RIT students help museums preserve artifacts


ROCHESTER, NY – Works of art and artifacts have allowed us to learn, explore and understand cultures of the past and around the world.

“So all of these things become exceptionally critical once we start looking at how to democratize access to collections is to make sure we’re representing the item itself as accurately as possible,” the student said. graduate Leah Humenuck.

What do you want to know

  • Professors and students at RIT’s Munsell Color Science Laboratory have developed new LED-based spectral imaging techniques
  • Studio funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Last year, they worked with five senior software engineering students to develop user-friendly software that allows users to get the images and information they need.

Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology have noted the importance of these works in history.

“At times, in certain areas, in Ukraine for example, if they need to digitize things quickly, it gives them a specific way to do it without museums and institutions spending millions of dollars to do it” , said Susan Farnand, director of the graduate program.

Discover new methods to preserve it, including digital and printed reproduction, documentation of conservation treatment, and design of exhibition lighting.

“I noticed when I was taking match footage what I was seeing and I could see that was a real problem, especially when I’m watching how these things change over time,” Humenuck said.

Use studio photography as a convenient way to capture accurate digital representations of items in their collections and ensure their history is never erased

“Photographers know that spectral imagery is the future, so we need to keep it that way to better document cultural heritage,” said Olivia Kuzi, Ph.D. candidate in color science.

Students work in a studio funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which gives them access to the tools and equipment needed for the project.

“The goal is to take this marvelous technology and develop methods to do it more cheaply,” Farnand said.

The team works with several museums and institutions to introduce cheaper alternatives for safeguarding artifacts and also receives valuable feedback on the results of their work.

“I think the collaboration is the best thing because their research and their questions feed into our research and our efforts here,” Humenuck said.

In the future, they hope the project will grow as they already have a partnership in the making.

“The George Eastman Museum is excited to work with us to test this new application which will come to fruition next spring,” said Farnand.

The team couldn’t be more grateful for his new opportunities, but especially his team.

“People who work in the field are the best in academic institutions to work on this, we just want to preserve our cultural heritage and make sure people continue to learn from it in the future,” Kuzi said. .


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