Blog post from Wednesday, 18 June, 2014

What can art tell us? Library conservator Kate Hughes took five exquisite First Fleet era artworks from our collections to Melbourne to be studied using Australia’s most sophisticated scientific instrument.

The works cannot be touched due to their delicate nature and were scanned using the Australian Synchrotron’s x-ray fluorescence microscopy beamline. This is the only way to examine the very fine detail (brushstrokes of 0.1 mm or less) of the drawings and finely ground mineral pigments used.

The results from the three-day experiment will aid the conservation of the works and verify their provenance, and possibly help identify the artists.

To read more about this amazing work see this story posted by The Age.