conservation of wall paintings lecture

Ancient Egyptian Pigments: New Discoveries and Old Problems

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

16.00, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): David A. Scott (Professor in Art History and Archaeology, UCLA, and Chair of the UCLA/Getty Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Sharon Cather

Ancient Egyptian pigments constitute an extensive palette which, when combined with the glazes and varnishes employed, represent the most sophisticated colour usage of the ancient world. Egyptian blue and Egyptian green frits helped to solve the usual problems in obtaining these colours from malachite, azurite or lapis lazuli, freeing Egyptian artists from having to deal with these issues. Green pigments in ancient Egypt provide considerable analytical problems in determining what they were in many cases, either due to pigment-media interaction over time or copper-proteinate or other organometallic mixtures. Examples of the range of Egyptian pigments will be discussed with particular emphasis on new discoveries and old problems.

David Scott has a PhD in ancient metallurgy from University College London. From 1981-87 he was a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, then Head of the Museum Research Laboratory at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1987-2002, before joining the UCLA faculty. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1992 and a fellow of the International Institute for Conservation in 1994. Since 1984 he has served as editor for Studies in Conservation. His book Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation won the prize from the Association of American Publishers as the best Scholarly/Art book Published in the USA in 2002. He is the author of over 70 papers. His current research interests focus on the problems of the identification of pigments, the metallography of art objects, and the conservation of ancient metallic artefacts.

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