Conservation Lab

The Conservation Laboratory, led by Director. Dr. George Wheeler, comprises approximately 1,800 square feet of equipment and laboratory space, and is used for lectures, demonstrations, and other activities that support Preservation course work, thesis work, and independent research.

In addition to the usual supplies and equipment such as a deionized water supply, glassware, chemical reagents, etc., a wide range of equipment is housed and used in the laboratory and offsite including: Philips x-ray diffractometer, Nikon and Zeiss polarizing light and stereo binocular microscopes with an Infinity 2 digital cameras, X-Rite SP-62 spectrophotometer (colorimeter), INSTRON 4201 mechanical analyzer, multiple Onset T/RH indoor and outdoor dataloggers, and Accumet pH and conductivity meters. In addition, the laboratory houses some of the most complete and extensive historic collections of brick, sand, terra cotta, wood, and mudbrick, as well as a unique set of collections of stone samples dating back to the 19th century, and historic mortar and mosaic samples dating from Roman times to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.

These collections and facilities are augmented by close associations with the Laboratory for Applied Building Science and the Fu School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and both the Objects Conservation Department and the Department of Scientific Research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Highbridge Materials Consulting. These associations provide additional equipment for teaching and research such as a wider array of mechanical testing equipment, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, portable and stationary x-ray fluorescence, and infrared thermography.