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Lindsey Paskulin is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia and lab manager of the ADaPT Archaeological Laboratory that is a dedicated space for ancient DNA and paleoproteomic analysis. Her talk will provide background on collagen mass fingerprinting and shotgun proteomics techniques as well as discuss her research focused on applying proteomic techniques to vessel interiors and vessel residues to reconstruct elements of food processing, preparation, and consumption in the past. Please see ABM members' Slack for Zoom link.

The 36th CIHA Congress is organized under the aegis of the Comité français d'histoire de l'art (CFHA) in partnership between the CFHA, the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA), the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and the Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA CNRS UMR 5190).

The main aims of this internationally-renowned scientific and cultural event are to share and disseminate research by bringing together communities of art history and heritage around a unifying theme.

A great opportunity to gather researchers, heritage professionals, industry experts, teachers, and students working for the conservation of historic and culturally relevant objects and buildings.

Abstracts due by September 9, 2024
Registration deadline: September 18, 2024
Milan, Italy on 7-8 November 2024


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Jessica French
May 17th, 2024
6:30 PM ET

In this seminar, French delves into her pioneering work with algae-based polymers, a cornerstone of her artistic practice. Through 'Other Matter', her experimental design studio, French champions sustainability with innovative outcomes for algae-based bioplastics, impacting beyond the cultural sector. The talk will offer an overview of her artistic journey, showcasing how traditional techniques are transformed by groundbreaking sustainable materials, including her innovative non-petrochemical decal signage—Other Matter Decals™. These exemplify the practical implementation of closed-loop, zero-waste systems. The discussion not only highlights French’s unique blend of research and creative experimentation but also fosters a broader conversation on the role of sustainable practices in transforming artistic production and environmental responsibility. Additionally, the seminar will address ongoing research questions and spotlight knowledge and data gaps inherent in working with unconventional materials, underscoring the critical need for continued investigation and collaboration in this evolving field.

Rachel Lackner
Apr 18th, 2024
11:00 AM ET

As part of a long-term campaign to clean, conserve, and treat the Heroes tapestries from The Cloisters collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, organic colorant analysis of Julius Caesar (accession number 47.101.3) was performed. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of several dark brown samples revealed the presence of several molecules produced only by certain species of lichen. Various lichen dye sources have been documented in the literature for centuries and are classified as either ammonia fermentation method (AFM) or boiling water method (BWM) dyes based on their method of production. However, none of these known sources produce the distinctive metabolites present in the tapestry. Lichen metabolites were definitively identified in the tapestry by LC-MS based on comparison with a reference of Lecanora sulphurata. This finding marks the first time that these lichen metabolites have been identified in a historic object, and the first evidence that BWM lichen dyes may have been used prior to the eighteenth century.

This is a members-only event. Registration links will be sent directly to ABM members.

ABM members share their current research projects and challenges to spark conversation and connect with relevant colleagues:

Thainá Vígio is seeking other fungicide methods other than freezing and anoxia treatment for 19th c. silk textiles.

Pamela Hatchfield will discuss an outdoor Chinese sandstone sculpture compromised by a myriad of microbiological growth, and how to evaluate the risk of further damage from these species.

Micheal Galardi (Celeste Mahoney) will discuss light spots uncovered on a Huastec sandstone relief and wonders about the possibility of biological growth as a factor.

This is a members-only event. Registration links will be sent directly to ABM members.

Inaugural Seminar.

Jiří Vnouček
Conservator of parchment, paper & bookbinding
The Royal Library, Copenhagen

Changes in production of parchment during one millennium: 4th to 14th centuries

Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Sala de Grados
2 de febrero de 2024 · 16:00h

The seminar will take place in a hybrid format and is open to the general public. To register, please send an email to

Rachel Winter
December 14th, 2023
11 AM ET / 4 PM GMT

Marine shagreen is a luxurious, storied leather made from the skins of elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and skates). Demand for marine shagreen peaked between the 17th-19th centuries in northwestern Europe. Once elasmobranch skins have been turned into shagreen, more precise taxonomic identification than shark or ray is not possible. Preliminary review of historical sources indicates at least 17 species, spanning the Atlantic Ocean to the Indo-Pacific, were targeted. One third of all elasmobranch species are classified as being threatened with extinction by the IUCN. A key challenge to conservation efforts is the lack of historical data, long term perspectives, and ecological baselines. This talk will discuss some of the potential avenues and challenges for studying marine shagreen museum objects for insights into which species and seas were targeted. Exploring how shagreen can be used to investigate the ecological consequences of historic elasmobranch fisheries and investigate past species biogeography.

