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Infrared Reflectography

Examination of paintings by infrared radiation often reveals changes in composition, damages, fillings and retouches. Its most frequent use is in the detection of underdrawing executed with carbon pigments. Thin paint layers, opaque to visible light, are often partially transparent to radiation in the 700 nm to 2,000 nm range. White gesso, and to a lesser extent other light-coloured grounds, reflect infrared rays, but where there is drawing reflectance is reduced. This phenomenon can show the carbon-based under-drawing beneath paint layers. This can be extremely informative about the history and construction of the painting. We have equipment that will capture infrared in the region of 1,000-1,300nm & 1,700-2,000nm. We are currently developing a new infrared mosaicing system and the website will be updated with this information.

 

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Celebration of Mary Kempski's Retirement

Apr 23, 2018

Alumni of the HKI, along with painting conservation practitioners gathered at the Hamilton Kerr Institute on Friday 20th April to celebrate Mary Kempski’s retirement.

Praise for Spike Bucklow's 'Red'

Feb 09, 2018

Spike Bucklow's "Red" was placed on the American Library Association's prestigious 'Choice List' of Outstanding Academic Publications, 2017. A review in the Burlington Magazine (CLIX, 2017, p. 737) said it was ‘written by a research scientist but with the flair of a biographer’

Artists before Columbus: new research on the Caribbean’s largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art

Oct 30, 2017

Published by the Journal of Archaeological Science on 30 October, the paper reveals key discoveries such as the first direct rock art dates in the Caribbean, how pre-Columbian rock-art was made and their paint recipes.

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