This lecture was originally delivered on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 as part of the Seminar Series, Conservation Conversations.

Conservation Conversations are public research dialogues pairing a conservator and a professor and exemplifying the goal of “Cultures of Conservation,” a five-year curricular initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information, visit

  • 0:06—Opening Remarks with Professor Ivan Gaskell
  • 5:20—Lecture with Pamela H. Smith
  • 37:42—Lecture with Andrew Lacey
  • 1:12:55—Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A

Pamela H. Smith is the Seth Low Professor of History, Columbia University, and Director of The Making and Knowing Project. Dr. Smith specializes in early modern European history and the history of science. Her current research focuses on attitudes to nature in early modern Europe and the Scientific Revolution, with particular attention to craft knowledge and historical techniques. She is founding director of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University.

Andrew Lacey is a Sculptor and Independent Scholar who specializes in the research of renaissance bronzes. His particular approach to making sculpture and exploring the nature of materials is influenced by historic and archeological study.

Pamela H. Smith and Andrew Lacey will be coming to speak at Conservation Conversations on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Their talk is entitled “Knowledge in the Making: Reconstructing Historical Materials and Techniques.”

At the BGC, Pamela Smith and Andrew Lacey will talk about their work to reconstruct early modern European mold making and metal casting techniques, as well as their collaboration to reproduce technical processes from a sixteenth-century compilation of technical recipes. They will discuss how such reconstructions can be integrated into research and teaching.