GOLDEN Technical Director Presents at Modern Paints Uncovered Symposium at Tate Modern in London

June 30, 2006

Golden Artist Colors, Inc. Technical Director James Hayes recently presented a paper co-authored by Dr. Gregory Smith, a conservation scientist from Buffalo State College who is also its first Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Conservation Science, regarding modern materials at a symposium held at Tate Modern in London.

Modern Paints Uncovered, which was co-organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and Tate, drew together the varied strands of research currently being conducted by conservation scientists and conservators on modern paint materials and addressed some of the concerns associated with these paints and the challenges inherent in developing appropriate conservation protocols. The integrated collaborative project, which began in 2002, was directed toward answering some of the many conservation questions about the character of modern paints. In its initial phase, it focused on three areas including, improved methods for analysis, better understanding of the physical properties and surface characteristics of modern paints, and assessment of the effects of cleaning treatments on acrylic emulsion paints. It was the first event of its kind for the modern paints conservation community.
"I was thrilled to be a part of this tremendous event," said GOLDEN Technical Director James Hayes. "Being able to collaborate with the conservation community has allowed us access to incredibly talented scientists, giving us the ability to analyze and understand these materials at a much deeper level."

Dr. Gregory Smith

Hayes' and Smith's paper, titled, "From Formulation to Finished Product: Causes and Potential Cures for Conservation Concerns in Acrylic Emulsion Paints," explored the relationship between formulation choices and the major longevity concerns regarding artwork executed in acrylic emulsion media. New directions in coatings formulations, primarily arising from the industrial coatings sector, were discussed in relation to their potential for improving properties of artists' paints. Finally, intervention at the level of the artist, especially regarding aqueous cleaning, isolation coatings and picture varnishing, were discussed as a means of mitigating conservation concerns in the future.

Jim Hayes"Working with Jim is particularly rewarding since it gives me insight into the manufacturing process and an energetic collaborator in my own studies into the conservation surrounding acrylic dispersion paints," said Smith. "Our joint paper at Modern Paints Uncovered showed the devotion that Golden Artist Colors has for the longevity of their products and it highlighted the significant research that has gone into constantly improving the GOLDEN brand of artists' paints."

There were several other presenters and topics discussed at the event, which attendees have touted as a tremendous success. According to Smith,"I felt like it was a quantum leap in my understanding of the materials as well as in my enthusiasm to tackle challenges I've been encountering in my research." "The symposium was definitely a very energetic place to be, but of utmost importance was the collaboration this event allowed between various groups, including manufacturers, conservation scientists, conservators, and others," said Hayes.

Dr. Tom Learner

Jim Hayes

Dr. Tom Learner, a Senior Conservation Scientist at Tate in London and also a co-ordinator of Modern Paints Uncovered agreed wholeheartedly. "The symposium was a milestone in modern paints research," Learner said. "It allowed us to take stock of where the research is and where it's still got to go. I hope that the attendees are now fully aware of what's happening and through individual contacts or more formal collaborations, we will see a great increase in research and ultimately, assistance to conservators in order to help them deal with challenges in their work."

If you are interested in learning more about "From Formulation to Finished Product: Causes and Potential Cures for Conservation Concerns in Acrylic Emulsion Paints," or other research presented at the symposium, please go to for more information. The Getty is planning to publish a post print to the symposium in late 2007, so please check its Web site periodically for updates.

GOLDEN Technical Director Presents at Modern Paints Uncovered Symposium at Tate Modern in London