01 May 2010

Article: Digital Imagery for Historical Materials (2005)

Title: Digital Imagery for Significant Cultural and Historical Materials - An Emerging Research Field Bridging People, Culture, and Technologies
Author: Ching-chih Chen, Howard Wactlar, James Z. Wang and Kevin Kiernan
: International Journal on Digital Libraries,Special Issue: Towards the New Generation Digital Libraries: Recommendations of the US-NSF/EU-DELOS Working Groups, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 275-286, 2005

: http://stanford.edu/... (PDF, 461 Kb)

Digital imagery for significant cultural and historical materials is an emerging research field that bridges people, culture, and technologies. In this paper, we first discuss the great importance of this field. Then we focus on its four interrelated sub-areas: (1) creation and preservation, (2) retrieval, (3) presentation and usability, and (4) applications and use. We propose several mechanisms to encourage collaboration. We argue that the research has high potential impact to our digital society. Finally, we make specific recommendations on what to pursue in this field.

Need a SEM microphotograph of your sample for free?

I have recently came across with a campaign that may be interesting for most of you. There's a manufacturer of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) and Microanalysis software called ASPEX, that has a campaign called "Send Us Your Sample"
, which allows anyone to mail them an object and have it scanned for free under one of their desktop SEMs.

From their announcement:

People can send us a broken iPhone, an old toothbrush, or even a dead insect...anything they want to see a picture of under a powerful microscope. It's pretty cool. Once we receive the samples, we'll notify senders of their results via email. You can view other reports we've done here: http://www.aspexcorp.com/resources/send_sample.html

Since we started this campaign, we've seen a lot of interest from professionals, educators and students all around the globe. We have recently posted a YouTube video that shows how we go about sampling and how to demo our SEM. We also have our "Name That Sample" Campaign in which we put up a sample and the person who guesses correctly, or closest, wins a Brand New Netbook!

The submission process is simple:

1. Download and print this form from the ASPEX website.

2. Fill out the form and mail it along with the sample they want scanned to:

ASPEX Corporation
Free Sample Submissions
175 Sheffield Dr.
Delmont, PA 15626

3. Once ASPEX has completed the scan, the images and report will be posted on ASPEX's website.

Article: Nephele System for Artwork Restoration (2008)

Title: The Material Description and Classification in Nephele System for Artwork Restoration
Author: Miroslav Beneš, Barbara Zitová, J. Hradilová, David Hradil
Reference: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia , M. Ioannides, A. Addison, A. Georgopoulos, L. Kalisperis (eds.), VSMM International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, Limassol, CY, 2008
DOI: 20.10.2008-25.10.2008
Link: http://utia.cas.cz/... (pdf, 298 Kb)

We present a comprehensive information system for processing and archiving material analyses data produced during art restoration process - Nephele. The Nephele is a database system extended with image analyzing modules - image registration, segmentation, and object description and classification - designed for archiving and working with material analyses reports. The aim of the material analyses of paintings is to identify inorganic and organic compounds using microanalytical methods, and to describe painting layers and their morphology. Archiving all these data, Nephele can act as a knowledge base and an expert system for future advanced analyses. Image-type data of the archived reports are pre-processed, analyzed, and described for further evaluation. Moreover, next to the classical text-query database search Nephele supports report retrieval based on the similarity of the sample image to the archived image data, which can notably facilitate selection of relevant records to the current restoration case. In the near future, the Nephele system will be extended by the module for automatic painting material classification, based on neural network architecture and newly designed material taxonomy using object descriptors, capturing the layers morphology, their homogeneity or heterogeneity, and their color properties.

Article: Distinguishing Morrisseau Paintings and the Imitations (2009)

Title: Characterizing Elegance of Curves Computationally for Distinguishing Morrisseau Paintings and the Imitations
: Lei Yao, Jia Li and James Z. Wang

: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), Special Session on Cultural Heritage, 4 pages, 2009.

: http://stanford.edu/... (PDF, 1.1 Mb)

Computerized analysis of paintings has recently gained interest. The rapid technological advancements and the expanding interdisciplinary collaboration present us a promising prospect of computer-assisted authentication. We focus on the characterization of curve elegance. Specifically, we propose measures of curve steadiness and neighborhood coherence from brushstrokes. The technique has been applied to the paintings of renowned aboriginal Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau. Through computerized analysis of his authentic works and the imitations, it is revealed that the curves in his authentic paintings exhibit his commanding painting skills. The smooth and steady flow of the curves show less hesitancy of the artist than the authors of counterfeit works. The tangent angles tend to be more consistent along curves in the authentic paintings than in the imitations.

