Materials at the Museum
First-Year Seminar Program 053
This seminar views artwork from a materials perspective, focusing on the substances–pigments, stone, metal, glass, ceramics, or plastics–that create a visual effect. How do these materials’ structures lead to their appearances? What are the histories of their discovery or invention? How do works change over time through alterations in materials? We will introduce ideas from chemistry and materials science, with additional readings from art history and art conservation.