Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology focuses on the reciprocal relationship between physical nature and aesthetics in the visual arts. Essays by conservators and conservation scientists present new research on the materials and technologies used in the manufacture, dating, attribution, conservation, and exhibition of works of art.
This volume features an in-depth study of changing methodologies in the examination and treatment of medieval polychrome wood sculpture and ways in which they reflect broader trends in collecting and displaying these works in American museums. Two other full-length articles establish the provenience of limestone and sandstone used in Chinese and Cambodian religious foundations, respectively, through the microscopic examination of prepared thin sections that reveal their mineral components. Another article describes the results of radiographic, compositional, and microscopic examinations that confirm the authenticity of a controversial group of cast copper figures from the mountains of southwestern Lebanon. In the fifth article, the authors investigate a Spanish medieval altarpiece by employing infrared spectrometry and UV fluorescence microscopy to reveal underdrawing and paint stratigraphy that illuminate the processes of its manufacture.
Six research notes describe technical studies of Egyptian hard stone sculpture, silvered Limoges enamels, an eighteenth-century French side table decorated with Japanese export lacquer, a landscape by French Pictorialist photographers, and the Metropolitan Museum's famed Lion Helmet.