Technical analysis

The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (GCCMC) provides a scientific analysis service for analysing cultural heritage objects or works of art. At GCCMC we have access to fundamental non-invasive examination and various advanced instrumentation techniques. The collection of data and subsequent interpretation of results (we collaborate with scientific researchers at the University of Melbourne and other nearby universities), provide information about the physical composition of an object, its nature and the extent of deterioration of the object or associated intervention materials. This information assists art historical research, and the selection and assessment of appropriate conservation treatment methodologies.

Standard Laboratory Techniques

  • Micro-chemical spot testing of metals, inorganics and organics
  • Sample preparation of embedded cross sections, thin section and dispersions
  • Optical microscopy (reflected light, transmitted light and PLM modes) with image capture

Non-invasive Examination Techniques

Advanced Instrumentation Techniques

  • Absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Gas chromatography with mass spectroscopy (GC-MS)
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
  • Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)

To discuss scientific analysis and research, please contact Dr Petronella Nel
Tel: (+61 3) 8344 0354 / 8344 7989
pnel@unimelb.edu.au

Attribution Assessments

The attribution assessment methodology seeks to establish anomalies whereby known and verifiable characteristics of the artist's oeuvre (as determined by reference to securely provenanced works) can be used to assess the match with characteristics in the work presented for authentication.

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