Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Physical Sciences Reviews

Ed. by Giamberini, Marta / Jastrzab, Renata / Liou, Juin J. / Luque, Rafael / Nawab, Yasir / Saha, Basudeb / Tylkowski, Bartosz / Xu, Chun-Ping / Cerruti, Pierfrancesco / Ambrogi, Veronica / Marturano, Valentina / Gulaczyk, Iwona

Online
ISSN
2365-659X
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Disappearing ink! Unraveling the fading of a contemporary design object

Gregory D. Smith
  • Corresponding author
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Conservation Science Laboratory, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Victor J. Chen
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Conservation Science Laboratory, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Kurt F. Hostettler
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Conservation Science Laboratory, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Caitlyn E. Phipps
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Conservation Science Laboratory, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2019-05-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2018-0018

Abstract

In 2009 the Indianapolis Museum of Art acquired Fernando Brizio’s contemporary ceramic, Painting a Fresco with Giotto #3, as part of its effort to grow a collection of modern and contemporary European design objects. The artwork comprises an unglazed white faience vase that has been pierced with 30 brightly colored felt-tip markers whose dried ink stains create a whimsical polka-dot surface. The vase immediately joined a traveling exhibition, and when it returned to the museum after nearly a year of display, many of the ink spots had faded dramatically, some having nearly vanished. Technical analysis was undertaken to (1) determine the cause of the fading and the composition of its Giotto brand Turbocolor markers, (2) to determine the future fading potential of the object, and (3) to suggest new safeguards to protect this and similar objects from future damage. Non-destructive analysis of the vase using Raman spectroscopy proved challenging due to the overall application of an acrylic varnish by the artist and the intense fluorescence of many of the marker inks. Using liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry on surrogate pens acquired in 2014, the 30 markers utilized in the object were ultimately determined to contain 9 primary synthetic dyes and numerous synthetic byproducts. The inks are comprised of food colorants, which accounts for their rapid fading. In situ microfade testing showed that the vase is still extremely light sensitive and will fade further under even the most stringent lighting protocols. An artist interview provided valuable information about Brizio‘s thoughts concerning the life of these objects, his working methods, and the interpretation of the Giotto series of ceramics. The artwork has since been deaccessioned from the museum’s collection but has taken on a new role in gallery didactics focused on the materials of modern design and the ephemeral and changing nature of some artworks. This project highlights the urgency of characterizing the fading rate of potentially light sensitive modern art or directly identifying the colorants used in contemporary artworks prior to their first exhibition.

Keywords: modern art; design object; dye analysis; felt-tip marker; fading; liquid chromatography; Raman spectroscopy; microfade testing

References

  • [1]

    Selim S. 2018. Personal communication. February 1 2018.Google Scholar

  • [2]

    Brizio F. Personal communication 2014.Google Scholar

  • [3]

    Marcus JS. A 21st-century artisan. Wall Street J. 2011 March 25. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704608504576208320312276158.

  • [4]

    Miller RC, Spark P, McDermott C. European design since 1985: shaping the new century. London: Merrell, 2009.Google Scholar

  • [5]

    Ahlberg P, Smith GD. Perspectives on: an art museum laboratory. Lab Manager. 2013;8:62–5.Google Scholar

  • [6]

    Owen A. Modern materials in drawings part 1 – media. Drawing. 1985;7:56–9.Google Scholar

  • [7]

    Lafontaine R. The lightfastness of felt-tip pens. J IIC Can Group. 1978;4:9–16.Google Scholar

  • [8]

    Ellis MH. Drawings in fibre-tipped pen – new conservation challenges. In: Richmond A, editor. Modern works, modern problems? Conference papers. Leigh, UK: Institute of Paper Conservation, 1994:114–21.Google Scholar

  • [9]

    Feller R. Felt-tipped markers and the need for standards of lightfastness for artists’ colorants. Bulletin IIC – Amer Group. 1967;8:24–6.Google Scholar

  • [10]

    Ellis MH. The porous pointed pen as artistic medium. In: Fairbrass S, editor. The institute of paper conservation: conference papers, Manchester, 1992. Leigh, UK: Institute of Paper Conservation, 1992:11–8.Google Scholar

  • [11]

    Michalski S. 1997. The lighting decision. In Fabric of an exhibition, preprints of textile symposium 97, Canadian Conservation Institute: Ottawa, 97–104.Google Scholar

  • [12]

    Whitmore PM, Pan X, Bailie C. Predicting the fading of objects: identification of fugitive colorants through direct nondestructive lightfastness measurements. J Am Inst Conserv. 1999;38:395–409.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [13]

    Giotto. 2018. https://www.fila.it/it/en/brand/giotto/ Accessed June 27, 2018.

