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UT to hold engineering seminar for Arts Community

An engineering seminar for the arts community will be held by the Tickle College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Yale University’s Dr. Aniko Bezur, the Wallance S. Wilson Director of the Technical Studies Lab — Institute for Preservation of Cultural Heritage, will be the speaker. The topic is "Reverse Engineering Redo: Casting New Light on Ralph Albert Blakelock’s Dark Paintings".

The event will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2:15–3:15 p.m. in the Science and Engineering Research Facility on the UT campus.

Ralph Albert Blakelock was an American landscape artist (1847–1919) famous for his paintings of moonlit Western landscapes painted in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Prices for his paintings soared and forgeries quickly multiplied after he was institutionalized with mental illness in 1899.

This talk considers the utility of a suite of imaging and instrumental analysis techniques for understanding Blakelock’s selection of paint materials, his painting technique, and the consequences of these choices for changes in the optical and mechanical properties of his works.

Dr. Anikó Bezur is the Wallace S. Wilson director of the Technical Studies Laboratory at Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. She holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Arizona and completed graduate internships at the Getty Conservation Institute and the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute. Prior to joining Yale, Anikó was Andrew W. Mellon research scientist for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection, and before that she held positions as associate conservation scientist at the Art Institute of Chicago and as a lecturer and assistant professor of conservation science in the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College. She joined Yale in 2012 to develop the first scientific research group dedicated to the study and conservation of Yale’s collections through the characterization of their materials. She contributes to teaching and student mentoring in the departments of Art History, Anthropology, and Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. She developed the X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Boot Camp for Conservators in collaboration with colleagues at the Getty Conservation Institute.

The seminar is completely free and everyone is invited. Refreshments will be served at 2:10 p.m. preceding the talk.

Published March 9, 2019

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