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Thoroughly Modern: Investigating Materials and Techniques

Ana Martins (Van Gogh Museum, Netherlands) and Abed Haddad (The Museum of Modern Art, USA) 

New Content ItemThis collection highlights collaborative ways in which scientists, conservators and curators work within and across institutions at documenting and contextualizing the materials and working methods of a global group of artists active in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century. The articles presented here include discussions on artist palettes and medium choices, art historical background, object condition,  and preventive conservation. These discussions are greatly informed by the non-invasive and micro-invasive analysis,  running the gamut from microscopic to spectroscopic to technical imaging including chemical mapping. This body of research aims at shedding new light on emblematic works and understudied ones, and improve our understanding of the way artists used innovative materials born out of modernity.

Image: Details of technical imaging of Matisse's The Red Studio (1911), Giorgio de Chirico's The Evil Genius of a King (1914-15), Seraphine Louis' Fruits (c. 1929-30) and Jackson Pollock's Number 1A, 1948 (1948).

  1. Alegoría de la construcción and Alegoría del trabajo were the first mural paintings commissioned to Saturnino Herrán (1887–1918), and they occupied a significant place in one of the most important schools in M...

    Authors: Nathael Cano, Oscar G. de Lucio, Miguel Pérez, Alejandro Mitrani, Edgar Casanova and José Luis Ruvalcaba Sil
    Citation: Heritage Science 2024 12:106
  2. The richly decorative and imaginative works by French artist Séraphine Louis (1864–1942) have long elicited fascination, and her working methods have often eluded art historians and conservators alike. Working...

    Authors: Abed Haddad, Ken Sutherland, Silvia A. Centeno, Gwénaëlle M. Kavich, Maria Kokkori, Caroline Hoover, Diana Hartman-Drumm, Nathalie Balcar and Gilles Barabant
    Citation: Heritage Science 2024 12:85
  3. This research provides new insights into the composition of zinc white paints used by Piet Mondrian during his neoplastic period. Nine paintings, dated between 1921 and 1935, were studied, with a focus on thre...

    Authors: Inez Dorothé van der Werf, Klaas Jan van den Berg, Muriel Geldof, Suzan de Groot, Markus Gross, Ruth Hoppe, Cathja Hürlimann, Laura Kolkena and Friederike Steckling
    Citation: Heritage Science 2024 12:22
  4. The exhibition Cézanne Drawing at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) brought together an exceptional group of works on paper from public and private collections across the globe. Recognizing the inherent light sensi...

    Authors: Abed Haddad, Laura Neufeld and Ana Martins
    Citation: Heritage Science 2023 11:39
  5. The exhibition Matisse: The Red Studio allowed for an in-depth study of The Red Studio (1911) and six of the works featured in the painting by Henri Matisse (1869–1954) of his studio in Issy-les-Moulineaux near P...

    Authors: Abed Haddad, Gianluca Pastorelli, Annette S. Ortiz Miranda, Loa Ludvigsen, Silvia A. Centeno, Isabelle Duvernois, Caroline Hoover, Michael Duffy, Anny Aviram and Lynda Zycherman
    Citation: Heritage Science 2022 10:168

    The Correction to this article has been published in Heritage Science 2022 10:191

  6. Max Ernst was one of the most influential artists associated with both the Dada and Surrealist movements. However, until now, only few scientific studies have been devoted to his works. This paper presents the...

    Authors: Martina Zuena, Luciano Pensabene Buemi, Luca Nodari, Grazina Subelytė, Lena Stringari, Beatrice Campanella, Giulia Lorenzetti, Vincenzo Palleschi, Patrizia Tomasin and Stefano Legnaioli
    Citation: Heritage Science 2022 10:139
  7. Historical colour charts provide a rich and often well-dated reference materials source for studying the chemical composition of all kinds of commercial brands of artists’ paints. This article presents the res...

    Authors: Clarimma Sessa, Christoph Steuer, Diego Quintero Balbas, Giorgia Sciutto, Silvia Prati and Heike Stege
    Citation: Heritage Science 2022 10:109