Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research
Gordon Research Conference

Probing Hierarchically Complex Historical Materials and Their Modes of Characterization and Alteration


July 31 - August 5, 2016


Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River
Newry, ME


Jennifer Mass & Tim Wess

Vice Chairs:
C. Richard Johnson & Robert Van Langh

Meeting Description

Cultural Heritage Science is the intersection of several fundamental and applied scientific disciplines. It brings technologies and expertise from closely allied fields to bear on problems involving the preservation of global cultural heritage. By focusing on hierarchically complex materials, we can engage experts from diverse fields of data capture and analysis in formation of new collaborations that address cultural heritage problems and at the same time reciprocally enrich and challenge each field, stimulating the development and transfer of technologies between them.

The sampling and access constraints imposed on cultural heritage objects have meant that one off, standoff and microsampling methods are paramount. The imaging, diagnosis, and preservation of cultural heritage can be optimized through technology transfer and interdisciplinary collaboration, to expand the "tool kit" whilst inspiring researchers to explore beyond boundaries where innovation will occur, for example, the synergy of biofilm research in biomedicine and in cultural heritage monuments may be mutually beneficial. Forensic and environmental science, also afford important sources for new technologies applicable to the preservation of cultural heritage. The 2016 GRC will provide an opportunity for scientists taking novel approaches to extracting the maximum data from such samples in each discipline to share new partnerships.

Finally the Cultural Heritage in Crisis and First Nations Art and Artists' Materials sessions will explore societal connections with cultural heritage technologies for saving cultural heritage from war zones, the education of contemporary artists on preserving their work and legacy, and the pressing need to preserve material from endangered cultures who are in the process of losing their traditions, languages, and identity. We, the organizers of the Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research 2016 GRC, eagerly anticipate your joining with us for what promises to be a week of productive, stimulating, and forward-looking presentations and discussion.

