J PAUL GETTY TRUST, THE
The scientific study of works of art and other cultural heritage materials offers insight into past cultures, provides a means to rediscover historic technologies, and improves our ability to preserve precious objects for future generations. Funds from this instrumentation grant will support the acquisition of a micro-X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer with high spatial resolution, line and area element mapping capabilities, and helium purging to enhance the detection of low-Z elements. Designed for the in situ examination of works of art, this instrument will complement and enhance existing analytical capabilities of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) Collections Research Laboratory for conducting research into the composition, structure, and behavior of the materials comprising works of art. Specifically, the addition of the proposed instrument will 1) expand the scope of works of art which can be studied to include inhomogeneous or finely detailed objects through the use of micro-focus X-ray optics; 2) assist in the discovery of fundamental phenomena relating to the historic production of materials through the enhanced detection of low-Z elements; and 3) open new areas of research through the generation of spatially resolved elemental information. The portability of the instrument will facilitate collaborative research between the GCI and other museums and cultural heritage institutions; in addition, collaboration with UCLA will provide education and training opportunities for post-doctoral fellows, interns, and graduate/undergraduate students. The fundamental research that this instrument will allow has the potential to impact the work of chemists and material scientists, as well as professionals in the related disciplines of art history, archaeology, and art conservation. Furthermore, the inclusion of results in museum gallery displays, exhibition publications and public lectures will serve to increase public awareness of - and interest in - science.