Innovating Materials Science for Art’s Sake

Feb 22, 2017

Launched in Spring 2016, Dr. Marc Walton’s course on the “Materiality of Art and Archaeology” brought together an interdisciplinary group of students in both Art History and Materials Science to work with and assess objects in the Block Museum collection. Dr. Walton, Senior Scientist of the Center for Scientific Studies and the Arts (a joint project between the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern), created the course to afford his students the chance to “address the role of scientific examination in investigating the production and use of art across time and space.”

The interdisciplinary nature of the topic offers McCormick students the opportunity to work closely with Weinberg students and vice versa. Collaborations like these that span disparate concentrations set the stage for new areas of study to develop. Says Dr. Walton, “It’s a project-based class where the students invest themselves in understanding how art and artifacts are created, a burgeoning field called ‘Technical Art History,’ where science, technology, and art merge.” Read more

Video produced by the Block Museum of Art

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