RIT Hosts Fine Art Reproduction Research Symposium June 16-18

Museum of Modern Art, National Archives, Harvard and Xerox among presenters

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Suyog Pradhan

Susan Farnand, RIT research scientist, reviews guide prints to visually adjust prints coming off an offset press at the Printing Applications Laboratory.

Most cultural heritage institutions are currently photographing their works of art to create images used to produce books, catalogues and online publications, as well as to support research, teaching and conservation. A range of technology and a variety of workflows are used to create these images, but there are currently no standard guidelines to ensure the image quality is not comprised.

In culmination of a 30-month project benchmarking the art image interchange cycle, Rochester Institute of Technology will host a research symposium, Current Practices in Fine Art Reproduction, June 16-18. The symposium is designed for people involved in all aspects of art image reproduction in museums, libraries and archives.

Franziska Frey, McGhee Professor in RIT’s School of Print Media, has been spearheading this research project since 2008 thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to evaluate current practices in fine art image production, determine the image quality generally achievable today and establish a suggested framework for art image interchange. At the symposium, Frey will disseminate her current findings and begin discussions to establish a suggested framework for cultural institutions.

The line-up of symposium presenters include Stephen Chapman, Harvard University; Erik Landsberg, Museum of Modern Art; Alan Newman and Ken Fleisher, National Gallery of Art; Steve Puglia, National Archives and Records Administration; and Karen Braun, Xerox Corp. Experts from RIT’s School of Print Media and RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science will also be among those presenting.

“It’s our goal to develop guidelines that will help cultural institutions work together with outside content providers, publishers and printers to maintain the highest image quality throughout the cycle,” says Frey.

The symposium will consist of talks, panels, tours of RIT’s facilities and an exhibit. Attendees will also be involved in interactive sessions where they will participate in experiments, discussions, and surveys. To register and learn more about the conference, visit http://artimaging.rit.edu.

The full conference registration cost is $250, which includes meals during the symposium and a reception. Symposium registration is limited to 125 people. Conference rates for hotels are valid through May 12.