‘A Dark Future’ Lecture at RE-VALUE Conference

One of the researchers involved in the CATS project ‘A Dark Future’ is Senior Conservator Niels Borring from the National Gallery of Denmark. He was invited by the Danish Ministry of Culture to do a lecture on the project and its outcomes at the Julius Bomholt seminar in Aarhus this past November. This seminar was a part of the larger RE-VALUE Conference held by Aarhus University that lasted from 8-11 November 2017. To read more about this conference, click here.

Abstract: An examination of the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) and the Danish Royal Library (RL) graphic collections has shown that old master drawings (SMK) and photographs (RL) are affected by darkening of the white highlights.  Lead white was identified on all the objects studied.  Artworks and housing materials from both institutions together with a group of test samples created in the laboratory have been examined by analytical means to better understand and locate the degradation sources. The levels of H2S in storage and galleries were also measured. In the housing materials from SMK and the RL sulfur products were identified. Results point out that the degradation can be attributed to a combination of poor archival housing materials, outside pollutants, and in some locations the presence of many people as well as humidity.