Indianapolis Museum of Art Uses New Microscope Technology to Improve Art Analysis

Art curators and conservators now can quickly get far more detailed information than ever before by using an integrated combination of light and electron microscopy

OBERKOCHEN, Germany & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--()--Carl Zeiss today announced that the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is using a Carl Zeiss “Shuttle & Find” Correlative Microscopy package in the museum’s new state-of-the-art conservation science laboratory funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The package facilitates direct communication between ZEISS electron microscopes and ZEISS light microscopes, thus significantly accelerating the examination of artwork samples. Each of these microscope types offers unique ways to examine and analyze paintings and other types of artwork. The challenge is to be able to switch back and forth between these microscope types quickly and precisely. Thanks to the Carl Zeiss “Shuttle & Find” Correlative Microscopy package, the location of an area-of-interest identified within one instrument can be quickly and easily retrieved in the other instrument, making this approach a real solution for the first time. This very much broadens the range of applications and speeds the examination of artwork samples.

The “Shuttle & Find” package consists of software and hardware components, including a specialized specimen holder and adapters for the transfer of the specimen—in the application of the IMA usually a tiny sample of paint—from the light to the electron microscope and vice versa. Along with the “Shuttle & Find” package, IMA has also installed an EVO MA 15 scanning electron microscope, an AXIOIMAGER M2m compound microscope, a DISCOVERY V20 stereomicroscope, and an OPMI Pico surgical microscope, all from Carl Zeiss. These instruments will update the museum’s long-serving ZEISS polarized light microscope that has been in service since the 1970s.

The laboratory, one of only a few such sophisticated conservation science labs in the world, answers materials analysis questions for curators and conservators, conducts technical analysis of artwork, and performs applied and basic scientific research into artists’ materials and techniques. Microscopes play an integral role in the work of the conservation science laboratory, which uses a materials approach to art history, providing evidence of an artist’s materials or working methods, authenticating an artwork, or assisting in its attribution. Dr. Gregory Dale Smith, the museum’s Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist, installed the Correlative Microscopy package into the new laboratory. “The concept of performing our imaging work with trouble-free transfer of the sample from the light microscope to the electron microscope, and retrieval of the region of interest within seconds, intrigued me,” said Smith. “Only Carl Zeiss provides both light and electron microscopy platforms as well as the means to integrate them in this way.”

The “Shuttle & Find” interface enables the quick and easy relocation of the area of interest, fully utilizing the capabilities of the two complementary microscopy technologies. Traditional light microscopy permits a quick overview of the sample and a number of contrasting technologies (e.g. color, polarization, fluorescence, dark field / bright field). However, there is a two orders-of-magnitude higher resolution available by means of the electron microscope, and it offers expanded analytical possibilities, such as energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to characterize the sample´s chemical composition. Finally researchers can also accurately overlay the light microscopy image and the electron microscopy image by using the “Shuttle & Find” software package, providing complete information on the sample in one visual field.

“We at Carl Zeiss are pleased to be working with the professional team of museum scientists, conservators, and curators at the Indianapolis Museum of Art,” said Dan McGee, President of Carl Zeiss NTS, LLC. “It’s genuinely rewarding to help develop newer, faster ways to get accurate answers to some of the art world’s more perplexing questions.”

An application note with more technical details is available from the Carl Zeiss website at http://www.zeiss.de/corrmicforma.

www.zeiss.de/press

Carl Zeiss

The Carl Zeiss Group is a leading group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industries. Carl Zeiss offers innovative solutions for the future-oriented markets of Medical and Research Solutions, Industrial Solutions, Eye Care and Lifestyle Products. During fiscal year 2009/10 the group of companies generated revenues of around EUR 2.98 billion. From fiscal year 2010/11 onward, eyeglass lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss Vision will be integrated as an autonomous business group (revenues of EUR 880 million in fiscal year 2009/10). The Carl Zeiss Group now has approximately 24,000 employees, including more than 10,000 in Germany. The Carl Zeiss business groups hold leading positions in their markets. Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

Carl Zeiss NTS

Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH is the Nano Technology Systems Division of Carl Zeiss. As a pioneer in electron microscopy with more than 60 years of experience, Carl Zeiss NTS is one of the leading manufacturers of electron and ion-optical systems for the imaging, physical and chemical analysis and measurement of specimens with resolution in the picometer range. The company offers a broad spectrum of application and service solutions for the fields of nanotechnology, materials research and life sciences. Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany, and has subsidiaries in England, France, the USA and Singapore. The company has a global workforce of about 650 people.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6824038&lang=en

Contacts

Carl Zeiss, Nano Technology Systems
Markus Wiederspahn, +49 73 64 20-22 94
wiederspahn@nts.zeiss.com
or
Carl Zeiss, Nano Technology Systems, USA
Bill Monigle, 001 (941) 497-1622
b.monigle@nts.zeiss.com

CLEM (Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy) comparison of exact location on a cross-section sample with (a) darkfield, (b) BSE (Backscattered Electrons), and a (c) 50:50 mixture of darkfield and BSE images. Arrows indicate translucent particles (darkfield) containing lead (BSE). (Photo: Business Wire)

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Contacts

Carl Zeiss, Nano Technology Systems
Markus Wiederspahn, +49 73 64 20-22 94
wiederspahn@nts.zeiss.com
or
Carl Zeiss, Nano Technology Systems, USA
Bill Monigle, 001 (941) 497-1622
b.monigle@nts.zeiss.com