Article: Digital Imagery of Historical Materials (2006)

Title: Machine Annotation and Retrieval for Digital Imagery of Historical Materials
James Z. Wang, Kurt Grieb, Ya Zhang, Ching-chih Chen, Yixin Chen and Jia Li
Reference: International Journal on Digital Libraries, Special Issue on Multimedia Contents and Management in Digital Libraries, vol. 6, no. 1, pp 18-29, Springer-Verlag, 2006
: http://stanford.edu/... (PDF, 868 Kb)

Annotating digital imagery of historical materials for the purpose of computer-based retrieval is a labor-intensive task for many historians and digital collection managers. We have explored the possibilities of automated annotation and retrieval of images from collections of art and cultural images. In this paper, we introduce the application of the ALIP (Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures) system, developed at Penn State, to the problem of machine-assisted annotation of images of historical materials. The ALIP system learns the expertise of a human annotator based on a small collection of annotated representative images. The learned knowledge about the domain-specific concepts is stored as a dictionary of statistical models in a computer-based knowledge base. When an un-annotated image is presented to ALIP, the system computes the statistical likelihood of the image resembling each of the learned statistical models and the best concept is selected to annotate the image. Experimental results, obtained using the Emperor image collection of the {\it Chinese Memory Net} project, are reported and discussed. The system has been trained using subsets of images and metadata from the Emperor collection. Finally, we introduce an integration of wavelet-based annotation and wavelet-based progressive displaying of very high resolution copyright-protected images.

29 April 2010

Recording: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths (2009)

Title: Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths
File format: mp3
Link: http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/... (mp3)

The Royal Academy of Arts held a two-day symposium in September 2009, following the publication of the book 'Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths', edited by Dr Alison Bracker and Alison Richmond.

Table of contents:
Day 1, Session 1: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths
Chair: Laura Drysdale

The Adolescence of the Profession, Jonathan Ashley-Smith (mp3, 9.1 MB)

You are not being objective. Conservation as an act of taste, Salvador Muñoz Viñas (mp3, 9.5 MB)

When things go wrong: Sharing experiences for collective learning, Sarah Maisey (mp3, 9.4 MB)

Conservation fads, fashion and flummery: An incontrovertible truth? Andy Calver (mp3, 14.2 MB)

Chaired panel discussion with Laura Drysdale (Chair), Jonathan Ashley-Smith, Salvador Muñoz Viñas, Sarah Maisey, and Andy Calver (mp3, 16.7 MB)

Day 1, Session 2: Making Meaning: Theories and philosophies of conservation ethics

A material culture analysis of conservation principles, Dinah Eastop (mp3, 9.3 MB)

The painting as material interface between artist and beholder: Restoration philosophy, perception and neuroscience, Helen Glanville (mp3, 11.9 MB)

Dreaming of a universal approach: Brandi's Theory of Restoration and the conservation of contemporary art, Sebastiano Barassi (mp3, 10.2 MB)

Conservation as meaning-making in seventeenth-century Dutch art, Ari Tanhuanpää (mp3, 14.3 MB)

Chaired Panel discussion with Jonathan Rée (Chair), Dinah Eastop, Helen Glanville, Sebastiano Barassi, and Ari Tanhuanpää (mp3, 17.8 MB)

Day 2, Session 1: Social Memory: Tangible and Intangible Heritage

Among the Dead and their Possessions: A conservator’s role in the death, life, and afterlife of human remains and their associated objects, Sanchita Balachandran (mp3, 14.0 MB)

Cultural heritage Institutions and the safeguarding of tangible and intangible heritage in a changing world – Case study in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sudha Srestha (mp3, 5.8 MB)

From conservation to controversy? The intangible legacy of Calton Hill, Kirsten McKee (mp3, 9.1 MB)

Remembering the past: The role of social memory in the restoration of damaged paintings, Kim Muir (mp3, 9.9 MB)

Chaired Panel discussion with Simon Cane (Chair), Sanchita Balachandran, Sudha Srestha, Kirsten McKee, and Kim Muir (mp3, 14.2 MB)

