Mar 19, 2018  
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CHM 129 - The Chemistry of Art

This course is a study of art from a scientific perspective.  The molecular basis of art will be explored by using the atomic theory to explain how paints are made, the function of binders and varnishes, the absorption of light, the structure of ceramics, the process of photography, and the materials used for sculpture.  The atomic structure of the material will be used to explain its function for the artist.  The use of chemistry in art conservation, restoration, and the detection of forgery will also be investigated.  This course includes a hands on laboratory and is intended for non-science majors. 

Credits: 4
ART 129
3 Class Hours, 3 Laboratory Hours
Course Profile
Learning Outcomes of the Course:

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

1.  Demonstrate understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical analysis.
2.  Demonstrate application of scientific data, concepts, and models in one of the natural (or physical) sciences.
3.  Understand and use basic chemical principles and terminology.
4.  Explain the basic properties of light based on atomic theory.
5.  Understand how chemical changes lead to different colors of pigments.
6.  Explain the chemistry of paints.
7.  Describe the chemical processes in photography.
8.  Identify art forgeries.
9.  Explain the different processes of art conservation/restoration.
10.  Possess an awareness of the influence of chemistry in the visual arts.
11.  Identify the chemicals and/or materials used in various works of
12.  Form opinions based on sound scientific reasoning.


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