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Science students investigate authenticity of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts

Chemistry students at Simmons College work in conjunction with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in order to determine various pigments and dyes used in artwork. Students help the MFA determine how best to display the various artworks that may be sensitive to light.

Sandy Lor '14 blogs for Simmons' Faces of the Future, and in her latest entry she details the exciting research she and junior chemistry student Nnennaya Okey-Igwe '13 is doing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

The research that we are involved with is in collaboration with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) involving the identification of dyes used in 19th-20th century Japanese block prints. The objective of this research deals with the history of Japanese art and whether or not synthetic dyes were used during the 19th to early 20th century.

Learning the history behind the art is important to understanding the cultural background, as well as potentially authenticating a work of art. For example, if our research shows that there were only natural dyes used during that era, then any Japanese painting from that time should not contain synthetic manufactured dyes. If a work did contain a synthetic dye then it can be concluded that it was not an authentic Japanese block print from the late 19th and early 20th century and was created after that time period. We're pretty much crime scene investigators for the MFA. :)

Read more about the MFA research project on Sandy's blog:

Crime Scene Investigator: Museum of Fine Arts

The Faces of the Future blog details the Simmons College experience through the eyes of four students. The students began blogging during their second semester at Simmons and will continue to share their experiences through their four years at the College. Sandy, Andree, Naomi, and Tania are incredible women, involved in all aspects of the Simmons community, and this blog is a way for them to share their college journey.

Posted by Amanda Voodre
Topics: science, students

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Amanda Voodre published on December 16, 2011 10:23 AM.

Know Your Professor: Jill Avery was the previous entry in this blog.

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