CHSOS just came back from Colours 2015 in Evora, Portugal.

We gave a Plenary lecture  “Innovative and Sustainable Technical Art Examination and Color Documentation”.

Thanks to the organizers, and in particular to Milene Gil, Antonio Candeias and the HERCULES lab team, for this event in beautiful Evora.

Scientific examination and documentation of art is expensive. The most important and recognizable works of art from prestigious museums get extensive scientific studies, unfeasible for the vast majority of cultural heritage objects, existing in local communities since they lack comparable financial resources. Typically larger museums have budgets sufficient for scientific departments equipped with cutting-edge technologies.  In contrast, small to medium sized cultural institutions have relatively limited access to the same science and technology.

Colours 2015 Book of Abstracts (54 downloads)

Watch our Plenary Lecture


We presented our new Pigments Checker V.2 which includes our Multispectral Imaging Calibration Card.

pigments checker v2 vsPigments Checker is for photographers, conservators and scientists interested in technical documentation of paintingss. It has 54 swatches of historical pigments designed for infrared photography, ultraviolet photography and other technical photographic methods for art examination. Check it out!

Pigments Checker is a collection of 54 swatches of his­tor­i­cal pig­ments that have been applied using gum ara­bic as a binder on a cel­lu­lose and cot­ton water­color paper, acids and lignin free. This paper is not treated with opti­cal bright­en­ers, it’s slightly UV flu­o­res­cent, and it reflects IR. Two cross-hair lines, 0,2 mm (ver­ti­cal) and 0.4 mm (hor­i­zon­tal) are printed on each swatch of paper before the appli­ca­tion of paint, in order to have a means to eval­u­ate the pig­ments’ trans­parency in the IR and IRR imag­ing. Among all the pig­ments and their vari­eties ever used in art these pig­ments col­lec­tion select the most used ones from antiquity to early 1950’.

Cultural Heritage Science Open Source (CHSOS) was launched in 2012 to bridge this technological divide, to develop and disseminate affordable and sustainable methodologies for art examination that can reach a much larger audience of cultural institutions. CHSOS disseminates methods for art examination in three significant ways, focusing specifically on the low-cost technical solutions: its popular blog, publications and training programs. The CHSOS blog has attracted a growing network of art conservation professionals interested in introducing Cultural Heritage Science concepts into their workflow.

CHSOS has developed and disseminated low-cost technical solutions for panoramic infrared reflectography, technical photography, reflectance transformation imaging and reflectance spectroscopy. This paper discusses the development of a low-cost multispectral imaging system for art and archaeology realized thanks to the first ever crowdfunding project in art conservation science.