Why some Georgia O’Keeffe paintings have ‘art acne’

A new imaging technique could help art curators track destructive bumps over time

oil painting

PIMPLED PAINTINGS  Many oil paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, including this 1941 work titled “Pedernal,” are slowly being damaged by a type of “acne” forming under the paint.      

Georgia O'Keeffe. Pedernal, 1941. Oil on canvas, 19 x 30 1/4 inches. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation. © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum [2006.5.172]

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