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Chemotaxis and Cochineal: Microbial Insights into the Permanent Collection

TAGS: Art Museum Exhibit Lecture Virtual Tour Museum
Tuesday 6/22

Although paintings teem with bacterial life, their microbiomes represent a vast and largely untapped sector of microbiology. Dr. Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez and former Fred Hicks Curatorial Fellow Isaac Gorres will delve into their Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship project from the summer of 2020. Their research explored the microbial flora of a Flemish old master painting in the CFAM permanent collection, ultimately isolating a potentially undescribed Rhodopseudomonas sp. bacterium. Additionally, they will discuss exciting developments in the field of microbial art conservation and present a novel method of pigment identification based on microbial behavior.

Image: Attributed to Marcellus Coffermans (Flemish, 1520-1578), The Crucifixion with Saint John, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, ca. 1550



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ARTISTS PARTICIPATING IN: Chemotaxis and Cochineal: Microbial Insights into the Permanent Collection


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