American Chemical Society
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Thursday, November 17, 2011 Meeting


Robin L. Garrell
Dr. Robin L. Garrell

Professor of Chemistry,
Vice Provost for Graduate Education,
Dean of the Graduate Division,


“Nanotechnology in Art and Art Conservation”

Date:  Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Parthenon
314 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL

Cost:  $30.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $32.00 for non-members, and $15 for students, retired, or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by noon on Monday, November 14.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all food orders.  No-shows will be billed.  Seating will be available for those who wish to attend only the meeting.

The young chemists in the Chicago Section (YCC) are planning to have their own table at this meeting, so if you are 35 or younger and would like to sit with the young chemists, please let us know when you register for the meeting, either on line or by phone.


5:00 - 6:00 PM · Job Club
5:30 - 6:15 · Pre-Dinner Talk
5:30 - 6:30 PM · Social Hour
6:30 - 7:30 PM · Dinner
7:45  PM · General Meeting

Topic: “Nanotechnology in Art and Art Conservation”


Nanotechnology, the development of materials and devices on the nanometer scale, is promoted as an innovative solution to many of today’s societal and technical challenges. In fact, nanoscale materials have been fabricated and used since ancient times. Among the most beautiful examples are metal nanoparticle-infused Roman glasses, medieval stained glass windows and lusterware-glazed ceramics. The same optical phenomenon that confers beauty to these objects now enables art conservators to analyze coatings, paints and other art materials on museum objects using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Conservation scientists use other types of nanoscale materials to restore and preserve cultural treasures. For example, nanoemulsions and ceramics were used to restore the Assisi frescoes that were damaged by a powerful earthquake in 1997. To complete our tour of nanoscale materials in art and art conservation, we’ll see how new materials such as polyaniline nanofibers are being evaluated for their potential to slow or prevent the corrosion of ancient metal artifacts and modern sculptures.


In 2011, Robin L. Garrell became the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division at UCLA. She previously served as Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate (2009-10).

Garrell received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry with Honors and Distinction from Cornell University in 1978 and her Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1984. She was an Assistant Professor on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh until 1991, when she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, she is a member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), and is the Principal Investigator of the graduate-level NSF-IGERT Materials Creation Training Program. Garrell previously directed the undergraduate Nanoscience Chemistry and Engineering Research (NanoCER) NSF-Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Garrell’s research awards have included the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award, and the 2007 Benedetti-Pichler Award from the American Microchemical Society. Garrell is the recipient of the Hanson-Dow Award for Teaching Excellence at UCLA, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (2003), and the Gold Shield Faculty Prize (2009). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Garrell’s research objectives are to understand and control the behavior of molecules at liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. Experiments and theory are used to characterize the chemical factors responsible for adsorption and adhesion, the structure and mechanical properties of nanoscale films, and how interface chemistry and texture influence wetting and liquid flow. Current areas of investigation include:

Pre-Dinner Talk Topic: “The New Art and Materials Conservation Major at Columbia College Chicago”


Dr. Michael J. WelshThe new Art and Materials Conservation major was constructed and developed by a team of faculty from the Department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago in partnership with Lorenzo de’ Medici Italian International Institute in Florence, Italy.  In order to thoroughly prepare our students for graduate school (where they will specialize in a particular area of conservation), our Bachelor in Arts program was designed to observe the fundamental principles of conservation, provide a solid foundation in General and first semester Organic Chemistry, and provide students with opportunities for “hands-on” conservation. Students will spend their third year at Lorenzo de’ Medici where they not only will take conservation courses, but also experience first hand laboratory work on real artifacts from the Florentine renaissance period. Upon their return to campus during their fourth year, students will complete an internship with a conservator in the Chicago area.


Dr. Michael J. Welsh is an Associate Professor of Chemistry in the Science and Mathematics Department at Columbia College Chicago. He earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana and a B.S. in Chemistry from Bradley University, Peoria Illinois. His research and teaching interests include new teaching methods, chemical demonstrations, and promoting student understanding of the role chemistry plays in the every day life of the liberal arts student, and in particular the role chemistry plays in the production and conservation of art and cultural artifacts.

While at Columbia College Chicago, Dr. Welsh has turned his attention to the links between chemistry and the arts. Over the past 9 years, he has developed and taught a course called Chemistry of Art and Color.  He was the co-author of the new Art and Materials Conservation Major Program and currently serves as the program’s coordinator.

Map and Directions

Parking:   Free valet parking. Parking is also available on nearby streets or in a nearby pay lot.


Greek Family Style Dinner--

Appetizers: Saganaki (Kaseri cheese flamed in brandy), Gyros (roasted slices of lamb and beef), Taramosalata (fish roe blended with lemon and olive oil); traditional Greek salad.

Main course: Vegetarian Spinach-Cheese Pie, Vegetarian Pastitsio (Macaroni baked with broccoli, Bechamel sauce and Kefalotiri), Dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice, meats and herbs), Rotisserie-roasted lamb served with rice pilaf and roasted potatoes.

Desserts: Baklava (flaky layers of Phyllo baked with nuts and honey) and Galaktobouriko (flaky layers of Phyllo with vanilla custard and baked with syrup.




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