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X-Ray

An X-ray can produce extensive information about the construction of paintings on canvas and on wooden panels. Knowing whether the wooden boards are held together by wooden dowels or metal pins can dictate the course of treatment involved to minimise risks of damage and maximise results. Much can also be learnt about the condition of the piece itself. X-ray can also provide a tantalising window into the picture’s past by revealing the secrets hidden in the layers of paint. Often modifications and later alterations can be seen that are no longer visible to the naked eye. This is equally useful for both conservators and art historians. We use traditional X-ray film, developed and then mosaiced together on-site.

The X-ray above shows the shape of a silver platter and face of a woman, both details that were later painted out. The X-ray absorbent paint in these details, probably lead white, makes these shapes evident in X-ray examination.

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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.

Two Internships from September 2018

Oct 27, 2017

Two internships will be offered from September 2018. Tenable for 11 months in the first instance, interns may be invited to extend the internship for a further year. Applicants should be recent graduates from a recognised training programme.

A New Intern

Oct 05, 2017

The Hamilton Kerr Institute is delighted to welcome Ms Molly Hughes-Hallett who will join the Institute's prestigious Internship Programme for the academic year 2017-2018.

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