Anne Wilkes Tucker, The Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of
        Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


At the conclusion of the symposium you are invited to join the
speakers for a wine reception in the lobby of the museum's Caroline
Wiess Law Building.

    Brown Auditorium Theater
    The Caroline Wiess Law
    The Museum of Fine Arts,
    1001 Bissonnet
    lectures<-a t->mfah< . >org

Admission is open to the public and free with general museum
admission. Museum members always receive free admission. No
registration required.

Aniko Bezur, PhD
Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist for
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Menil Collection
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
PO Box 6826
Houston, TX 77265-6826
Fax: 713-639-7740

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:14
                 Distributed: Sunday, September 7, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-22-14-012
Received on Wednesday, 3 September, 2008

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