  • [14]

    Sodo A, Bicchieri M, Guiso M, Ricci MA, Ricci G. Raman investigations on marker pen inks. J Raman Spectrosc. 2012;43:1781–7.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [15]

    van der Werf ID, Andriani E, Albanese A, Daurelio G, Marano D, Sabbatini L, et al. Laser removal and chemical characterisation of graffiti paint spray and felt-tip markers on stone monuments. In: Townsend JH, Toniolo L, Cappitelli F, editors. Conservation science 2007. London: Archetype, 2008:23–32.Google Scholar

  • [16]

    Dupuis-Labbé D, Enshaian M-C. Les 39 dessins du “Mystère Picasso”: genèse d’une création, évolution d’un projet de conservation-restauration. Technè. 2005;22:88–95.Google Scholar

  • [17]

    Banks BA, Rutledge SK, Karla M, Norris MJ, Real WA, Haytas CA. Use of an atmospheric oxygen beam for restoration of defaced paintings. In: Bridgland J, editor. 12th Triennial meeting, Lyon, 29 August-3 September 1999: preprints (ICOM Committee for Conservation). vol. 1. London: Earthscan Ltd., 1999:271–5.Google Scholar

  • [18]

    Germinario G, Garrappa S, D’Ambrosio V, van der Werf ID, Sabbatini L. Chemical composition of felt-tip pen inks. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2018;410:1079–94.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [19]

    Garrappa S, Germinario G, van der Werf ID, Mirabile A, Sabbatini L. Multi-analytical study of artist felt-tip pen inks. In: 2nd IMEKO International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Budapest, Hungary: IMEKO, 2016:136–9.Google Scholar

  • [20]

    Izzo FC, Vitale V, Fabbro C, van Keulen H. Multi-analytical investigation of felt-tip pen inks: formulation and preliminary photo-degradation study. Microchem J. 2016;124:919–28.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [21]

    Germinario G, Rigantea ECL, van der Werf ID, Sabbatinia L. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry of triarylmethane dyes. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis. 2017;127;229–39.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [22]

    Tsuge S, Ohtani H, Watanabe C. Pyrolysis-GC/MS data book of synthetic polymers. Oxford: Elsevier, 2011.Google Scholar

  • [23]

    Green FJ. Sigma-Aldrich® handbook of stains, dyes and indicators. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Sigma Aldrich Company. 1990.Google Scholar

  • [24]

    Smith GD, Clark RJH. Raman microscopy in archaeological science. J Arch Sci. 2004;31:1137–60.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [25]

    Smith GD, Clark RJH. Raman microscopy in art history and conservation science. Rev Conserv. 2001;2:92–106.Google Scholar

  • [26]

    Casadio F, Mauck K, Chefitz M, Freeman R. Direct identification of early synthetic dyes: FT-Raman study of the illustrated broadside prints of José Gaudalupe Posada (1852–1913). J Raman Spectrosc. 2010;100:885–99.Google Scholar

  • [27]

    Zaffino C, Passaretti A, Poldi G, Fratelli M, Tibiletti A, Bestetti R, et al. A multi-technique approach to the chemical characterization of colored inks in contemporary art: the materials of Lucio Fontana. J Cult Herit. 2017;23:87–97.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [28]

    Carona M. 2011a. Fernando Brizio in wonderland. http://upmagazine-tap.com/en/pt_artigos/fernando-brizio-in-wonderland/ Accessed July 24 2018.

  • [29]

    Carona M. 2011b. Fernando Brizio … design made in PT. http://azul-profundo-ferdos.blogspot.com/2011/10/fernando-brizio-design-made-in-pt.html Accessed July 24 2018.

