Handheld XRF for Art and Archaeology

Aaron N. Shugar (Editor), Jennifer L. Mass (Editor),

Series: Studies in Archaeological Sciences 3

Category: Archaeology, Art

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461660695

ISBN: 9789461660695

Publication date: March 20, 2013

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Applications, possibilities, and limitations of handheld XRF in art conservation and archaeology. Over the last decade the technique of X-ray fluorescence has evolved, from dependence on laboratory-based standalone units to field use of portable and lightweight handheld devices. These portable instruments have given researchers in art conservation and archaeology the opportunity to study a broad range of materials with greater accessibility and flexibility than ever before. In addition, the low relative cost of handheld XRF has led many museums, academic institutions, and cultural centres to invest in the devices for routine materials analysis purposes. Although these instruments often greatly simplify data collection, proper selection of analysis conditions and interpretation of the data still require an understanding of the principles of x-ray spectroscopy. These instruments are often marketed and used as ‘point and shoot’ solutions; however, their inexpert use can easily generate deceptive or erroneous results. This volume focuses specifically on the applications, possibilities, and limitations of handheld XRF in art conservation and archaeology. The papers deal with experimental methodologies, protocols, and possibilities of handheld XRF analysis in dealing with the complexity of materials encountered in this research.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Contributors: J. Aimers (State University of New York), T. Barrett (University of Iowa), A. Bezur (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), R. Brill (Corning Museum of Glass), F. Casadio (Art Institute of Chicago), M. Donais (Saint Anselm College), D. Farthing (State University of New York), J. Furgeson (University of Missouri), D. George (Saint Anselm College), B. Kaiser (Bruker Elemental), A. Kaplan (Getty Conservation Institute), J. Lang, (University of Iowa), J. Mass (Winterthur Museum), C. Matsen (Winterthur Museum), C. McGlinchey (Museum of Modern Art), H. Neff (California State University Long Beach), C. Patterson (Getty Conservation Institute), R. Shannon (Bruker-Elemental), A. Shugar (Buffalo State College), J. Sirois (Canadian Conservation Institute), D. Smith (National Gallery of Art), D. Stulik (Getty Conservation Institute), K. Trentelman (Getty Conservation Institute), N. Turner (Getty Conservation Institute), F. Paredes Umaña (University of Pennsylvania), B. Voorhies (University of California), J. Wade (National Science Foundation)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of tables

Chapter 1
Aaron N. Shugar and Jennifer L. Mass

Chapter 2
Handheld X-ray fluorescence analysis of Renaissance bronzes: Practical approaches to quantification and acquisition
Dylan Smith

Chapter 3
Application of a handheld XRF spectrometer in research and identification of photographs
Dusan C. Stulik and Art Kaplan

Chapter 4
Handheld XRF for the examination of paintings: proper use and limitations
Chris McGlinchey

Chapter 5
XRF analysis of manuscript illuminations
K. Trentelman, C. Schmidt Patterson and N. Turner

Chapter 6
XRF analysis of historical paper in open books
Tim Barrett, Robert Shannon, Jennifer Wade and Joseph Lang

Chapter 7
Quantitative non-destructive analysis of historic silver alloys: X-ray fluorescence approaches and challenges
Jennifer Mass and Catherine Matsen

Chapter 8
The analysis of porcelain using handheld and portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometers
Aniko Bezur and Francesca Casadio

Chapter 9
Handheld XRF use in the identification of heavy metal pesticides in ethnographic collections
Aaron N. Shugar and P. Jane Sirois

Chapter 10
Using handheld XRF to aid in phasing, locus comparisons, and material homogeneity assessment at an archaeological excavation
Mary Kate Donais and David George

Chapter 11
Handheld XRF elemental analysis of archaeological sediments: some examples from Mesoamerica
Hector Neff, Barbara Voorhies and Federico Paredes Umana

Chapter 12
X-Ray fluorescence of obsidian: approaches to calibration and the analysis of small samples
Jeffrey R. Ferguson

Chapter 13
Handheld XRF analysis of Maya ceramics: a pilot study presenting issues related to quantification and calibration
Jim J. Aimers, Dori J. Farthing and Aaron N. Shugar

Chapter 14
Glass analysis utilizing handheld X-ray fluorescence
Bruce Kaiser and Aaron Shugar

List of contributors

The editors

Aaron N. Shugar

Aaron N. Shugar is an Associate Professor of Art Conservation Science at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York and is on the graduate faculty at the University of Toronto.

Jennifer L. Mass

Jennifer L. Mass is a Senior Scientist in the Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory in the Conservation Department at Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware and teaches in the Winterthur/University of Delaware Master's Degree Program in Art Conservation.

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