Metal Soap Protrusions on Georgia O'Keeffe's Paintings: Establishing a New Quantitative Imaging Paradigm for Linking Scientific Research and Preservation

  • Walton, Marc Sebastian (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The project proposed here aims at establishing a new imaging and image processing paradigms for linking preservation strategies with scientific research on metal soaps by connecting quantitative imaging of paintings and their instrumental analysis. Using 3-D surface shape capture and open-source advanced algorithms for soap protrusion detection and classification we will be able to monitor the actual, empirical effects of changes in environmental conditions, loans, exhibitions, storage, and even treatment of paintings over the course of time. We will take advantage of the unique opportunity to focus on a group of paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe in the collection of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, in light of their exceptional status of objects with a well-characterized fabrication, exhibition, storage and conservation history. This innovative, image-based approach will be complemented by in-depth characterization of materials from the macro to the micro-scale. To broadly make available these new and accessible tools, we will also develop a user-friendly website with guidelines for image capture, processing, and classification that will be available to conservators and scientists around the world to assist them in identifying risk factors and determining preventive conservation strategies. Knowledge transfer to the conservation community will be ensured through targeted workshops to inform and educate participants about the developed methodology.
Effective start/end date1/1/1812/31/21


  • National Endowment for the Humanities (PR-258900-18)


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