Day 2, Session 2: Contested Values: Historic Buildings, Monuments and World Heritage Sites

Haveli – Indian courtyard House, Jhilmil Kishore (mp3, 8.7 MB)

Reconsidering conservation in response to the contested values of built heritage: Case studies in Taiwan in 2000s, Hsien-yang Tseng (mp3, 11.6 MB)

Cardross Seminary: Modernity, decay & ruin, Diane Watters (mp3, 9.6 MB)

Historic context and cultural content – A case study of Historic Cairo, Ehab Kamel (mp3, 11.4 MB)

Chaired Panel Discussion with Renée Tobe (Chair), Jhilmil Kishore, Hsien-yang Tseng, Diane Watters, and Ehab Kamel (mp3, 17.5 MB)

Day 2, Session 3: The Neues Museum Restoration by David Chipperfield Architects

Panel discussion with David Chipperfield CBE RA, Julian Harrap, and Kate Goodwin (mp3, 29.6 MB)

Article: Conservation in Crisis (2010)

Title: Conservation in Crisis - Communicating the value of what we do
Authors: A conversation between Anna Somers Cocks and Samuel Jones
Publisher: The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
Pages: 18
Year: 2010
Link: http://www.iiconservation.org/... (pdf, 1.3 Mb)

A discussion between Anna Somers Cocks, Founder and Editorial Director of The Art Newspaper and Samuel Jones of DEMOS and co-author of It's A Material World: Carting for the Public Realm, on the looming crisis in the field of conservation.
For this event the IIC wanted to step back a bit and look at the field of heritage conservation in a far more generalised way than is usual and explore why the profession appears to be especially susceptible to cutbacks and budget reductions during times of economic downturn, such as the one that is being experienced worldwide at the moment. Some would say that the profession of conservation lacks sufficient influence due to its small size relative to other fields of endeavour. Others would say that we are insular and have not made sufficient effort to reach out to other stakeholders in heritage in order to inform them of the value of what we do. Still others would say that we have been unwilling to involve others in our decision making and hence they lack both the understanding and investment that leads to support. Or is it a combination of these and other reasons?

Article: Studying Digital Imagery of Ancient Paintings (2004)

Title: Studying Digital Imagery of Ancient Paintings by Mixtures of Stochastic Models
: Jia Li and James Z. Wang

: IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 340-353, 2004

Link: article (PDF, 1.1 Mb), presentation (pdf, 2 Mb)

This paper addresses learning based characterization of fine art painting styles. The research has the potential to provide a powerful tool to art historians for studying connections among artists or periods in the history of art. Depending on specific applications, paintings can be categorized in different ways. In this paper, we focus on comparing the painting styles of artists. To profile the style of an artist, a mixture of stochastic models is estimated using training images. The 2-D multiresolution hidden Markov model (MHMM) is used in the experiment. These models form an artist's distinct digital signature. For certain types of paintings, only strokes provide reliable information to distinguish artists. Chinese ink paintings are a prime example of the above phenomenon; they do not have colors or even tones. The 2-D MHMM analyzes relatively large regions in an image, which in turn makes it more likely to capture properties of the painting strokes. The mixtures of 2-D MHMMs established for artists can be further used to classify paintings and compare paintings or artists. We implemented and tested the system using high-resolution digital photographs of some of China's most renowned artists. Experiments have demonstrated good potential of our approach in automatic analysis of paintings. Our work can be applied to other domains.

Article: Cybertools and Archaeology (2006)

Title: Cybertools and Archaeology
: Dean R. Snow, Mark Gahegan, C. Lee. Giles, Kenneth G. Hirth, George R. Milner, Prasenjit Mitra and James Z. Wang

: Science, vol. 311, issue. 5763, pp. 958-959, February 17, 2006

: http://stanford.edu/... (PDF, 200 Kb)

In archaeology and other historical sciences, diverse, widely distributed data include artifacts, notes, field logs, and other records. Future research requires that these archives be electronically accessible and user-friendly.

