New Conservation Techniques in the Digital Age

Light Projection

In late 2014, Harvard University concluded a six year restoration project with the unveiling of Mark Rothko’s restored Harvard Murals at the newly renovated Harvard Art Museum.

Originally placed in a Harvard dining hall in 1962 and subject to over 15 years of sun exposure, the severely faded paintings have been locked away in storage since 1979.

The works were once thought irreparably damaged and too fragile to undergo restoration. Rothko’s special paint formulations could not withstand the use of isolating varnishes, a standard preservation technique, rendering any hands-on restoration work irreversible; a fundamental contradiction to conservation best practices.

In conjunction with MIT and the University of Basel, Harvard Art Museum’s conservation team developed custom software that evaluated the faded areas against the original colors, calculating new images with corrective light levels. The revised image was then projected onto the original canvas via low-intensity light, virtually restoring faded hues, pixel by pixel.

Digitally-enhanced projected light may be the key to returning masterpieces, once deemed too fragile for traditional conservation methods, to public view. Learn more about the project in this video.

3D Digitization

3D scanning technology has provided innovative new tools for cultural preservation and improved access to cultural objects for contemporary audiences.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum recently completed the Gunboat Philadelphia digitization project, updating their traditional exhibition of the historic Revolutionary War vessel with dynamic three-dimensional data.

Monitoring the deterioration of large scale objects can be painstakingly arduous—the condition information from hundreds of surface points must be recorded, compared, and analyzed.

Departing from traditional methods of conservation documentation, the Smithsonian implemented 3D scanning and advanced digital photography to collect data from the Philadelphia, enabling real-time feedback of minute areas of erosion and other structural changes.

3D technology provides new tools for the care of objects, creating more complete documentation that is specific to each object’s unique decaying pattern, and provide thorough history trails of data for future comparison.

In addition to the groundbreaking inroads in preservation, 3D documentation technology can drive new levels of public engagement and interaction. The Philadelphia’s 3D data is now accessible via the web, allowing the public to not only view the ship in various, previously inaccessible angles, but to also print their very own replica models using a standard 3D printer.

3D technology has also found a role in the preservation of historical sites. With the advent of 3D scanning, specialists can create digital blueprints of heritage sites with remarkable precision. Buildings and landscapes can be replicated and restored in virtual form based on the scanned point cloud data, digitally safeguarding the site for future generations. In an effort to protect cultural heritage sites from the threats of natural and man-made disasters, CyARK, a non-profit organization with the mission of using new technologies to create an online library of cultural heritage sites, has already fully captured data from 40 historic sites, including the Titanic, Pompeii, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and continues to work towards the goal of preserving 500 historic locations over the next five years.

2017-06-28T16:25:34+00:00 By |Conservation|36 Comments

About the Author:

Karen Waldemar
Currently Project Specialist and internal “champion” of the Conservation Studio project, Karen Waldemar has been with Gallery Systems for over thirteen cumulative years in multiple roles. Her experience includes museum-specific projects as well as participation in the development and planning of Gallery Systems products, including TMS. She has worked with museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Tate (London) and d:kult (Düsseldorf).


  1. Wholesale NBA Jerseys January 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Plenty of people grow very afraid of growing old because they overlook this.C. Regardless of the benefits offered by the Nationwide Well being Service, the monetary burden for individuals who fall ill is often overwhelming. In other words, you must not just launch your whole self to greatness, but try to get greatness from the segments you dabble in. .
    Wholesale NBA Jerseys

  2. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale January 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Although a lot of people prefer this variety because of the benefits, there are also some downsides. As you gear up in your career, your network can easily observe your change in jobs and positions as it has been programmed that way and linked to your email.S. Website building can be a tough process for those of us who don’t have an awesome relationship with their computer.Though officials told the Times that Banah hadn’t yet received any of the tax breaks, the misstep is the latest vetting embarrassment for Enterprise Florida, the public private economic development arm of the state that Governor Rick Scott expects to help him deliver on his campaign promises of job creation.
    Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale

  3. Cheap NFL Jerseys From China January 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Find friends common to him. Important whenever you swim or bathe is to wipe off any excess liquid in your ear area afterwards.So check the tyres that you have fitted to your Allow Wheels Hertfordshire and keep yourself safe from now on.The core sicknesses, which had been set as cancer, heart assault and stroke, still stay at present and additions to this, new ones have been added; including main organ transplant and Mortgage protection. Specific lenses are said to be capable of treating eye ailments further than impaired eyesight.

  4. website January 19, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I have learn a few excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you set to make this sort of
    fantastic informative web site.

  5. SophiaOneby January 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    las vegas casinos free slots
    [url=]usa online slots real money[/url]
    real money casino online
    casinos in west virginia

  6. Athletic Greens review January 20, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found
    that it’s truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will
    be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  7. VedBroate January 20, 2018 at 4:54 am

    cheap cialis australia pro cialis [url=]cialis professional[/url] ’

  8. Cheap Jerseys January 20, 2018 at 9:40 am

    The argument of severity has often precipitated issues for those whose claims have been declined as their sickness was not far sufficient progressed.The concept of venting smoke and heat was first outlined by Industrial Risk Insurers (IRI). Regardless of the size of the garden you have and how many crops you are cultivating, you still require several products at one point and the garden can’t develop without them.Website templates can simply take your website to an additional level. The traditional black and white list formatted resume with a cover letter has come a long way and now become tech savvy.

