The Scientific Department of the National Gallery

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The present

Today the Scientific Department comprises a staff of six, who works in pairs on three fields. In historical order of development these are: inorganic analysis and microscopy, organic analysis, and research on the effect of the environment.

The reader will note that this is a small sample of the whole field. There is at the moment no sustained research, for example, on the materials of restoration or on technical methods of photographic examination. But the policy is not to over-diffuse limited resources. Nevertheless the advice given by the laboratory certainly extends into other fields where it holds some competence. Work has been done in the recent past on varnishes, and the laboratory now runs the de Boer type of infra-red imaging on closed-circuit TV, to mention two examples.

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