28 April 2010

Article: Image Processing for Artist Identification (2008)

: Image Processing for Artist Identification - Computerized Analysis of Vincent van Gogh's Painting Brushstrokes

: C. Richard Johnson, Jr., Ella Hendriks, Igor Berezhnoy, Eugene Brevdo, Shannon Hughes, Ingrid Daubechies, Jia Li, Eric Postma and James Z. Wang

: IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Special Issue on Visual Cultural Heritage, vol. 25, no. 4, 2008, pp. 37-48

: 10.1109/MSP.2008.923513

Link: http://stanford.edu/... (pdf, 4.3 mb)

27 April 2010

Article: Fresco restoration: digital image processing approach (2009)

Title: Fresco restoration: digital image processing approach
: Jan Blazek, Barbara Zitová, Miroslav Beneš, and Janka Hradilová

: 17th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO 2009), Glasgow, Scotland, August 24-28, 2009, pp. 1210-1214

: http://utia.cas.cz/... (pdf, 667 Kb)

In this paper, we present an application of digital image processing algorithms for the process of fresco restoration. Modern methods for image preprocessing and evaluation such as image registration, image fusion, and image segmentation are applied on images of the fresco, obtained in different modalities (visual and ultraviolet spectra) and at different times. Moreover, local chemical analyzes are taken into account during the image analysis. The robustness of proposed algorithms should be high due to the bad state of the fresco. Achieved results can give to art restorers better insight into the evolution of the fresco aging and in this way a proper conservation method can be chosen. Developed methods are illustrated by generated output images.

Article: Modeling of Wood Aging (2008)

: Modeling of Wood Aging Caused by Biological Deterioration

: Xin Yin, Tadahiro Fujimoto, Norishige Chiba, and Hiromi T. Tanaka

: Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Vol. 12, No.2, 2008, pp. 125-131

: http://www.fujipress.jp/... (pdf, 830 Kb)

Note: access to the article requires registration (free)

We propose visually simulating wood aging by microorganisms using an ant colony optimization algorithm to generate wood aging patterns. Ants deposit pheromone similar to termites and wood deterioration caused by termites is simulated using this algorithm. Patterns generated by this algorithm resemble many pattern in nature, meaning ant paths are representative of worm paths and ant pheromones are representative of microorganism growth. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique in experiments.

Article: Analysis of painting materials (2010)

Title: Analysis of painting materials on multimodal microscopic level
Author: Barbara Zitová, Miroslav Beneš, J. Hradilová, David Hradil
Reference: Proceedings of SPIE IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging 2010, D. G. Stork, J. Coddington, A. Bentkowska-Kafel (eds.), IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging 2010, San Jose, USA
DOI: 17.01.2010–21.01.2010
Link: http://library.utia.cas.cz/... (pdf, 932 Kb)

Our paper introduces a system based on digital image processing algorithms designed to facilitate analysis of painting materials during artwork conservation. Microscopic images of minute samples - cross sections – from the artworks are scanned using visible and ultraviolet spectra and under scanning electron microscope. Firstly, the scans are registered to remove geometrical differences. The multimodal nature of the problem led to the application of mutual information. The image quality is maximized by means of blind deconvolution methods. Cross-sections are then segmented to individual layers and distinctive seeds. For the image retrieval part, which facilitates further analyses and conclusions, the layers are represented by means of wavelet analysis and second order statistics. The library of such features can be connected to the time of creation and differences between vectors of the same materials but from different paintings can help during a painter authentication.

Article: image processing in medieval mosaic (2004)

Title: An application of image processing in the medieval mosaic conservation
Author: Barbara Zitová, Jan Flusser, and Filip Šroubek
Reference: Pattern Analysis and Applications vol.7, 1 (2004), p. 18-25 (2004)
DOI: 10.1007/s10044-003-0200-3
Link: http://library.utia.cas.cz/... (pdf, 927 Kb)

An application of image processing for the conservation of the medieval mosaic, IEEE 2002 International Conference in Image Processing, Rochester, New York, September 22-25, 2002, vol.3, pp. 993 - 996, DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2002.1039142

(pdf, 951 Kb)

We present an application of digital image processing techniques in medieval mosaic conservation. The reconstructed art piece was The Last Judgment mosaic, situated on the wall of the St. Vitus cathedral in Prague, in the Czech Republic. The historical photograph of the mosaic from the 19th century was compared with the photograph of the current state in order to detect mutual differences. The images were firstly pre-processed to increase their quality (noise reduction, deblurring). In the second stage, geometrical differences between images were removed by means of image registration techniques — mutual information and feature point correspondence. Finally, differences of the current and historical photographs were identified.

