P398: Project MUSE: Museum sabbatical experience for faculty teaching at the arts-science interface
In 2011, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) inaugurated its state-of-the-art conservation science laboratory and along with it an outreach program for college faculty teaching so-called “Chemistry in Art” courses. The program, known as Project MUSE, provides onsite housing in the museum’s scholar residence for professors during their 3 to 6 month sabbatical leave to conduct art materials related research and/or technical studies of artworks in the museum’s collections. Project MUSE’s early participants were drawn from alumni of the NSF cCWCS “Chemistry in Art” workshops. Research projects have included the study of pigment fading in a van Gogh masterpiece, technical studies of ‘School of Rembrandt’ paintings, and a lightfastness survey of contemporary color photographs using microfadeometry. Each of these projects was specifically tailored to augment the professor’s curricular focus at their home university. In 2014, the Camille &Henry Dreyfus Foundation elected to support the next three years of Project MUSE through a Special Grant in the Chemical Sciences. This talk will describe the goals of Project MUSE, its relationship to the cCWCS “Chemistry in Art” workshops, the successes of past projects, and our aspirations for the next round of IMA Sabbatical Leave Research Fellows.