Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research
Gordon Research Conference

Non-Destructive Imaging and Micro-Analysis in Cultural Heritage


July 29 - August 3, 2012


Mount Snow
West Dover, VT


Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke & Marco Leona

Vice Chairs:
Francesca Casadio & Philippe Walter

Meeting Description

This new Gordon Research Conference on Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research seeks to advance the frontiers of science and knowledge connected with the material components, structures and degradation processes of cultural heritage objects.

Complexity at multiple temporal and spatial scales is the defining characteristic of cultural heritage. Nanoscience, imaging, sensing and sensors design, computational modelling, and materials design need to be brought together to understand and preserve humankind’s tangible archaeological, historic and artistic patrimony. This conference seeks to foster the dialogue between those pushing the boundaries on methods and instrumentation in academia or large scale facilities, and researchers in cultural heritage. It will not only advance the field of cultural heritage research, but also serve to stimulate developments in and of service to other fields. The information to be gained by interdisciplinary scientific investigation of cultural heritage materials has clear impact and relevance not only in the humanities, but also in basic science and in science education. Scientific research increases understanding of ancient technology, artist intent, deterioration processes, and preservation strategies. At the same time, the complexity of cultural heritage material stimulates applications and technology development and offers a multidisciplinary platform for scientific education and outreach. With this conference we want to attract a new generation of scientists by offering challenging problems connected to fascinating objects.

This meeting will focus on the investigation of materials relevant to cultural heritage at multiple scales with an emphasis on microanalysis and imaging techniques and on opportunities at large scale facilities. Recent and upcoming developments in techniques such as hyperspectral imaging, Terahertz spectroscopy, tomography, elemental and molecular analysis using photons, neutrons and ions at large scale facilities, as well as new lab-size sources such as inverse Compton sources (ICS) will be discussed in the context of cultural heritage research. The participation of young investigators will be encouraged through dedicated complementary poster sessions, with selection of the best abstract for oral presentation during the special Thursday evening session.

Discussions during this first conference will help to provide stewardship and vision for future Gordon Conferences in this series, likely focusing on research in chemistry and biology for cultural heritage.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Office Closed 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:45 pm - 9:30 pmComplex materials: case studies from the Old and the New World
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion Leader: Ernst Pernicka (Universität Tübingen and Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum, Mannheim, Germany)
7:50 pm - 8:30 pmIra Rabin (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Berlin, Germany, and Forensic Science Institute, Jerusalem, Israel)
"2000 + 65 years: history of the Genesis Apocryphon"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:20 pmJose Luis Ruvalcaba Sil (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico)
"Mesoamerican Artifact Studies: Stone and Gold Materials"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmStructures at the Nanoscale
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Karen Trentelman (Getty Conservation Institute, LA, USA)
9:10 am - 9:50 amMarc Walton (Getty Conservation Institute, LA, USA)
"Structure and composition of Athenian pottery at the macro, micro, and nano scale and what it reveals about production technology"
9:50 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 amGroup Photo / Coffee Break
10:40 am - 11:20 amXiuzhen Janice Li (Museum of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum, Xian, China, and University College London, London, UK)
"Finishing bronze weapons for the Qin Terracotta Army: chiselling, filing and grinding marks investigated with electron microscopy"
11:20 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 12:15 pmTim Wess (Cardiff University, UK)
"Historical collagen based material"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmHard X-Rays: from Large Scale Facilities to Tabletop Sources
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmDiscussion Leader: Esen Ercan Alp (Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, USA)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmGilberto Artioli (Università di Padova, Italy)
"High energy X-ray diffraction: old and new tools"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmMarie Jacquet (Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire LAL, Orsay, France)
"Inverse Compton Compact X-ray Sources: State of the Art and Potential of Applications"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:00 pmStructures at the Microscale I: The Role of Spectroscopy
9:00 am - 9:05 amDiscussion Leader: Marie-Claude Corbeil (Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, Canada)
9:05 am - 9:45 amCostanza Miliani (Università di Perugia, Italy)
"Photoluminescence properties of painting materials: from the laboratory to the museum"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:20 am - 11:00 amMarine Cotte (European Synchrotron Research Facility, Grenoble, France)
"Studying artistic materials with synchrotron-based X-ray micro-spectroscopy: motivations, challenges, and solutions"
11:00 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:50 amCarol Hirschmugl (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA)
"Synchrotron-Based Wide-Field Infrared Chemical Imaging"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion Panel 1: The Role of Large Scale Facilities in Cultural Heritage Studies
Uwe Bergmann (Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Stanford, USA) and Koen Janssens (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmStructures at the Microscale II: From Bio-Organic Heritage to Modern Art
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmDiscussion Leader: Tami Lasseter Clare (Portland State University, Portland, USA)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmIoanna Kakoulli (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
"Multiscale and multianalytical organic/inorganic research in archaeology"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmJennifer Mass (Winterthur Museum, Wilmington, USA)
"Imaging the Light-Induced Degradation of Henri Matisse's Le Bonheur de vivre"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmStructures at the Macroscale
9:00 am - 9:05 amDiscussion Leader: Hassina Z. Bilheux (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)
9:05 am - 9:45 amRobert van Langh (Rijskmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
"Bronze Casting Technology in the Renaissance"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 amCoffee Break
10:20 am - 11:00 amEberhard Lehmann (Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland)
"Neutron and X-ray Imaging of Cultural Heritage Objects"
11:00 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:50 amAndrea Denker (Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Germany)
"Neutron autoradiography: a unique access to the substance of paintings"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion Panel 2: New Trends in Chemistry for Cultural Heritage Studies
Christian Amatore (Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, France) and Zeev Rosenzweig (National Science Foundation, Arlington, USA)
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmLasers: from Molecules to Macrostructure
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmDiscussion Leader: Y. Lawrence Yao (Columbia University, New York, USA)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmRichard van Duyne (Northwestern University, Evanston, USA)
"Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Art Conservation"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmPiotr Targowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland)
"Optical Coherence Tomography"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmImaging and Depth Profiling
9:00 am - 9:10 am Discussion Leader: Kaori Fukunaga (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
9:10 am - 9:50 amJohn Delaney (National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA)
"Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy of Works of Art: Artist Material Identification and Mapping"
9:50 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amMargriet van Eikema Hommes (University of Delft, Netherlands)
"Revealing hidden paint layers with Scanning Macro X-ray - Fluorescence Spectrometry: Case studies from Rembrandt's pupils"
11:10 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmBernhard Blümich (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany)
"Portable MRI for Nondestructive Testing of Cultural Heritage"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 8:35 pmInterdisciplinary Investigations in Archaeology
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmDiscussion Leader: Markus Reindel (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Bonn, Germany)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmKeynote Speaker: Friederike Seyfried (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin, Germany)
"Inside Egyptian artifacts - the Berlin bust of Pharaoh Akhenaton and other prominent sculptures"
8:15 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 9:30 pmBest Poster Abstract Competition Winners
Moderator: Francesca Casadio (Art Institute Chicago)
8:35 pm - 8:45 pm1st prize: Zarah Walsh (University of Cambridge, UK)
"Supramolecular hydrogels as next generation consolidants for archaeological wood conservation"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:05 pm2nd prize: Glenn Gates (The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA)
"Multi-Layer Atomic Layer Deposition Films as Protective Coatings for Silver Art"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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