By Thomas J. S. Learner

Although oil remains an important binding medium in artists' paints, today's synthetic resins are used with increasing frequency. This was true during much of the 20th century, when artists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso used commercial or industrial paints based on synthetic resins. The growing popularity of synthetic resin materials carries important implications for the conservation, preservation, and treatment of modern art.

conservation book

This volume outlines the techniques that are currently employed to analyze the synthetic resins used in modern painting materials, such as pyrolysis—gas chromatography—mass spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and direct temperature-resolved mass spectrometry. For each technique, results are given for standard samples of the principal classes of synthetic binding media, various pigments and extenders, tube paint formulations, and microscopic paint fragments taken from actual works of art.

This book is primarily intended for conservation scientists, conservators, researchers, students of conservation, and other museum professionals in general.

Thomas J. S. Learner is a senior conservation scientist at Tate, in London.

236 pages, 8 1/2 x 11 inches
10 color illustrations, 240 spectra, 37 drawings
ISBN 0-89236-779-2, paper, $40.00

This GCI book can be ordered online by visiting this page.