Diebenkorn Conservation imaging underlayers

Using Infrared Imaging to expose underlayers of Diebenkorn's artistic process.

 
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Emergency Documentation Kits for At-Risk Heritage

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About the Project:

  • Role: Digital Production Manager
  • Technology: Infrared imaging
  • Partners: Diebenkorn Family Trust, Bank of America

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The main goal of this project was to create a highly educational and interactive resource that would highlight the new conservation imaging scholarship done by Stanford University’s conservation team on the Diebenkorn painting Window. The team was able to uncover layers of underpaintings and drawings through the use of Infrared Reflectography (IRR). The digital media project on view in the museum gallery beside Diebenkorn’s painting showcases the new scientific and art historical scholarship of a famous local bay area artist.   

 


Main goals:

In this project we had 3 main learning objective goals:

  1. The magic of Art + Science: You can make discoveries and see hidden elements in a painting when you apply science to art conservation.
  2. How do you find a painting beneath a painting? You can discover layers of paintings by using infrared light, an imaging technique used by conservators. In Diebenkorn’s “Window” painting there are three layers- a landscape, a still life, and a figurative layer
  3. New scholarship on an important Bay Area artist: The layers represent Diebenkorn’s transition from figurative to abstract. We can begin to trace the artist’s iterative process and compare these elements to drawings also done in Diebenkorn’s sketchbooks.