Evon Hekkala
Fordham University and American Museum of Natural History
November 14th, 2023
11 AM ET / 4 PM GMT

Jane Malcolm-Davies (Project Leader, Knitting in Early Modern Europe), Beatrice Behlen (Senior Curator, Fashion and Decorative Arts, Museum of London), and Paula Nabais (Junior Researcher at LAQV-REQUIMTE Research unit)
May 18th, 2023

Since 1924, the Museum of London has had an undergarment, knitted of fine silk, said to have been worn by King Charles I at his execution in 1649. Several attempts have been made to analyse stains on the front of what would then have been called a waistcoat, and to fill gaps in its provenance. A new research project has brought together a curator, a knitting historian, a conservator, scientists, and expert craftspeople, including knitters. Different methods have been used to broaden knowledge of this rare garment: detailed object examination and description, comparison with other extant garments, radiocarbon dating, various dye analysis techniques, and silk sample knitting. In this talk, the challenges and advantages of this work will be discussed: from discoveries that can be made by looking at objects together to the difficulties of grappling with science for those unfamiliar with laboratory techniques.

Click "Explore" below to learn more about the project!

Laura Hendriks, Branco Weiss Fellow at the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), Switzerland
April 20th, 2023

Join us for a 20-minute presentation by ABM member Laura Hendriks, Branco Weiss Fellow at the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), Switzerland. Laura’s presentation will be followed by a discussion/Q&A with current ABM members. For more information, click “Explore” below to view her abstract.

Sofie Dierickx, Research Assistant at Royal Museum for Central Africa
March 16th, 2023

In an effort to research the wealth of tropical wood species present in the Congolese art collection, the conservation team of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium set up the TOCOWO project (Tomography of Congolese Wooden Objects). In collaboration with the University of Ghent, X-ray micro-computer tomography could be used on the objects to obtain wood identifications non-destructively. Over the past two years, over a hundred objects have been scanned at very high resolutions. These scans provide an unprecedented insight into the objects in our care, helping us better understand their material and history. On the other hand, this unrestricted insight into every inch of the objects demands we ask ourselves whether possible privileged or sacred knowledge, kept hidden by the objects all these years, is really ours to uncover. In this short talk, both the possibilities and challenges of scanning African heritage objects will be illustrated by the uniquely large dataset of their 3D renderings.

Dan Kirby, Conservation Scientist, MFA, Boston and Private Practice
January 19th, 2023

An unusual, never before seen coating on 1st – 3rd CE Romano-Egyptian funerary portraits has been characterized by Peptide Mass Fingerprinting and Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry, as well as other techniques. Radiocarbon dating of the coating from two of the portraits indicated that the coating is approximately 2,000 years old--it is not a modern conservation intervention! Most interesting, however, is not discovering what the coating is, but trying to discover why it is there. This talk will briefly introduce the materials and practices of funerary portraits, summarize the examination and analytical characterization of this unusual coating, and offer speculation as to its original purpose.

Adam DiBattista, PhD, Archeology
Hirsch Fellow at American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Greece

December 17th, 2022

Join us for a 20-minute presentation by ABM member Adam DiBattista, Hirsch Fellow at American School of Classical Studies. Adam is an archaeologist researching the creation and use of objects made from animal materials (e.g., bone, antler, ivory) in the Iron Age Mediterranean. His presentation will be followed by a discussion/Q&A with current ABM members.

A recording of this talk is available exclusively for ABM members, which can be accessed via Slack.

Sam Johns, Doctoral Student at University of Bristol

November 17th, 2022

Join us for a 20-minute presentation by ABM member Sam Johns, Doctoral Student at University of Bristol. Sam’s presentation will be followed by a discussion/Q&A with current ABM members. For more information, click “Explore” below to view his abstract.

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