Rochester Local Section (Chartered in 1912)

Chemistry and the Arts Lecture Series (2015)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Memorial Art Gallery - 500 University Ave., Rochester, NY

(Free Gallery admission to ACS members & their guests) 

6:30 pm: ACS Mixer – Gallery Lobby Area  

(Wine, beer and tapas plates available for purchase)  

7:30 pm: Lecture: Dr. Anikó Bezur , Wallace S. Wilson director of scientific research of the Technical Studies Laboratory at the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Born from alchemy: porcelain technology in the early decades of the Meissen factory and its European contemporaries

Though Johann Friedrich Böttger aimed transforming other materials into gold as an alchemist, he and Count Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus are credited with producing a different kind of precious substance ‑ hard-paste porcelain ‑ in the service of Augustus II the Strong in Dresden in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Böttger’s surname is associated with the specific formulation of the porcelain paste, “Böttger porcelain,” produced during the first two decades of the Meissen factory, which was founded in 1710. Dr. Bezur will discuss how porcelain paste and glaze compositions evolved at Meissen during the eighteenth century and explore technological relationships between this important center of production and other European factories.

Anikó Bezur is Wallace S. Wilson director of scientific research of the Technical Studies Laboratory at the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. She and her team use a variety of imaging and instrumental analytical techniques to examine and analyze objects, primarily from Yale’s collections, in order to learn about their materials, manufacturing techniques and state of preservation. Dr. Bezur’s recent projects include the study of the Yale University Art Gallery’s Education of the Virgin, reattributed to painter Diego Velázquez in 2005 by John Marciari and the discovery and documentation of a rare salt on Virgin and Child, a terracotta relief by Michele da Firenze. While at Art Institute of Chicago, she and Francesca Casadio undertook and published a technical study of Du Paquier porcelain produced in eighteenth-century Vienna and compared the porcelain paste and glazes to wares produced at Meissen, Vecci and Doccia factories. She has a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Arizona. Prior to her current position, she was Andrew W. Mellon research scientist for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection (2008-2012), worked at the Art Institute of Chicago as associate conservation scientist and served as a lecturer and assistant professor of conservation science in the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College.


Chemistry and the Arts Lecture Series

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Memorial Art Gallery - 500 University Ave., Rochester, NY 

7:00 pm Lecture


Dr. Mary Virginia Orna 

College of New Rochelle

Five Thousand Years of Chemistry: Uncovering the Secrets of Ancient & Medieval Artisans through Chemistry


This lecture will discuss how modern chemical methods can be used to examine both ancient and medieval artifacts. Archaeological work in Israel involved analysis of ancient pigments and dyes found on excavated materials from caves in the Judean desert and the ancient fortress of Masada. Pigments in medieval manuscripts formed the basis of further work on colorants. In addition, medieval artists' manuals were examined for recipes for blue pigments which were then carried out and these pigments were characterized with some surprising results.


Sister Mary Virginia Orna, O.S.U. (Order of Saint Ursula), Professor of Chemistry at the College of New Rochelle, received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Fordham University. She is Editor-at-Large of Chemical Heritage magazine, former Director of Educational Services at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and former Publications Coordinator of the Journal of Chemical Education. She has lectured and published widely in the areas of color chemistry and archaeological chemistry, including authoring 5 books and co-editing 9 others. She is active in several divisions of the ACS, having served as Chair, Program Chair and Treasurer of the Division of the History of Chemistry and is currently serving as ACS Councilor and a member of the ACS Local Section Activities Committee. Her teaching and research has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Chemical Manufacturing Association’s Catalyst Award for Excellence in College Chemistry Teaching (1984), the Merck Innovation Award (1989), the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry (1996), the ACS’s George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education (1999), the Henry Hill Award (2008), and the 2009 ACS Award for Volunteer Service. As a Fulbright Fellow in Israel (1994-95) she lectured at The Hebrew University, The Weizmann Institute of Science and Shenkar College of Textile Technology and did research on ancient middle-eastern artifacts in collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Museum and the Edelstein Center for the Analysis of Middle Eastern Textiles and Related Artifacts. She is currently President of ChemSource, Inc. a major effort in chemistry teacher preparation and enhancement funded by the NSF and a national tour speaker for the American Chemical Society. Her forthcoming book, “The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table’s Shadow Side” will be published by Oxford University Press in November

8:00 – 9:30 p.m.: Reception – Lynn Lovejoy Parlor  


For more information, contact Henry Gysling

Rochester ACS Group

To facilitate networking, collaborate on ideas and exchange job information.

Jim Reynolds (coordinator)

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