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ART CONSERVATION - Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology
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ART CONSERVATION - Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology
ARTWORK MOLD CONTAMINATION
BIODETERIORATION AGENT & STAIN CATALOG
BLOOD in ART WORKS, TESTING FOR
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
Diagnostic Building & Environmental Inspection & Testing
Diagnostic & Forensic Inspections, Tests, Fees
Environmental Inspections, Tests, Fees
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
FORENSIC BUILDING INVESTIGATION SERVICES
FORENSIC PARTICLE LABORATORY SERVICES
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
KAHLO NOYOLA COLLECTION REFERENCES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD TEST KIT for HOME USE
ODORS, Smells, Gases in buildings-Diagnosis & Cure
MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD on ART WORKS, TESTING FOR
MOLD INFORMATION CENTER
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE Inspections, Tests, Fees
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS on INDOOR SURFACES: PHOTO GUIDE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on STONE
STAINS & Thermal Tracking
TECHNICAL & LAB PROCEDURES
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
WTC Dust Photos
Mold contamination on or paintings or other artworks: this article describes using transmitted & reflected light microscopy and polarized light microscopy to test for and report on the appearance of mold contamination on works of art (typically in the museum or in-building environment) and a forensic microscopy approach to detecting mold contamination on artworks in order to assist art conservators in both removing mold contamination and in preventing it on these materials. We include a discussion of distinguishing among mold and other painting contaminants, stains, including extractive bleeding stains, their causes and prevention. Other sources of biodeterioration of works of art such as cave paintings, and algal growth on outdoor materials are discussed elsewhere.
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Our photo (left) shows a higher magnification examination of fibers from the art-work above, as we checked for mold spores or a different cause for discoloration found on the painting obverse side.
Other artworks we have examined suffered severe mold damage, including a wide range of media such as paper-based prints and lithographs or etchings and oil paintings on canvas.
While indeed we often can find mold contamination growing on the surfaces of paintings and other art works, we may also find mold contamination within pigments - possibly from the time of creation of the work - changing the conservator's cleaning and maintenance strategy.
We also often find surface or in-media contaminants that were not mold, though they have been mistaken for it. These other contaminants include insect fragments, soot particles, road dirt and debris particles, fabric fibers, and even ultra-fine spray paint droplets that, unless examined properly, are mistaken for different contaminants, thus risking misleading the art conservator in her planning for art or artifact restoration or maintenance.
Our photos above illustrate an example of potential confusion. By transmitted light (photo above left) the round particle may look like Nigrospora sp. or another fungal spore. But by reflected oblique top lighting it becomes immediately obvious that we are looking at a fine spray paint droplet, in this case of white-pigmented paint.
When appropriate we provide pro bono or fee-paid forensic investigation services to museums and art conservators.
At MOLD RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION we discuss methods to reduce the risk of mold growth not only on building surfaces but on and in the contents found in buildings, including works of artifacts and works of art such as paintings.
At ART CONSERVATION - Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology we describe a text that offers some help in controlling mold and other sources of damage to paintings as well as other cultural artifacts.
Humidity & Mold on Art Works
The control of indoor humidity where works of art are displayed or stored indoors is naturally the principal step taken to protect these items from mold damage.
While some experts recommend that paintings and murals must be stored at a relative humidity of 60-70%, our opinion is that those humidity levels are considerably too high to be safe because
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about mold contamination on or in works of art, paintings, photographs, paper works
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