North Carolina Museum of Art

August 16, 2021

North Carolina Museum of Art

Dave Pfaff and Elyssa McMaster ’22 joined me for a day trip to the lovely college town of Raleigh, North Carolina where we spent an eventful morning in the North Carolina Museum of Art photographing three Florentine paintings. One is a birthing salver displaying an allegorical/mythological fantasy about the Triumph of Chastity ( The second panel displays the effigies of Saints Cosmas and Damian, patrons of the Doctors and Apothecaries Guild, which may have hung in the church of Orsanmichele that we scanned and modeled in 2018 ( And the third is a polyptych of the Blessing Christ flanked by saints John the Evangelist, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and Francis that, it has been argued persuasively, originally stood on the altar of the Peruzzi Chapel in the church of S. Croce – which, you guessed it, we scanned and modeled in 2019 (

Lyle Humphries, the curator of European Art at the NCMA, joined us for much of the morning’s work. With the museum staff thinking seriously about creating new didactic tools for visitors to use as they explore and examine objects on view, Lyle is interested in partnering with us on our journey to recreate the visual appearance of Florentine buildings: she and the staff at the NCMA generously assisted us as Dave and EMac photographed the three paintings listed above, and since our return to Lexington we have continued to communicate about how our photogrammetric models of the museum’s paintings can be put to use in Raleigh.

After our morning in the museum, we stopped off at a Chipotle to satisfy EMac’s hankering for a Burrito bowl and then hit the road, making it back to MetroLex by dinner time.

This was an excellent initial foray into this part of the project, which we have intentionally delayed in order to focus on the LiDAR portion of our work. Now that we have scanned and modeled a dozen Florentine structures, we are ready to embed into them the works that once ornamented them in the fifteenth century: it’s time to return to the Photogrammetric part of this project so that we can model those objects that will fit into their original spaces. Our next trip – to Washington, D.C. on August 26, 2021 – will be a more elaborate one that will test our ability to work efficiently in a space within a specific time frame.

Prof Bent, Dave Pfaff, and Elyssa McMaster