IPCH scientists help facilitate first Yale STEAM event

Ian McClure, right, examines the thin panel support of a painting with students
April 16, 2015

Yale’s STEAM is a student-run organization at the university that aims to “…foster campus wide interest and appreciation of the intersection between STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the arts (fine arts, performing arts, digital design, humanities)”. STEAM’s first event, organized by Chanthia Ma (‘16), was held Saturday, April 11, 2015. The inaugural event was entitled, Impostors in the Gallery. Ian McClure, Director of the IPCH Conservation Lab and Susan Morse Hilles Chief Conservator of the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), shared some case studies that shed light on the process of evaluating the attribution and authenticity of works from the Art Gallery and other collections. McClure’s lecture was followed by a workshop he facilitated with scientists from the IPCH Technical Studies Laboratory: Anikó Bezur, Erin Mysak, and Jens Stenger. Participants got to take a closer look at four paintings from YUAG’s collection “in a different light” by viewing them using different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: visible, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation. They also had an opportunity to look at previously recorded x-radiographs of the same paintings. Participants learned how to read these different lines of evidence and discussed what implications the findings might have for understanding the creation and life history of each painting.