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Material analysis of cultural artifacts can uncover aspects of the creative process and help determine the origin and authenticity of works of art. Technical studies on abstract expressionist paintings revealed a luminescence signature from titanium white paints whose pigments were manufactured by coprecipitation with calcium or barium sulfate. We propose that trace neodymium present in some ilmenite (FeTiO3) ores can be trapped in the alkaline earth sulfate during coprecipitation, generating adoi:10.1126/sciadv.aav0679 fatcat:wlx4xikjbzct3fvdiysfjwii2q