26 April 2010

Thesis: Painters' supports and studio practices (2009)

: Technical Art History: Painters' supports and studio practices of Rembrandt, Dou and Vermeer

:Jørgen Wadum

: University of Amsterdam

: 2009

Type of document
: thesis

: http://dare.uva.nl/... (pdf)

Table of contents

Introduction : discoursing artworks : the multiple faces of conservation documentation

Part I. Supports and their making, meaning and protection

The winter room at Rosenborg Castle : a unique survival of Antwerp mass-production

The Antwerp brand on paintings on panels

Historical overview of panel-making techniques in the northern countries

Microclimate boxes for panel paintings

Peeter Stas : an Antwerp coppersmith and his marks

Antwerp copper plates

Part II. Studio practices of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Dou

Dou doesn't paint, oh no, he juggles with his brush : Gerrit Dou, a Rembrandtesque 'fijnschilder'

Rembrandt under the skin : the Mauritshuis portrait of Rembrandt with gorget in retrospect

Vermeer in perspective
Contours of Vermeer

Part III. Bibliography

25 April 2010

Thesis: sculpture and sculptors in the Academie Royale de Peinture (2008)

Title: The human figure as method : study, sculpture and sculptors in the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (1725-1765)
Author: A.T. Macsotay Bunt
University: University of Amsterdam
Year: 2008
Pages: 573
Type of document: Thesis
Link: http://dare.uva.nl/... (pdf)

From the Introduction:
This dissertation deals with the study activities pursued by a series of French sculptors as apart of their training and admission in to the Academie royale de peinture et de sculpture (1648–1793) between 1725 and 1765. It is at the same time an art historical account and a cultural history, concerned with the long-term impact of the Academic movement in France and the transformation of sculpture in its wake. Such a transformation is understood, above all, culturally. It is not my intention to show changing styles of sculpture, or to present the reader with a narrative of innovation. Instead, I will allow the traces of a reconfiguration, on a cultural level, of the way sculpture was made and the way that the persona of the sculptor was defined. I will propose that these cultural stakes are pivotal to the understanding that one must ring, for art historical purposes, to the artistic etude, both as a notion and as a specific group of works, in the eighteenth century.

Table of Contents (short version):

1. Introduction

Part I. Academic sculptors
2. The practice of study: Nicolas Vleughels and the sculptors of the Académie de France in Rome (1724-1737)
3. The age of rehearsals: study and the notion of the academic
4. Rules for sculptors’ presentations and the function of freestanding figures
5. Carving and the demarcation of the academic sculptor

Part II. Academic sculptures

6. Mouvement : Falconet’s Milon and Adam’s Prométhée
7. Repos, Contraste : Bouchardon’s Christ, Saly’s Faune and Pigalle’s Mercure

Part III. Coda

The reception of Edmé Bouchardon as a discussion on methods and learning

Thesis: Laser Cleaning of Metal Artifacts (2006)

: Laser Cleaning as a Conservation Technique for Corroded Metal Artifacts

: Yang Sook Koh

: Luleå University of Technology

: 2006

: 114

ISSN: 1402-1544
Type of document
: Thesis

: http://epubl.luth.se/... (pdf, 4.5 Mb)

Preservation of cultural property for the future is one of the most important activities of our society. The information which we can gather from such materials is a valuable key to understanding the past. Conservation is a process which includes a range of different treatments. Cleaning is one of the critical steps of the conservation process and involves stabilizing the material and the exposure of hidden details on the surface of the artifact in question. As the artifacts are often fragile and irreplaceable it is very important to choose suitable techniques and methods to avoid damage. Research is still continuing to develop new or improved techniques. One of these new techniques is laser cleaning which has shown good potential as a cleaning tool in many material categories in conservation work.

Table of Contents (short version):

. Introduction

The ethics of 'Laser cleaning as a conservation technique for corroded metal artifacts'

3. (Paper A)
Cleaning of corroded iron artifacts using pulsed TEA CO2- and Nd:YAG-lasers

4. (Paper B)
The removal of layers of corrosion from steel surfaces: A comparison of laser methods and mechanical techniques

5. (Paper C)
Removal of adhesives and coatings from iron artifacts using TEA CO2- and Nd:YAG-lasers

6. (Paper D)
Experimental study on the effect of wavelength in the laser cleaning of silver threads

7. (Paper E)
Cleaning oxides from copper artifacts using a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser