Episode 25: The Materials of Art
Play • 36 min

Can art make you a better scientist? Can an understanding of materials science make you a better artist? We think so! So does Darryl Butt, dean of the College of Mines at the University of Utah. We interview him for this episode and discuss tons of interesting aspects of materials science and art. For example, he explains how ancient artists like Da Vinci had an understanding of atmospheric light and used it in their art. We also discuss how modern materials science characterization tools like microscopy, X-ray diffraction and more can be used to inspect art, determine its provenance, and even find out if a piece is a forgery!

Articles Discussed:

  • 2017 Bacon, The Ten Most Notorious Art Forgers Of All Time [LINK]
  • Detecting Art Forgeries: What Scientific Methods Can We Use? [LINK]

  • 2015 Archuleta and coworkers, Ressurecting the poor mans purple [LINK]

  • 2015 Alanko, A Transdisciplinary Approach to Determine the Provenience of a Distorted, Pre-Columbian Skull Recovered in Rural Idaho [LINK]

This episode is sponsored by Matmatch. Check out how they can help you find the perfect material for your next engineering project! This episode is also sponsored by Materials Today, an Elsevier community dedicated to the creation and sharing of materials science knowledge and experience through their peer-reviewed journals, academic conferences, educational webinars and more.

Thanks to Kolobyte and Alphabot for letting us use their music in the show!

If you have questions or feedback please send us emails at materialism.podcast@gmail.com or connect with us on social media: Instagram, Twitter.

Materialism Team: Taylor Sparks (co-creator, co-host, production), Andrew Falkowski (co-creator, co-host, production), Jared Duffy (production, marketing, and editing)

Keywords: art science pigment forgery ceramic characterization mummy DaVinci painting artist

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