ART BIO MATTERS 2018 will bring together scientists, curators/art historians, and conservators to explore directions for the analysis of biological materials in works of art.

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ART BIO MATTERS 2018 – hosted by the NYU Institute of Fine Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art – will bring together scientists, curators/art historians, and conservators to explore directions for the analysis of biological materials in works of art. The group will consist of stakeholders from each discipline, who will engage in a directed dialogue in order to:

  1. Investigate the potential role of new analytical approaches in the study of biological material found in artworks;
  2. Listen and learn about findings of relevance to conservators, curators/art historians, and cultural heritage scientists;
  3. Discuss case studies in biological materials analysis and evaluate their success.

The working meeting will provide a platform for open discussion and debate about the contributions of advanced DNA, proteomic, and antibody-based techniques to the study of biological materials found in artworks. Participants will strive to match these outcomes with their own research questions, thereby preventing needless research detours.

Barbara Berrie, head of the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art, will offer a public plenary session, titled “Biological Material Matters in Works of Art” on November 8, 2018 at 10:00AM at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts, 1 East 78th Street. A public website will serve to gather and disseminate meeting information. For more information, visit the official website: artbiomatters.org.

“There has been rapid advancement in the analysis of biological materials in archeology, but the application of these same techniques to works of art has lagged,” says Marco Leona, David H. Koch Scientist in Charge of the Scientific Research Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The time is ripe for a frank and balanced discussion between not just scientists, but also those who will benefit from these studies, namely art historians, curators, and conservators.”

“The Institute of Fine Arts is excited to be part of this ground-breaking meeting,” states Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts. “Works of art present unique challenges for biological material analysis, given their rarity, age, and often, iconic status. By bringing together key stakeholders, we will be able to identify and prioritize a pathway for future collaboration.”

ART BIO MATTERS 2018
is sponsored by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

About the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. For more information, visit: https://www.metmuseum.org/

About the Richard Lounsbery Foundation

The Richard Lounsbery Foundation aims to enhance national strengths in science and technology through support of programs in the following areas: science and technology components of key US policy issues; elementary and secondary science and math education; historical studies and contemporary assessments of key trends in the physical and biomedical sciences; and start-up assistance for establishing the infrastructure of research projects. For more information, visit: https://www.rlounsbery.org/

About the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

The NYU Institute of Fine Arts is an international leader in research and graduate teaching, and is committed to global engagement and advancing the fields of art history, archaeology, and the theory and practice of conservation. Founded in 1960, the Conservation Center is the oldest degree-granting graduate program in art conservation in the United States. The Conservation Center offers a four-year, dual MA/MS graduate program combining training in conservation with historical, archaeological, curatorial, and scientific studies. For more information, visit: http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/fineart/conservation/