The past, present and future of lead white in Denmark’s national graphic art collections

Niels Borring, David Buti, Birgit Vinther Hansen, Johanne Marie Nielsen, Morten Ryhl-Svendsen, Andreas Swane, Anna Vila

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


A methodical examination of the graphic collections at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst) and Danish Royal Library (RL) has shown that circa 900 objects
from the SMK are affected by the darkening of white highlights, while up to 200 cases have been estimated to exist at the RL. Lead white was identified on all the objects studied. Artworks and housing materials from both institutions, together with a group of test samples created in the laboratory, have been examined by analytical means to better understand and locate the degradation sources. The levels of H2S in storage and galleries were also measured.In the housing materials from the SMK and RL, sulfur products were identified. Results point out that the degradation can be attributed to a combination of poor archival housing materials, outside pollutants and, in some locations, the presence of many people as well as humidity.
TitelICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference Preprints : Copenhagen, 4–8 September 2017
RedaktørerJanet Bridgland
Antal sider9
ForlagICOM-CC, International Committee of Museums
Publikationsdato4 sep. 2017
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-92-9012-426-9
StatusUdgivet - 4 sep. 2017
BegivenhedICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference: Linking Past and Future - International Council of Museums - Conservation Committee, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 4 sep. 20178 sep. 2017
Konferencens nummer: 18


KonferenceICOM-CC 18th Triennial Conference
LokationInternational Council of Museums - Conservation Committee


  • lead white highlights
  • lead white darkening
  • degradation
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • pollutants
  • graphic art

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

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