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Proceedings Paper

Investigation into the impact of tone reproduction on the perceived image quality of fine art reproductions
Author(s): Susan Farnand; Jun Jiang; Franziska Frey
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Paper Abstract

A project, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, evaluating current practices in fine art image reproduction, determining the image quality generally achievable, and establishing a suggested framework for art image interchange was recently completed. (Information regarding the Mellon project and related work may be found at To determine the image quality currently being achieved, experimentation was conducted in which a set of objective targets and pieces of artwork in various media were imaged by participating museums and other cultural heritage institutions. Prints and images for display made from the delivered image files at the Rochester Institute of Technology were used as stimuli in psychometric testing in which observers were asked to evaluate the prints as reproductions of the original artwork and as stand alone images. The results indicated that there were limited differences between assessments made with and without the original present for printed reproductions. For displayed images, the differences were more significant with lower contrast images being ranked lower and higher contrast images generally ranked higher when the original was not present. This was true for experiments conducted both in a dimly lit laboratory as well as via the web, indicating that more than viewing conditions were driving this shift.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8293, Image Quality and System Performance IX, 82930H (24 January 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.907485
Show Author Affiliations
Susan Farnand, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Jun Jiang, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Franziska Frey, Harvard College Library (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8293:
Image Quality and System Performance IX
Frans Gaykema; Peter D. Burns, Editor(s)

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