From Documentation to Discovery: Preservation Photographic Imaging Leaps from the Illustrative to the Quantitative

A session at MCN 2013 - Museum Computer Network

  • Greg Bearman
  • Marcello Manfredi
  • John Delaney

Friday 22nd November, 2013

3:30pm to 5:00pm (EST)

For a century, conservators have used photographic methods to document and highlight visible conditions and fabrication details of works of art, heritage sites, and museum collections. Likewise, conservators have returned to historic and archived images to attempt to understand the impacts of their conservation efforts and to estimate the rates of deterioration and damage at their sites and collections. The advent of digital imaging gave rise to new ways of sharing visual information with multiple users, as well broadcasting information to vast digital audiences. But a handful of scientists, engineers, programmers, and conservators understood that digital images were also potentially dense data sets and, more importantly, that data could be used to accurately detect and monitor small, incremental changes in objects if capture systems could be made truly quantitative.

Computational pathways are now making it possible to register, distortion-correct, and calibrate color space, normal reflection angles, imaging geometries, precise 3D position, and measurement values from multiple digital photographs, taken by different cameras, at different times, in different conditions and from different positions. This panel will consist of four case studies from museum imaging professionals who are breaking new technological ground in the computational development and crowdsourcing of quantifiable and comparative computational imaging. Developers will describe the remaining obstacles and challenges to this promising field, and a question-and-answer session will follow.

About the speakers

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Dale Kronkright

Head of Conservation, Gerogia O'Keeffe Museum

Still cycling the Santa Fe mountains, 7000 ft to 10,000 ft on a 29 pound, 1991, Grant Petersen-designed, all-steel, fully lugged, Bridgestone RB-T. Oxygen? Oxygen! We don't need no stinking oxygen! (PS: Now also riding on an all-carbon fiber Roubaix weighing 10 lb less!)

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John ffrench

Director of the Visual Resources, Yale University Art Gallery

John ffrench is the Director of the Visual Resources department at Yale University Art Gallery overseeing workflow, design, color management, and long term archiving of images and image data. He is also responsible for overseeing the creation, quality control, asset management, distribution and rights to use images of work of art for publication, study, documentation, educational programs, promotional and other internal and external uses. Additionally he was actively involved in the development and deployment of the YUAG/Yale Campus DAM and Yale's Open Access Policy. 

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Greg Bearman

ANE Image

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Marcello Manfredi

Israeli Antiquities Authority

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Greg Williamson


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Eric Doehne

Conservation Sciences

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John Delaney

National Gallery of Art

8 attendees

  • Elena Lagoudi
  • Eric Doehne
  • Dale Kronkright
  • Greg Williamson
  • John ffrench
  • NancieRavenel
  • nikhil trivedi
  • Sally Bjork

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Time 3:30pm5:00pm EST

Date Fri 22nd November 2013


Soprano A, Hyatt Regency Montreal

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