Just in time for Halloween! Join us for a program investigating the dark side of some of the world’s most vibrant pigments. BGC professor Jennifer Mass will explain how lead, uranium, and arsenic are used to create these glorious but deadly hues and discuss their material histories with Dr. Spike Bucklow (University of Cambridge), author of Red: The Art and Science of a Colour.

This event will be held via Zoom. A link will be circulated to registrants the day before the event. ASL Access will be provided by ProBono ASL.
Meet the Speakers!


Spike Bucklow
is professor of Material Culture at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge, where he has taught the conservation of paintings for 20 years. He originally trained as a scientist and started working in the arts in the 1980s by making pre-CGI special effects in cult and blockbuster movies, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones. After retraining as a conservator he worked on England’s oldest altarpiece, the Westminster Retable (c.1260), which prompted a lasting interest in the traditional sciences. This has resulted in critically acclaimed books including The Alchemy of Paint (2009), The Riddle of the Image (2014), Red (2016), and The Anatomy of Riches (2018). His latest book, Children of Mercury, is an astrological study of painters’ whole lives seen through the Seven Ages, as made famous in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1599/1623). It will be published in the Spring of 2022.

Jennifer L. Mass is the Andrew W. Mellon professor of Cultural Heritage Science at Bard Graduate Center. She leads the scientific vetting committee at TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) New York and is the president and founder of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LLC. Dr. Mass serves on the advisory board of the Center for Art Law and lectures on cultural heritage science and the law at Columbia Law School as well as other law programs throughout the United States. Jennifer is the former director of the Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory at The Winterthur Museum, professor of Conservation Science at the University of Delaware M.S. Program in Art Conservation and at the SUNY College at Buffalo M.A. Program in Art Conservation. Jennifer earned her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Engineering from Cornell University, and did her postdoctoral work at the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.