  • [30]

    Smith GD. Cow urine, Indian yellow, and art forgeries: an update. For Sci Int. 2017;276:e30–4.Google Scholar

  • [31]

    Ploeger R, Shugar AN, Smith GD, Chen V. Late nineteenth century accounts of Indian yellow: the analysis of samples from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Dyes Pigments. 2019;160:418–431.in pressCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [32]

    Brosseau CL, Gambardella A, Casadio F, Grzywacz CM, Wouters J, Van Duyne RP. Ad-hoc surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy methodologies for the detection of artist dyestuffs: thin layer chromatography-surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy in situ on the fiber analysis. Anal Chem. 2009;81:3056–62.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [33]

    Saviello D, Trabace M, Alyami A, Mirabile A, Giorgi R, Baglioni P, et al. A combined surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS )/UV-vis approach for the investigation of dye content in commercial felt tip pens inks. Talanta. 2018;181:448–53.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [34]

    Saviello D, Di Gioia A, Turenne PI, Trabace M, Giorgi R, Mirabile A, et al. Handheld surface-enhanced Raman scattering identification of dye chemical composition in felt-tip pen drawings. J Raman Spectrosc. 2018;1–10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jrs.5411.

  • [35]

    Griffin R, Spears L. Other methods of colour analysis: 12.1 high-performance liquid chromatography. In: Robertson J, Grieve M, editors. Forensic analysis of fibers, 2nd ed. London: Taylor & Francis, 1999: 315–22.Google Scholar

  • [36]

    Kirby J, ed. The diversity of dyes in history and archaeology. London: Archetype, 2017.Google Scholar

  • [37]

    Volná K, Holcapek M, Kolárova L, Lemr K, Cáslavsky J, Kacer P, et al. Comparison of negative ion electrospray mass spectra measured by seven tandem mass analyzers towards library formation. Rapid Comm Mass Spectrom. 2008;22:101–8.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [38]

    Chen VJ, Smith GD, Holden A, Paydar N, Kiefer K. The dating of an Uzbek ceremonial coat by dye analysis using liquid chromatography -mass spectrometry. Dyes Pigments. 2016;131:320–32.Google Scholar

  • [39]

    Frick D. The coloration of food . Rev Prog Color. 2003;33:15–32.Google Scholar

  • [40]

    Yang Y, Zhang J, Shao B. Quantitative analysis of fourteen synthetic dyes in jelly and gummy candy by ultra performance liquid chromatography. Anal Methods. 2014;6:5872–8.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [41]

    Bento WAS, Lima BP, Paim APS. Simultaneous determination of synthetic colorants in yogurt by HPLC. Food Chem. 2015;183:154–60.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [42]

    Weisz A, Mazzola EP, Ito Y. Preparative separation of di- and trisulfonated components of Quinoline yellow using affinity-ligand pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography. J Chrom A. 2001;1216:4161–8.Google Scholar

  • [43]

    Scheifers SM, Verma S, Cooks RG. Characterization of organic dyes by secondary ion mass spectrometry. Anal Chem. 1983;55:2260–6.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [44]

    Cioccolani E. Personal communication. September 11, 2018.Google Scholar

  • [45]

    van der Werf ID, Germinario G, Palmisano F, Sabbatini L. Characterisation of permanent markers by pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011;399:3483–90.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [46]

    Pfingstag G. Colorants in inks for writing, drawing and marking. J Soc Dyers Colorists. 1993;109;188–92.Google Scholar

  • [47]

    Druzik J. Oriel microfading tester (MFT): a brief description. In: Joel Thompson, Amanda Holden, Glenn Petersen, Sarah Stevens, editors. Textile specialty group postprints. vol. 20. Washington, DC: AIC, 2010:135–43.Google Scholar

  • [48]

    Townsend JH, Thomas J, Hackney S, Lerwill A. The benefits and risks of anoxic display for colorants. In: Saunders D, Townsend JH, Woodcock S, editors. Conservation and access: contributions to the London Congress 15–19 September 2008. London: IIC, 2008:76–81.Google Scholar

  • [49]

    Casella L, Sanderson K. Display of Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen autochrome plates: anoxic sealed package and lighting conditions. Top Photographic Preserv. 2011;14:162–7.Google Scholar

  • [50]

    Beltran V, Druzik J, Maekawa S. Large-scale assessment of light-induced color change in air and anoxic environments. Stud Conserv. 2012;57:42–57.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [51]

    Bahr S. 2018. Gallery was remade with touch in mind. Indianapolis Star, July 27th, 2018, 8A.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2019-05-03


Citation Information: Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 4, Issue 7, 20180018, ISSN (Online) 2365-659X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2018-0018.

Export Citation

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in