January 19, 2007 Meeting
Dr. Francesca Casadio Francesca Casadio

A. W. Mellon Conservation Scientist,

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

A World Class Collection Under the Microscope: Scientific Research at the Art Institute of Chicago

Date:  Friday, January 19, 2007
Location:    Colletti’s Dining and Banquets
5707 North Central Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
773 / 775-5144

Cost:  $30 for members of ACS and their guests, $32 for non-members,
     $15 for students or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-647-8405), fax (847-647-8364), email (chicagoacs@ameritech.net), or web by noon on Wednesday, January 17.  PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed.


5:30 - 6:00  PM Job Club
6:00  PM Social Hour
7:00  PM Dinner
8:00  PM Program

A World Class Collection Under the Microscope: Scientific Research at the Art Institute of Chicago

Abstract:    Although science and art are often seen as antithetical terms, nowadays behind the scenes of many prestigious cultural institutions there are laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation to enhance our understanding and long-term preservation of works of art.

In this talk, examples of both applied and fundamental research carried out in the past few years at the Art Institute of Chicago will be presented.  The presentation will discuss case studies involving examination of a variety of artifacts with many of the tools of the analytical chemist: from the study of ancient Chinese bronzes and jades with the advanced tools of synchrotron radiation x-rays and Raman microscopy to the development of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic methods for the analysis of natural red dyestuffs used for dying ancient textiles and as lake pigments in paints. The latter research has recently won Dr. Casadio and her research team the L’Oreal Art and Science of Color’s Silver Prize award.

Biographical Sketch:  Francesca Casadio joined the Art Institute of Chicago as its first A.W Mellon Conservation Scientist in July 2003, establishing and directing its conservation science program. Dr. Casadio has also been instrumental in developing and managing a pioneering collaborative program in conservation science with Northwestern University (www.matsci.northwestern.edu/aic).

Francesca Casadio received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy. Prior to her appointment to the Art Institute of Chicago, Dr. Casadio was research fellow in the Science Department at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, then at the Italian National Council of Research in Milan.

Her current research interests focus on vibrational spectroscopies, investigations of artists’ techniques and applications of synchrotron radiation techniques to studies of museum objects.

Map and Directions

Parking:   Large parking lot or valet parking or on-the-street parking


Updated 12/21/06