Microscopy for Pigment & Fiber Identification
in Art & Artifacts
Instructor: Gary J. Laughlin, PhD
Regular Registration: $1,400
In this course, students will learn the necessary skills for the visual characterization and identification of artists' materials by polarized light microscopy (PLM). The emphasis will be on the proper use of the microscope for the analysis of common paint pigments, textile fibers, and rock-forming minerals. Students will also learn sampling procedures and the use of flowcharts and keys to determine a positive identity for a wide variety of modern and historic materials. This one-week course is intended for amateur or professional conservators, art historians, and materials science enthusiasts. No prior microscopy experience is necessary. The course is based on lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory practice. Each student learns each technique by hearing about it, watching it being done, and then doing it. Video is used extensively for macro- and micro-projection in both lecture and demonstrations. Each student is assigned a polarized light microscope and all necessary accessories, reagents, and text materials.
INSTRUCTOR BIO:Gary J. Laughlin, PhD is currently Senior Research Microscopist and Instructor at McCrone Research Institute (McRI) in Chicago where, since 1987, he has taught over 250 one-week courses in various kinds of microscopy to over 3500 students. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois in the Forensic Science Program and is Visiting Professor at Cornell University where he teaches chemical microscopy for the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical
Biology, Human Ecology, Textiles and Apparel, and the Cornell Architectural Conservation Group. He currently serves as President and Executive Director on the Board of McCrone Research Institute, is a Life Member and former President of the State Microscopical Society of Illinois, is a Fellow in the Royal Microscopical Society, and is a Member of the American Chemical Society and the American Institute for Conservation. Dr. Laughlin received degrees in Criminalistics (Forensic Science) and Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). His doctoral thesis used microscopy and microanalysis to explore archaeological evidence for Early Bronze Age tin-ore processing in ancient Anatolia. www.mcri.org