Why use us?
Private services offering art technology research are a relatively new phenomenon, and one not many art world professionals have much knowledge of. How then to choose?
Here are a few points as to why we feel you should come to AA&R:
A full range of expertise. The old saying “two heads are better than one”? We think it’s true. Art technology is a wide-ranging field, requiring skills covering topics such as laboratory analysis, materials science, advanced imaging, knowledge of the technology of paintings of many periods as well as conservation practices past and present, art history and much, much more. We do not feel that any one person can provide an in-depth expertise in all of these areas; consequently our team includes staff members with advanced qualifications in subjects like chemistry, forensic science, physics, aerospace engineering, art conservation and technical art history. Each team member contributes from their own specialism, ensuring that all work is carried out at a high level, but with close knowledge of allied areas, to facilitate communication and understanding. Our research is therefore fully collaborative across the disciplines.
The right qualifications. It is essential to be sure that your specialist truly has the expertise to make the necessary judgments. We are highly qualified in hard sciences like chemistry and physics, making us very well-placed to offer scientific and technical consultation services at the highest level. We also have advanced degrees in art history, technical art history and conservation from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Our staff have research proficiency in a number of languages, allowing us to consider the wide range of material necessary to provide solid background research.
The right facilities. Our imaging is done with technology designed and custom built by us with the art market specifically in mind, with concepts of quality, stability, superior performance and inter-comparability at the fore. Our scientific analyses are carried out in our own laboratory, which is equipped with a full range of techniques , from electron microscopy to gas chromatography. The painter’s palette is often complex; no one technique will suffice. Our multi-analytical protocols aim to yield maximum information. By maintaining all our own facilities we can ensure these are optimised to the specific needs of art, supported by knowledgeable staff and specially-developed resources.
The right standards. Art technology is currently a field largely without official standards. We look to the highest levels of practice as our model by providing a service equal to that found in major institutional settings such as national museums. Our reports are prepared to a standard where they could appear as an academic paper or in a court of law. We are also committed to developing and promoting these standards across the field. No report leaves us before it is read by at least two of our specialists, ensuring that problems are thoroughly considered, with second opinions and peer review built into our standard practice.Any samples taken are archived, so that if questions arise later, we can revisit the case with ease. Equally, our protocols are developed so that the minimum amount of material is taken to provide the maximum amount of information. By taking microsamples for technical investigation when possible, physical impact to the work of art is kept to a minimum.
Our track record. We have an extensive, demonstrable, experience with all areas of the market from authentication and the detection of fakes and forgeries, the highest quality imaging services and market-leading analysis, acting as experts for major legal cases and involvement in high-profile projects.
A commitment to development. We believe that we must constantly better our skills to remain at the top of our field. Consequently AA&R commits resources to primary research, constantly developing new approaches and knowledge that feeds back into our daily practice through internal projects and in external academic collaborations. We are consequently very active in the international community of our peers and publish regularly in both popular and peer reviewed publications. Our academic networks extend to colleagues world-wide, and allow us to stay abreast of the most recent advances in the field. We are active members of professional groups, such as the International Council of Museums, Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC).