This report provides the description of a recent fine art spectral imaging session at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C. This report also includes subsequent evaluation of the performance of our multi-channel visible-spectral imaging (MVSI) system. The multi-band channels analyzed in this report were obtained using a monochrome CCD and a liquid-crystal tunable filter (LCTF) capturing 31 narrow-band channels. The results showed the effectiveness of our designed spectral imaging when used at a museum environment to capture spectral imaging of fine art paintings. Furthermore, we also verified the dependence of the performance on the selection of the characterization target. Various combinations of imaged targets were used to generate the transformation. Among our characterization target combinations, the one that includes GretagMacbeth ColorChecker DC combined with a target of blue pigments was selected considering its impact on spectral estimation performance in reconstructing painting pigments (Gamblin target). This result points directions to a design of a universal target for painting spectral imaging and estimation.

Publication Date



We would like to acknowledge the staff of National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. for helping us to make the imaging process very smooth and for their support and comments. We also would like to acknowledge our other sponsors, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City. We would like to thank Pixel Physics for lending us the TerraPix digital camera. Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Technical Report

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus