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Non-destructive lightfastness testing of artworks

Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst
Hauptgebäude, Augasse 2–6, 1090 Wien, 1. OG, D1.15

Vortrag von Prof. Tomasz Łojewski Faculty of Material Science and Ceramics, AGH University of Science and Technology
Kraków, Polan.

Microfading is a relatively new technique used in conservation science to evaluate light sensitivity of objects in a non-destructive way. The micro fading tests (MFT) could be performed for nearly all classes of materials found in museum collections, and the method is particularly suited to study fugitive objects (works on paper – manuscripts, prints, watercolors; canvas paintings; textiles). Data obtained for a given object allows to rank it against light sensitivity standards, i.e. the ISO Blue Wool Standard, which are widely used reference materials for lightfastness. The microfading tests helps to adopt exhibition policies to actual data obtained for each tested object rather than use general assumptions which could be either to conservative (and unnecessarily limit viewers access to the object) or to optimistic (and lead to irreversible light-induced damage). During the presentation a state-of-the-art equipment for MFT would be available to the audience. Following a short introduction to accelerated ageing and color science several practical tests will be performed on-site with a full data evaluation and discussion.


Prof. Dr. Hab. Tomasz Łojewski

Chemist with a specialization in heritage science, currently working at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. Organizer of a two semester post-graduate course: Analytical techniques applied in conservation of heritage objects , running now for 11 years in Krakow. Organizer and the head of the Paper Degradation Laboratory (at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, 2002-2016) and co-organizer of the Paper Clinic – a unit located at the Jagiellonian Library with two paper mass scale deacidification methods. Member of the E-RIHS.PL – Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science – an initiative to give access to physicochemical methods to Polish heritage institutions.

Current research interests: advancement of non-destructive lightfastness testing for works of art, multispectral imaging for heritage objects, reflectance transformation imaging. For the listed techniques, in cooperation with local high-tech companies, a commercially available instruments were developed.