The Science of Art

Preservation and Reverse Engineering of Cultural Heritage


THE SCIENCE OF ART – VIP – DETAILS

Students will work independently and in small, interdisciplinary teams on a relevant research project to understand the materials, meaning, and preservation of objects of art and cultural heritage. The collective team will grow together and function as a multi-disciplinary research community over a period of several semesters developing communication and leadership and skills in research and problem solving ultimately culminating in publishable work.

A project or projects will be selected during the first week of class depending on the makeup and interests of enrolled students. This course is intended for individuals who have an interest in the communications and important connections between the sciences and humanities.

 

SPRING SEMESTER THEME

The Science, History, and Psychology of Color in Art: The first offering of this course, in spring 2015, focuses on the science, history, and psychology or meaning of color in art. Students are analyzing and recreating the pigments used in a second-century portrait that adorned a Roman-Egyptian sarcophagus. The once highly valued purple hue is created by crushing bugs (including Cochineal and Kermes Läuse), and then heating it with various binders and chemicals.

  • Open to all majors, sophomore level and above
  • Enrollment by instructor permission
  • Instructor: Dr. Darryl Butt, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Text: Color by V. Finley and Literature

 

CURRENT VIP COURSES – SPRING 2015

Course Titles: VIP 297, 397, 497, 597 (1-2 Credits per semester)
Location: MEC 301, Tu/Th
Time: 9-10:15 am (Th meetings are led by students as needed)

FUTURE PROJECTS

Future projects are expected to include methods for analyzing art for the purpose of preserving materials or identifying and understanding methods of forgery. For example, next fall students will assess how and why 19th-century photographs, known as daguerreotypes, degrade, and how to preserve these historic artifacts through an understanding of their nano-scale technology.

QUESTIONS?

Contact Dr. Butt at darrylbutt@boisestate.edu or 426-1054