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Modern color research in the museum environment

Simulating colors of cultural heritage objects has become an increasingly important area of research. In recent years, it has also gained more international significance. InFotonics Center Joensuu and the National Museum of Japanese History Rekihaku collaborate in this field of expertise. One of the most interesting research topics is applying the methods of color research and pictorial analysis to the comparative study of textiles, manufactured in the same era in different countries. On these pages, we present applications of pictorial analysis and color research in the research of kimonos. The kimonos in question belong to the collections of the Rekihaku Museum and they date back to the Edo period (1603 - 1867).

The exhibition "Shades of Colors" includes a multimedia presentation of the patterning of a kimono. The multimedia was produced by means of the most recent methods of digital color research. To the delight of the viewer, the colors of the fabrics in the kimonos faithfully replicate the shades of the original garments.

What is the future going to bring to the museum experience? In ten years' time, is it possible to view significant textiles and other objects of cultural history, originating from different countries, in the internet, their colors on the display being exactly the same as in the original objects?


Figure: To the delight of the museum visitors, there is a genuine kimono in the exhibition.