The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosts guest speaker Heather Galloway, conservator and principal of the Galloway Art Conservation, whose topic will be "Cleaning Paintings: Science and the Conservator."
The seminar will be preceded by a reception at 4:30 p.m., in the David Love Lounge.
Sponsored by the Ray Alte Blumeno Lectureship Fund.
A recent viral video showing the removal of a heavily discolored varnish layer from a 17th Century English portrait in a “matter of seconds” both fascinated the public and horrified conservators. With the cleaning solution dripping down the face of the painting, the video seemed to undermine the carefully crafted message that conservators engage in painstaking scientific work. Responding to its members’ outrage, the American Institute for Conservation issued a statement that this video was “irresponsible dissemination of simplistic information”. This talk will present the contemporary relationship between science and the cleaning a painting by exploring the treatment of two 19th century French works, one by Claude Monet, the other by James Tissot. These two case studies demonstrate both the advances and the unanticipated challenges that a scientific understanding can bring to cleaning paintings.