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Proceedings Paper

Studies On The Interaction Of Laser Radiation With Art Artifacts
Author(s): John F. Asmus; Carl G. Murphy; Walter H. Munk
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Paper Abstract

Cleaning is usually the first step involved in the various processes employed to restore a work of art. It is also one of the most delicate and difficult operations undertaken to preserve a deteriorating art object. Generally, the criteria governing the cleaning of a work of art in stone or metal are concerned with a maximum respect and care for the original materials, the eventual irreversible alterations undergone through centuries (formation of patinas, changes of color, etc.) as well as the removal or isolation of parts that may, during later periods, have been added. Difficulties involved in cleaning works of art in marble and stone change according to the different materials involved, and their varying exposures to exterior elements. Particularly complicated are the problems arising from outdoor exposure where destructive elements such as air pollution, biological attacks, etc., are superimposed on natural weathering effects. Natural or artificial degradation almost always reveals itself as a bulk degradation that begins on the surface of these materials. The presence of varying extraneous substances on the surface often encourage the introduction and propagation of exceedingly harmful forms of degradation to the interior. Consequently, surface cleaning not only improves appearance, but preserves materials as well. Many bibliographical examples exist of statues and monuments in which superficial modifications. have strongly encouraged the advance of a degradation process towards the interior. The cleaning of works of art protected by an indoor location, though as important in every way, tends to be a generally easier affair.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1974
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0041, Developments in Laser Technology II, (1 March 1974); doi: 10.1117/12.953831
Show Author Affiliations
John F. Asmus, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)
Carl G. Murphy, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)
Walter H. Munk, UCSD (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0041:
Developments in Laser Technology II
Ralph F. Wuerker, Editor(s)

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