Author Archives: Nina Owczarek

Blue lines: multispectral imaging for pigment identification

Detail of marginal elements on page 360 of NEP-27. Notice the blue outlines around the gilded designs.

Visible-induced infrared (IR) luminescence is the invisible light that some materials produce when they are excited with visible light. We can capture that invisible light with a modified camera and use it to identify those materials and find out where they are. For those of you who follow the Artifact Lab Blog, this technique will […]

Posted in Conservation, Museum, Tech | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

When what you see is not what you get

30-47-17Aat1

The museum is getting ready to install an exhibition on this year’s Penn Humanities Forum theme: Color. This alabaster head from South Arabia (30-47-17A) was selected for the exhibition to help illustrate how representations of human heads were achieved in stone in a variety of cultures and throughout time. When it first came to the […]

Posted in Conservation, Museum | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ZAP! pXRF at the Penn Museum

The Conservation Department now has a portable x-ray fluorescence analyzer (or pXRF) courtesy of the 1956 Otto Haas Charitable Trust.  This is great news for the lab, since now we can answer frequently asked questions without having to consider destructive testing.  As stewards of our world’s material culture, this is a great new advantage! XRF […]

Posted in Conservation, Museum | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
  • Penn Museum

Beneath the Surface at the Penn Museum