Related Meeting

This GRC was held in conjunction with the "Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Final Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmForensic Science and Cultural Heritage Science – Cross-Disciplinary Problem Solving
Discussion Leader: John Lombardi (City College of New York, USA)
7:40 pm - 8:20 pmMaurice Aalders (Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
"Bringing Forensic and Medical Techniques to Cultural Heritage Research"
8:20 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:10 pmGregory Smith (Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA)
"Ancient Pigment Solves Modern Crime: Micronized Egyptian Blue Pigment as a Near-Infrared Luminescent Fingerprint Dusting Powder"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmBiofilms and Biodeteriorated Systems – Characterization Challenges Across Disciplines
Discussion Leader: Julie Arslanoglu (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA)
9:00 am - 9:40 amCaroline Kyi (University of Melbourne, Australia)
"Considerations in the Investigation and Evaluation of the Direct Impact of Conservation Measures, and Treatments, on Biodeterioration"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amBenjamin Ortega (Autonomous University of Campeche, Mexico)
"Bioactive Nanomaterials to Control Stone Microbial Colonization: Effectiveness and Possible Environmental Fate"
11:10 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmFrancesca Cappitelli (University of Milan, Italy)
"Importance of Interactions in the Tripartite System Stone/Biofilm/Air"
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 - 9:30 pmThe Fossil Record and Finds from Anaerobic and Arid Environments: New Preservation Problems and Analytical Tools
Discussion Leader: Nicholas Edwards (University of Manchester, United Kingdom)
7:30 pm - 8:10 pmMichael Toth (R.B. Toth Associates, USA)
"Making the Mummies Talk? A Project to Assess Nondestructive Imaging of Mummy Mask Cartonnage"
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmUwe Bergmann (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, USA)
"Rapid-Scan X-Ray Fluorescence Imaging in Cultural Heritage and Beyond"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmThe Preservation Challenges of Protein-Based Materials: Characterization and Quantification of Degradation
Discussion Leader: Michael Buckley (University of Manchester, United Kingdom)
9:00 am - 9:40 amLoic Bertrand (Synchrotron Soleil, France)
"Microscale Taphonomy Questioned by Advanced Photon-Based Imaging"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 amMatthew Collins (University of York, United Kingdom)
"Lessons from a Large Scale, Crowd Sourced Analysis of Parchment Manuscripts Using Peptide Mass Spectrometry"
11:00 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:40 amAdmir Masic (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Advanced Characterization Methodologies for the Non-Invasive Study of Deterioration Pathways in Ancient Manuscripts, Including Quantifying the Extent of Collagen Degradation in Dead Sea Scrolls"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pmColin Smith (La Trobe University, Australia)
"Investigating Ancient Proteins Using LC-IRMS"
12:20 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 pmTechnological Challenges of the Inaccessible: On-Site Cultural Heritage Investigations and Buried Stratigraphies
Discussion Leader: John Delaney (National Gallery of Art, USA)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmKoen Janssens (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
"Upgrading MA-XRF Scanning with MA-XRD Mapping - More Information on Past and Future Appearing on the Horizon"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pmWarren Warren (Duke University, USA)
"Using Low Power Nonlinear Microscopy to Image Cultural Heritage"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pmFilomena Salvemini (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Australia)
"Neutron Imaging: A Non-Destructive Approach for Heritage Materials"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmFailure Mechanisms in Cultural Heritage Objects
Discussion Leader: Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands)
9:00 am - 9:40 amAustin Nevin (Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFN-CNR), Italy)
"Towards Understanding Luminescence of Semiconductor Pigments and Their Degradation: Beyond Model Samples"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amShelley Svoboda (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA) and Kristin Wustholz (College of William and Mary, USA)
"Investigating Fugitive Pigments: Impact of Dye Structure and Mordant on Photochemistry"
11:10 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmNati Salvado (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain)
"How Time Also Paints: Identification and Distribution of Metal Carboxylates and Oxalates in Paint Layers"
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
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmCultural Heritage in Crisis – Scientific and Conservation Interventions to Preserve the Present for the Future
Discussion Leader: Francesca Casadio (Art Institute of Chicago, USA)
7:30 pm - 8:10 pmCorina Rogge (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA)
"A Simplicity Not So Simple - Causes of Deterioration in Franz Kline's Paintings"
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmJohn Delaney (National Gallery of Art, USA)
"Thoughts on the Use of Imaging Spectroscopy to Help Understand Changes in the Appearance of Paintings with Time"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmInnovative Surface Sensitive Probes and New Sampling Methods in Cultural Heritage Research
Discussion Leader: Thomas Beebe (University of Delaware, USA)
9:00 am - 9:40 amGraham Davis (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom)
"Life Beyond Decay: Using Tomography to Recover Images from Damaged Movie Film"
9:40 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amClaire Gervais (Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland)
"'We See Only What We Know' - Towards a Holistic 3D Imaging of Ancient Materials"
11:10 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmMarc Walton (Northwestern University / Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, USA)
"Object Biography at the Atomic Scale: A New Approach to Understanding the Structure, Form, and Color of Roman Opaque Red Glass with Atom Probe Tomography"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 5:30 pmPoster Session
5:30 pm - 7:30 pmFirst Nations' Art and Artists' Materials: Preserving Meaning, Appearance, and Function
Discussion Leader: Nancy Odegaard (University of Arizona, USA)
5:30 pm - 6:00 pmRachel Popelka-Filcoff (Flinders University, Australia)
"Ochre Journeys: Understanding Cultural Meanings and Technologies of Indigenous Ochre in Australia and Globally Through Analytical Methods"
6:00 pm - 6:10 pmDiscussion
6:10 pm - 6:40 pmCarole Dignard (Canadian Conservation Institute, Canada)
"A Study of Birch Bark Properties: Light Discoloration, Solvent Vapour Discoloration and Reshaping, and Plastic Memory"
6:40 pm - 6:50 pmDiscussion
6:50 pm - 7:20 pmVera de la Cruz Baltazar (Arcilla y Arquitectura, Mexico)
"Bloody Red in the History of Oaxaca"
7:20 pm - 7:30 pmDiscussion
8:00 pmDinner
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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