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Analysis of Modern Paints

  • Thomas J. S. Learner

    Although oil remains an important binding medium in artists' paints, today's synthetic resins are being used with increasing frequency. This was true during much of the twentieth century, when artists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso used commercial or industrial paints based on synthetic resins. The growing popularity of synthetic resin materials carries important implications for the conservation, preservation, and treatment of modern art.

    This volume outlines the techniques that are currently employed to analyze the synthetic resins used in modern painting materials, such as pyrolysis-gas-chromatography—mass spectrometry, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, and direct temperature-resolved mass spectrometry. For each technique, results are given for standard samples of the principal classes of synthetic binding media, various pigments and extenders, tube paint formulations, and microscopic paint fragments taken from actual works of art.

    Primarily intended for conservation scientists, conservators, researchers, and students of conservation, this book will also be of interest to other museum professionals.

    Thomas J. S. Learner is senior scientist for contemporary art research at the Getty Conservation Institute and former senior conservation scientist at Tate, in London.

    Related Getty Conservation Institute projects: Contemporary Art Research: Modern Paints

    236 pages
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    10 color illustrations
    240 spectra, 37 drawings
    ISBN 978-0-89236-779-5

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute
    Series: Research in Conservation