Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

25Apr2019 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 25 April 2019, from 12:00 to 13:00 in Conference Room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).


The chair of this colloquium will be Leila Sauvage (Rijksmuseum).


The following presentations are scheduled for this edition of the NICAS Colloquium:

Unfolding the complexity of the binding medium

Yuliia Orlova

Determining the composition and age of the binding medium during the restoration is important for the design of the treatment of the painting. This task is rather complex due to huge variance in the molecular weights of the product species. In this study, we present a systematic way to identify some of the degradation products present in the binding medium. For this purpose, we compare the experimental results from ESI-MS (electrospray ionization mass spectrometry) with the computational outcome of the automated reaction mechanism to identify possible molecular structures corresponding to the resulting molecular weights. The methodology that we propose is quite generic and can be extended to various oils and their mixtures.

Yuliia Orlova (University of Amsterdam) has a background in applied mathematics and is currently in the 3rd year of her PhD research in the NICAS project ‘Predicting aging of oil networks’.

Diagnosing a Paint Disease with Computer Science: The Case of Georgia O’Keeffe

Oliver Cossairt

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was an American artist whose paintings are now considered essential pieces of visual culture in the early 20th century. Her paintings produced after 1920 often have damaging metal soap aggregates protruding from their surfaces. The Northwestern University Computational Photography Lab (CPL) and Center for the Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) are collaborating with the O'Keeffe Museum to study the complex histories of these works using molecular characterization and imaging techniques in attempt to monitor and slow deterioration of these artworks.

In this talk we present an overview of the 3D surface measurement techniques developed at Northwestern University to rapidly image the surfaces of paintings and drawings. We will present a new 3D scanning application designed to rapidly image the surface of O'Keeffe's paintings so that soap protrusions can be quickly analyzed. The 3D scanning app utilizes the screen and front facing camera of an iPad, and can provide near immediate feedback of 3D surface information. In Winter 2020, we will release a freely available version of this 3D scanning app to conservators, who will then be able use the app to make accurate 3D surface shape measurements using only an iPad connected to the internet.        

Dr. Oliver Cossairt (NU-ACCESS) is currently director of the Computational Photography Laboratory (CPL) at Northwestern University (, whose research consists of a diverse portfolio, ranging in topics from optics/photonics, computer graphics, computer vision, machine learning and image processing.



Thursday, 25 April 2019


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS