Finding Focus: What is an image?
17 December 2020, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm
Join us for a guest virtual lecture from E. Keats Webb, Imaging Scientist at Museum Conservation Institute at Smithsonian Institution.
UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
About this lecture
Imaging has a long history of object documentation for access, education, research, and conservation within museums and heritage institutions. The scientific and computational imaging techniques being used today offer non-destructive and portable investigation tools for the research and conservation of museum collections. These digital imaging techniques record the condition, inform the care, and increase the understanding of cultural heritage objects. Webb’s work at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) uses a variety of imaging techniques, cameras, lighting and setups to look at objects in different and unique ways to support the research and conservation of the Smithsonian collections. Her recently completed PhD research investigated the optimisation of spectral and 3D imaging for cultural heritage documentation using consumer imaging systems.
Stepping back from the narrow focus of her research, this talk will explore what an image is by reflecting on the history and development of photography and the use of images past and present. Webb will highlight ideas about the truth of an image and the democratization of imaging technologies, both past and present, to reflect on her work using scientific and computational imaging to support the research and conservation of heritage objects. In a time where we are surrounded by images, this talk pushes us to think about what an image is, the importance of imaging for cultural heritage, and considerations for making images more reliable scientific records.
Virtual event details
This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from E. Keats Webb, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Dr Josep Grau-Bove.
About the speaker
E. Keats Webb is an imaging scientist at the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute (MCI). Her recent research has been investigating the optimization of spectral and 3D imaging for cultural heritage documentation using consumer imaging systems. Her work at MCI includes using scientific and computational imaging to aid in the research and conservation of the Smithsonian collections. Her specializations include spectral imaging and image-based 3D reconstruction. Webb received a PhD from the University of Brighton (2020) and an MRes from University College of London (2015) as part of the UK Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) Centre for Doctoral Training.