  9. CarolynKnoma January 20, 2018 at 10:55 am

    payday loans no credit check
    [url=]payday loans[/url]
    payday loans
    payday loans

  10. casino games January 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    online casinos 2016
    casino g
    online casinos 2016
    play casinos

  11. Pamelacoste January 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    casinos in west virginia
    [url=]online casinos for us players[/url]
    casino slot games to play for free
    top online casino

  12. casino online usa January 20, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    casino online free
    casino games slots
    casino online
    casino games free

  13. Wholesale Jerseys From China January 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    First, regardless of where you get married in Las Vegas, you need to get a marriage license. In fact, if you won’t have on your Mad Lenses every single day and care for them properly, yearly lenses can last up to 18 months. It enables both partners to maintain and kiss for the whole time when in sexual intercourse. Author Resource: These female sex pills are designed to enhance the sexual desire of a female by a lot. Using a fresh pair of soft contacts means less risk of contagion and cleaning.
    Wholesale Jerseys From China

  14. pogo casino slots January 20, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    free casino games and poker
    casino online usa
    casino online for fun
    online casino

  15. Cheap NFL Jerseys January 20, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    But for this, you need a professional, who can convert your dreams into reality. This is the major reason why it is not easy to pick the most effective one. Website building can be a tough process for those of us who don’t have an awesome relationship with their computer. And, keep in mind, that no matter how little money you can afford to spend on your wedding, the most important thing is that at the end of the day, you are married. These power roof ventilators have the added advantage of providing normal day to day ventilation and in many cases can also be fitted with duct work for use in multi storey buildings.
    Cheap NFL Jerseys

  16. EvDronse January 21, 2018 at 1:48 am

    buy cialis online cialis online cialis uk sales [url=]cialis online pharmacy[/url] ’

  17. VedBroate January 21, 2018 at 2:23 am

    purchase cialis purchase cialis [url=]cialis price[/url] ’

  18. Crystle January 21, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Very interesting info!Perfect just wat I was searching for!

  19. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet viewers, its really really pleasant article
    on building up new weblog.

  20. gdpr training January 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you
    actually understand what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked.
    Kindly additionally visit my site =). We could have a hyperlink trade contract between us

  21. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team
    of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous

  22. gdpr practitioner training london January 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    When someone writes an article he/she keeps the idea of
    a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is amazing. Thanks!

  23. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping January 21, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Instead, when Banah chairman Alexander I.Another important thing comes under this process is, you can change the overall look of your home by using your ideas also. The lady in this placement can ether lie on her knees or on her belly. You can learn by visiting these vendors online or you can (very affordably) buy the complete beginner program offered here.Each and every mom or dad demands an intermittent break off their youngsters.

  24. Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and outstanding design.

  25. great points altogether, you just won a brand new reader.
    What would you suggest about your put up that you just made some days in the past?
    Any positive?

  26. payday loans bad credit January 21, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    loans online instant approval
    payday loans online bad credit
    payday loans las vegas
    loans online only

  27. fast quick loans online January 21, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    payday loans las vegas
    loans online instant approval
    best fast loans online
    online payday loans tx

  28. payday loans definition January 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    loans online instant
    loans online instant
    online loans
    payday loans online application

  29. payday loans online legit January 22, 2018 at 1:38 am

    online payday loans tx
    loans online no credit check
    payday loans online no credit check
    online loans for bad credit

  30. VecBranty January 22, 2018 at 2:48 am

    bad credit loans for military payday loans for military fast payday loan fast payday loan [url=]payday loans[/url]

  31. result of kerala lottery January 22, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Great article, exactly what I was looking for.

  32. Barbarabor January 22, 2018 at 4:17 am

    casinos in us
    [url=]download free casino slot games[/url]
    online casinos for us players
    best us casinos online

  33. Type HC Power Roof Ventilators have been tested to operate: conituously at 650 F; 3 Hours at 800 F; 1. Website building can be a tough process for those of us who don’t have an awesome relationship with their computer.If you get extra space within your existing home, why you need a larger home? It is advisable, if you get functional room by using unused space of your existing home wisely. Your toddler will restore desire for their playthings when they are distinct every day and this will make it so that you don’t must buy several.C.

  34. showerguard January 22, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at work so I decided
    to browse your site on my iphone during lunc break.

    I really like thee knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow,
    superb site!

  35. Brcsweaby January 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    debt free first cash advance biggest cash payday loan [url=]cash advance[/url]

  36. Wholesale Jerseys January 22, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Our enthusiasm and apparent businesses has allowed us to earn the conviction of our patrons. Goals live in the top, but desires live in the heart. The second type of hearing loss is where a problem exists in the inner ear area and this is called SHL or sensorineural hearing loss. In fact, these have become more adaptable than original models. Every agricultural branch needs time invested and resources, but it is highly rewarding in the end when you get to see the results of your work.
    Wholesale Jerseys

Leave A Comment


Join Our Community

Get our best collection management tips, trends and articles in your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thanks for signing up to get industry news and resources delivered straight to your inbox.