Media release from the Royal Society of New Zealand
An international celebrated scientist is the visiting lecturer for the upcoming Royal Society of New Zealand Distinguished Speaker public lecture series.
New Zealander Professor Robin Clark has had an amazing international career in forensic archaeology and is a highly acclaimed speaker. He is coming to New Zealand to deliver lectures in four centres on ‘Science meets art – investigating pigments in art and archaeology’.
Professor Robin Clark has used pigment analysis to reveal the secrets of some of Europe’s best known artwork including the Lindisfarne Gospels, Gutenberg Bibles, Greek icons, forged papyri and old masters including Vermeer’s ‘Young Woman Seated at a Virginal’.
As well he has been involved in the examination of rare postage stamps, old maps, artefacts from Samarra, China, etc, and in the detection of forgeries from Egypt, Spain and elsewhere. In this lecture tour he will explain and explore how the technique of Raman spectroscopy has helped in the restoration, conservation and dating of artwork, along with the detection of forgeries.
Professor Clark is a New Zealander, born in Rangiora and a graduate of Canterbury University. He was based at University College London where he was, for many years, the Sir William Ramsay Professor, Dean of Science and Head of Chemistry, recently becoming Ramsay Professor Emeritus.
Professor Clark is an expert in the use of Raman Microscopy in forensic archaeology. Raman spectroscopy is a light scattering technique primarily used in assessing the structure and composition of materials. When a light source such as a laser is coupled to a microscope, the resulting technique – Raman microscopy – is now recognised to provide effective means for identifying micro- to nano-metre sized grains of any material such as a pigment.
Professor Clark is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and Member of the American Philosophical Society, and was recently awarded the Franklin-Lavoisier prize for his work in Raman microscopy. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Dr Di McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand, says it is an honour to have Professor Clark visiting New Zealand.
“We believe his lectures will be fascinating for the audience as he shows how science is helping uncover secrets of the past for art and archaeology.”
Robin Clark is speaking in Auckland, Nelson, Wellington and Hamilton. All the lectures are free and open to the public. Registrations are advised.
- Auckland – Wednesday 23 March, 7.00pm, Auckland Museum
- Nelson – Tuesday 29 March, 7.00pm, Suter Theatre
- Wellington – Thursday 31 March, 7.00pm, Te Papa
- Hamilton – Tuesday 5 April, 7.30pm, University of Waikato
Portrait exhibition opening – Professor Robin Clark will also be opening a new exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington on 30 March – “The Art of Science” which is a partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand. ‘The Art of Science’ captures the connections between artists and scientists, and between science and art. The exhibition features paintings from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s fascinating visual archive of portraits of prominent present and past scientists plus interpretive text telling the individual stories of the scientists portrayed – their innovations and successes. More details coming soon.
For more information: Philippa Sargent, Royal Society of New Zealand, Ph 04-470 5807, email: Philippa.firstname.lastname@example.org