Pigment Identification Workshop

    Improve listing Presented by

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and The Hooke College of Applied Science with the Register TodayMcCrone Group, Inc. are partnering to host a three-day hands-on workshop on Pigment Identification and Analysis for fine art and architectural finishes. The workshop will be held February 25-27, 2014 at the NCPTT in Natchitoches, LA. This workshop is only open to 20 participants, so please register early to reserve your spot. Tuition for the class is $399 and includes a reference slide set, contact Jason Church for more info.

Joe Barabe talking a student through sample collection.

The lead instructor for the workshop is Joe Barabe. Joe worked for McCrone Associates as a Senior Research Microscopist for 24 years. He mentored under the tutelage of Dr. Walter C. McCrone where he learned the special skills necessary to examine and analyze the materials constituting works of art, historical objects, and documents, both historical and contemporary. . His analytical duties include the analysis of art objects such as paintings and prints, ancient documents and historical and archeological artifacts using a variety of analytical tools including polarized light microscopy, SEM with x-ray spectrometry, infrared and Raman spectroscopy and others analytical modalities as appropriate. Forensic document examinations including forged and altered documents; paper, ink and toner comparisons; writing sequence determinations and printing process identification. His scientific imaging specialties include photomacro- and –micrography and invisible radiation photography.

Famous projects include the analysis of the ink on the Gospel of Judas, the Archaic Mark Forgery, the Voynich Manuscript analysis and the Zapruder Film imaging project. Barabe worked recently with the FBI and NCPTT on the Clementine Hunter forgery case. Prior to joining McCrone, Joe was Senior Scientific Photographer at the University of Chicago.

Topics covered in the workshop will include polarized light microscopy and pigment identification as relevant to cultural heritage.

  • Introduction to microscope basics: nomenclature and mechanics
  • Microscope basics: Koehler illumination; micrometry
  • Polarized light microscopy
  • Introduction to pigment identification
  • Examination, sampling, and documentation of pigments
  • Survey of selected pigments
  • Introduction to use of other analytical modalities such as SEM-EDS, XRF, FTIR, Raman and XRD

Class Schedule

Day 1 (Tuesday, February 25th) Classroom is lecture hall of Lee H. Nelson Hall (645 University Parkway Natchitoches, LA 71457)

Morning Session 1.
Preliminary remarks
Intro to Microscope basics: nomenclature and mechanics

Morning Session 2
Continue microscope basics: Koehler illumination; micrometry

Afternoon Session 1

Polarized light microscopy (1)
Introduction to pigment ID

Afternoon Session 2
Examination, sampling, documentation, both fine art and architectural artifacts

Day 2 (Wednesday, February 26th) Classroom is lecture hall of Lee H. Nelson Hall (645 University Parkway Natchitoches, LA 71457)

Morning Sessions 1 and 2
Polarized light microscopy (2)

Survey selected pigments

Afternoon Sessions 1 & 2
Survey selected pigments

Day 3 (Thursday, February 27th) Classroom is lecture hall of Lee H. Nelson Hall (645 University Parkway Natchitoches, LA 71457)

Morning Session 1
Intro to use of other analytical modalities such as SEM-EDS, XRF, FTIR, Raman and XRD as integrated part of paint identification strategy

Morning Session 2
Continue pigment survey

Afternoon Sessions
Review; practical exercises (ID unknowns)

Travel Information

Getting to Natchitoches, Participants can fly either to Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, LA or to Shreveport Regional Airport, Shreveport, LA. Rental cars are available at both airports, please contact Jason Church if you are interested in a possible pick-up at the airport.

There are a number of Bed and Breakfasts and hotels in Natchitoches a list can be found at; http://www.natchitoches.net/accommodations/ . Many of the B&B’s are within walking distant of NCPTT which is located at 645 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA. For more information contact Jason Church, jason_church@contractor.nps.gov.


Hooke College of Applied Sciences, the education division of The McCrone Group, provides training to both industry and government scientists worldwide. Hooke College’s mission is to provide a comprehensive learning environment to materials scientists, crime lab personnel, First Responders, researchers and technicians in the areas of polarized light microscopy, FTIR analysis, Raman analysis, scanning electron microscopy and many other specialized curricula. One of the advantages of our courses is that they are taught by our experienced staff scientists who solve microanalytical problems on a daily basis.Register Today

The McCrone Group, Inc., located in Westmont, IL, is the world leader in materials analysis and is internationally recognized as the premier microscopy resource. The company is comprised of three business units: McCrone Associates, the analytical service division; McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, the instrument sales division; and Hooke College of Applied Sciences, the education division.