Paul Messier

Paul Messier
Yale University | YU · Len Media Lab, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

About

50
Publications
19,605
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361
Citations
Citations since 2016
11 Research Items
182 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202201020304050
Introduction
Paul Messier is the chair of the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and director of the IPCH Lens Media Lab. Paul does research in the visual arts, with a focus on the material history of photography.

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a methodology for the examination and documentation of a video- based installation as applied to Dara Birnbaum's 1989-90 Tiananmen Square: Break-In Transmission. Functional and aesthetic roles of compositional elements and electronic components are character- ized. Background on relevant technologies is summa- rized. The results...
Article
Full-text available
Surface texture is a critical feature in the manufacture, marketing, and use of photographic paper. Raking light reveals texture through a stark rendering of highlights and shadows. Though close-up raking light images effectively document surface features of photographic paper, the sheer number and diversity of textures used for historic papers pro...
Article
Full-text available
Handmade laid paper has the important quality that every sheet of paper formed on the same papermaking mold retains a nearly identical imprint of the mold’s wire structure. These “moldmates” are identified by analyzing the recorded wire features, which are visible using transmitted light. When visual analysis is not sufficient to distinguish moldma...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout his career, László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) produced many photograms, a selection of which was examined in European and American collections. Sheet dimensions and thickness, base color, surface gloss and texture were recorded. The analysis of the data and the results of this investigation are presented in this article. The article also ex...
Article
Full-text available
Wove paper, made on a papermaking screen or mold having a surface of smooth tightly woven wires, was the predominant paper type used for printing in the twentieth century. To aid in the study and classification of fine art prints on wove paper, the present work compares the results of five different image processing approaches for characterizing su...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prior work on texture analysis of historic, photographic papers has focused primarily on measures of texture similarity. However, automated grouping or clustering of photographic paper textures in a way that is meaningful to art conservators remains an open problem. In this work a deep learning approach to automated classification is presented, for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wove paper, made on a papermaking screen or mold having a surface of smooth tightly woven wires, was the predominant paper type used for printing in the twentieth century. To aid in the study and classification of fine art prints on wove paper, the present work compares the results of five different image processing approaches for characterizing su...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Texture characterization of photographic papers is likely to provide scholars with valuable information regarding artistic practices. Currently, texture assessment remains mostly based on visual and manual inspections, implying long repetitive tasks prone to inter- and even intra-observer variability. Automated texture characterization and classifi...
Article
Full-text available
Texture characterization of photographic prints can provide scholars with valuable information regarding photographers? aesthetic intentions and working practices. Currently, texture assessment is strictly based on the visual acuity of a range of scholars associated with collecting institutions, such as museum curators and conservators. Natural int...
Article
Full-text available
Digital imaging and signal processing technologies offer new, quantitative methods to classify and characterize surface textures. This paper presents a collaborative project to systematically and semi-automatically characterize the surface texture of traditional black and white photographic paper as well as contemporary photographic inkjet printing...
Article
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Historical references of silver gelatin photographic paper sheet size and thickness were collected to determine standardized dimensions in use during the 20th century. A total of 32 sizes and three thicknesses were determined to be de facto standards. Despite periodic attempts to create international standards, manufacturers of photographic paper r...
Article
Full-text available
of a paper presented at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, August 4 – August 8, 2013.
Article
Full-text available
Digital imaging and signal processing technologies offer new methods for inkjet and photographic media engineers and manufacturers, and those responsible for product quality control, to classify and characterize printing materials surface textures using new and more quantitative methods. This paper presents a collaborative project to systematically...
Article
Full-text available
Surface textures of a large collection of photographic papers dating from 1896 to the present were measured using a laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) with four different objective lenses. Roughness characterization parameters were calculated from the texture measurements and were compared with gloss measurements. Characterization by the are...
Article
Full-text available
A reference collection of mostly 20th-century photographic paper was surveyed for the presence of optical brightening agents. Only fiber-based, gelatin silver paper was assessed. In all, 1,804 samples were examined, dating from 1896 to 2004 and representing 40 different manufacturers. No optical brightening agents were found in samples dating from...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an overview of techniques and resources for dating fiber-based, gelatin silver photographic paper. This review encompasses some well known practices based on optical brightening agents, manufacturer back printing, and paper fiber identification as well as techniques currently being developed such as the XRF analysis of the baryt...
Article
Recently, we have made tremendous progress in the spectroscopic analysis and laser restoration of tarnished daguerreotypes. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been applied for the first time to both modern and 150-year-old daguerreotypes. In addition to surface and depth profiling, the analysis of colors on “tinted” samples allowed ide...
Article
Full-text available
Laser ablation mass spectrometry and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy have been used to characterize both modern and 150 year old daguerreotypes. Such investigations are a necessary prelude to attempts to clean them of tarnish by laser ablation. A demonstration of the successful cleaning of a damaged daguerreotype is presented. .
Article
Daguerreotypes were the first form of photographs and were popular between 1840 and 1860, after which they were superseded by more modern techniques. The daguerreotype image is composed of silver: mercury microcrystals of varying size and density on a silver-coated copper substrate. Nineteenth century daguerreotypes, over the intervening 140 years,...
Article
Laser desorption mass spectroscopy has been used to characterize both modern and ~ 150-year-old daguerreotypes. Such investigations are a necessary prelude to attempts to clean them of tarnish and other contaminants by laser ablation of the surface layers. Both positive- and negative-ion time-of-flight spectra were obtained following YAG laser abla...
Article
Full-text available
Research was carried out to assess the current conservation practice of the aqueous surface cleaning and the unmounting and washing of albumen photographs, techniques adapted from paper conservation and photographic processing. In this study, 10 mounted and 10 never-mounted albumen photographs were both surface cleaned with and immersed in aqueous...
Article
Full-text available
Fundamental physical and mechanical properties of albumen photographs were studied with the goal of explaining the tendency for pre-existing cracks in the albumen layer to increase in number and width when exposed to water. Samples were taken from the following materials: historical 19th-century albumen prints, unsized cotton paper, albumen prints...
Article
The preservation of nineteenth-century albumen prints is of great concern to collection managers and to conservators of photographic materials. In the field of art conservation, preservation techniques incorporating aqueous treatments are often used to enhance the long- and short-term stability of historical artifacts or art objects. In a study of...
Article
Full-text available
The problem presented in the title of this paper can be addressed simply by two words: cold storage. Recent research indicates that all cellulose-based film, whether it's a cellulose nitrate negative from the 1890's or a cellulose triacetate color transparency from the 1990's, share very similar deterioration mechanisms that are temperature and hum...
Article
Full-text available
Laser ablation mass spectrometry and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy have been used to characterize both modern and 150 year old daguerreotypes. Such investigations are a necessary prelude to attempts to clean them of tarnish by laser ablation.

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Promote an understanding of methods to characterize time-based media, including video and installation works of art, to improve and promote preservation methodologies.
Project
Classification of silver gelatin prints using various chemical and physical markers, including the "expressive dimensions" utilized by practicing darkroom photographers.