The Getty Conservation Institute, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and Tate will host a symposium on modern paints research, "Modern Paints Uncovered," May 16–19, 2006, at Tate Modern in London.

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A staggering array of new pigments and binding media has been developed and used in the production of paint since 1930. There are now hundreds of pigments available to paint formulators, and the introduction of synthetic binders—most notably acrylic, alkyd, polyvinyl acetate, and nitrocellulose—has resulted in paints with great flexibility, fast drying times, and reduced yellowing tendencies—and, in the case of emulsion formulations, without the need for organic solvents as thinners and diluents.

Many artists have utilized these modern paints (including house paints and others never intended specifically for artists' use) and have explored and exploited their distinct handling and optical properties. The diversity in materials used in the production of modern paints has important conservation implications for the works of art in which they have been utilized.

This symposium will draw together the varied strands of research currently being conducted by conservation scientists and conservators on modern paint materials and will address some of the concerns associated with these paints and the challenges inherent in developing appropriate conservation approaches.

The symposium program and registration information can be found here.