Green Hill revamps + LASERZ!

Crucifixion, Puccio Capanna, c. 1330. North Carolina Museum of Art.
Crucifixion, Puccio Capanna, c. 1330. North Carolina Museum of Art.

The Green Hill Center announced a rebranding this week. They have a new brand identity, logo, and website.  Gone is “The Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art” and in its place is the condensed and sleek “Greenhill.” It’s good to see they’re evolving and thinking about perception, placement, and how the structure of the organization meets the public. I like the name change a lot, but my initial reaction to the new logo and website is “Meh.” Having gone through quite a few redesigns, I know sometimes the initial reaction isn’t the best, but there you go.

The other big NC art news this week comes from Dr. Warren S. Warren, who teaches in the chemistry and radiology departments at Duke. During a visit to the National Gallery in London, Warren learned that the art world is using imaging technologies that are 30 to 40 years old. (Surprise! The art world is always behind!) So he decided to see if he could use the lasers from his work with melanoma to make images of old master paintings without harming the surface.

Warren and others in Duke’s Center for Molecular and Biomedical Imaging, which he heads, have discovered they can use Warren’s pump-probe laser to create three- dimensional cross-sections of art that let researchers see colors and layers and maybe, at some point, discover the source of materials…

The first beneficiary of the laser is the North Carolina Museum of Art, about 60 miles southeast of Durham. The museum and the school are figuring out together how to make the pump-probe laser work optimally for art conservationists.

The museum’s 14th-century “Crucifixion” by Puccio Capanna was the first painting to get a pump-probe laser exam. It revealed a thick layer of lapis lazuli over Madonna’s mantle, said William Brown, the museum’s chief conservator. Typically, that blue is achieved with a layer of the less-expensive azurite, covered with a thin layer of lapis, which was more expensive than gold at the time, he said.

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