ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Utilizing new technology, and some creative programming members of the Program of Color Science at RIT have made it easier for museums of all sizes to document and learn about the items in their care. 

Olivia Kuzio was one of the many graduate and undergraduate students who worked on the project, and explained the concept like this:

“We use a scientific imaging technique called spectral imaging that one would normally find in a scientific laboratory but we’ve been putting a spin on it so that museum photographers are conservators could bring it into a studio environment to learn more things about images or artifacts that they might be imaging,” said Kuzio.

These advanced imaging techniques open the door for museums to recreate artwork and other artifacts that can then be translated into prints or shared online.

The benefit of this new imaging technique is the detail that it affords, meaning that even though someone viewing the object online can’t see it in person, they know that it’s accurate to the actual item. Opening the door to more research opportunities.

Another beneficial use, according to Dr. Patrick Ravine, the Program Director of the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State, is the data collected when scanning the items can be used as a baseline for wear and damage over the years.

“If we are able to see, gosh this gallery has too much light it faded the artwork by this much, you’ll have that record, whereas before you wouldn’t have had that record it wouldn’t be as accurate,” said Dr. Ravine

There is always more work to be done though, according to Dr. Susan Farnand, who currently runs the program.

“We’re hoping to have a second team work on that this academic year and we’re also hoping in the future to look at what can be achieved with a smartphone camera,” said Dr. Farnand

Dr. Farnand also noted that the research they are performing was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and would not have been possible without the help of previous research done by Professor Emeritus Roy Berns.