In the scientific approach to examination, the following techniques are widely used: 

Examination & Analysis

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) is a valuable tool to better understand the chemical make up of sample materials.

Cross-sections of paint samples allows us to "map" the layers of paint to determine the best layer to preserve for a determined historical context.

Microscopy, in both examination and treatment, 

plays a vital role.

The identification of wood samples can help in the determination of an objects country of origin.


Here we see white oak, native to northern United States.

Silver fill can be seen in the pores as a decorative finish.

Hull House--Chicago

Discover some of the techniques in conservation science, like how Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometery is used to identify binders, varnishes and much more.

Below is a three part series on chemistry in art conservation, the analytical tools and the role science plays in conservation.