Art conservators and scientists to learn advanced techniques for analysing artifacts using state-of-the-art instruments

Agilent Technologies has announced that it is supplying state-of-the-art instruments and software for a workshop on Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer at Yale University.

At the workshop, an international group of art conservators and scientists are learning advanced techniques in gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to help them analyse lacquer and a broad range of other trace-level compounds found in Asian lacquer artifacts.

Careful analysis of lacquer can reveal a wealth of information about the age and geographical origins of the components, and also address the authenticity of the artifact. Modern coatings that aim to imitate lacquer are composed of various mixtures of polymers and pigments and can also be characterized using GC/MS techniques.

 “We were very excited when our Getty Conservation Institute colleagues approached us last year about the opportunity to co-host a workshop that focuses on the latest advances in the characterization of Asian lacquers,” said Anikó Bezur, director of scientific research at the Yale center. “The creation of such professional advancement opportunities for conservators and conservation scientists is a core mission of ours, and we are grateful for Agilent’s support that made the workshop possible and for the enthusiasm its team has expressed for our research and outreach efforts.”

The five-day workshop, based on the Getty Conservation Institute’s research on Asian lacquers, was developed in partnership with the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Frontier Laboratories’ pyrolysis technology used in this workshop is provided by Quantum Analytics.

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