Collection of historical materials from 19th and 20th centuries

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Wien | Website

Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

Our institute has a valuable historical materials collection of the 19th and 20th centuries. Approximately 400 inorganic pigments, about 800 synthetic organic pigments and dyes as well as about 490 organic binders (natural and synthetic resins), polymers, additives, metal soaps, different raw materials, etc. are included in the collection, which are essential in the visual arts.

As such collections are very valuable and unique sources of reference materials, all samples have been cataloged in a Microsoft Access® database in recent years. In addition, every single colorant has been investigated using XRF, XRD, FTIR, and µ-Raman spectroscopy in order to characterize its elemental composition as well as its molecular and crystallographic structure. All results and spectral information (e.g. main components, trace elements, crystallographic structure, spectra in JPEG-format, etc.) are updated in the database.

The existing Access database® is transferred to an SQL-based and web-enabled database. This means that all available information including the XRF and FTIR spectra as well as XRD diffractograms can be queried using a search function and are therefore easily accessible to the scientific community.

Contact Person

DI Dr.techn. Dubravka Jembrih-Simbürger

Research Services

Collection of historical (19th century) and modern (20th century) pigments, dyes, natural and synthetic binders, polymers, additives etc. The collection contains a total of around 400 inorganic and 800 organic colorants as well as a further 490 samples, which are essential in the visual arts.

The existing Access database® is transferred to an SQL-based and web-enabled database. This means that all available information including the XRF and FTIR spectra as well as XRD diffractograms can be queried using a search function and are therefore easily accessible to the scientific community.

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The specimen of the material collection were analyzed using XRF, XRD, FTIR, and µ-Raman spectroscopy, in order to identify their chemical compositions, molecular and crystal structure. All the data are transfered in an SQL-based and web-enabled database and can be used for the identification of unknown sample materials. (work in progress - test version)

Please contact us (see above).
1) Colorants, binders, polymers, additives, raw materials, etc. – materials collection from the 19th and 20th centuries: A database including material information and spectral data, 2019, D. Jembrih-Simbürger, E. Wenger, M. Schreiner; Metalla Sonderheft 9 (2019) 101-103. ISSN 0947-6229
2) Classification of Synthetic Organic Pigments by Multivariate Data Analysis of FTIR Spectra. A. Schäning, K. Varmuza, M. Schreiner; e-Preservation Science 6 (2009) 75-80. http://www.morana-rtd.com/e-preservationscience/2009/Schaening-26-06-2008.pdf
3) Synthetische organische Pigmente in Künstlerfarben des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen ihrer Identifizierung am Beispiel von zwei Gemälden um 1925 von My/Marianne Ullmann. A. Schäning, M. Schreiner, M. Mäder, U. Storch; Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung 21/1 (2007) 87-110.
4) Historical pigments: a collection analyzed with x-ray diffraction analysis and x-ray fluorescence analysis in order to create a database. B. Hochleitner, V. Desnica, M. Mantler, M. Schreiner; Spectrochemica Acta, Part B 58 (2003) 641-649.
5) A comparative analysis of five chrome green pigments based on different spectroscopic techniques.V. Desnica, K. Furic, B. Hochleitner, M. Mantler; Spectrochemica Acta, Part B 58 (2003) 681-687.
6) Historische Pigmente: Identifizierung und Charakterisierung einer Pigmentsammlung zur Erstellung einer Datenbank. B. Hochleitner, M. Schreiner, M. Mantler; Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie 17/2 (2003), 294-304.