Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Geological Materials and Geological Tools at the Harvard Art Museums
  • Lecture
  • 4/20/2017
  • 15:00-16:00
  • The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Host: Department of Geology; Spencer Museum of Art
Event Description
Join Katherine Eremin, Patricia Cornwell Senior Conservation Scientist at Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums, for a discussion about the variety of geological materials found within an art museum, ranging from Chinese jades and Classical marbles to minerals used as pigments, and on the use of analytical techniques developed within Earth Sciences to investigate art works. Detailed knowledge of the materials used can help us identify their sources, providing information on ancient procurement and trade networks. Similarly, analysis can help us understand the technology used to produce art works, by providing information on details such as the oxidation state, firing temperature or production method. And knowing the range of materials used for similar works shows how the material directly influences the form of the final art work, raising questions as to whether the choice of material was due to availability or a deliberate artistic choice.