Chemistry is a crucial component to the artist’s toolbox. In this seminar, we will explore the fascinating chemistry of paintings, learn the chemical reasons dyes bond to textiles, and reflect on the importance of light in the experience of art. This workshop will involve some hands-on activities and lab experiences to complement the discussions. I will also share my research on pigment identification in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts, and discuss the current practices of scientific inquiry of artistic objects.
Allison Fleshman is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lawrence. She earned her PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Oklahoma studying the fundamental properties of conductive liquids that are used in lithium battery systems. She uses her skills in vibrational spectroscopy to study art objects. She teaches classes in Thermodynamics & Reaction Kinetics, Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy, and the Chemistry of Art.