Call for Applications. Virtual/Material: Color/Pigment Graduate Workshop

The Department of Art History at Penn State University is seeking applications 
from doctoral students in art history and related disciplines for the week-long 
workshop, Virtual/Material : Color/Pigment.

Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this workshop will offer an 
integrated curriculum of Technical and Digital Art History via the special case 
history of color. Through a combination of seminars, demonstrations, and 
hands-on labs led by a distinguished faculty of scientists and historians, 
participants can expect to leave the workshop better equipped to understand 
historical colorants and their production as well as the ways in which digital 
cultures can distort or ameliorate historians’ approach to such colorants.

The current requirement that art historians rely more or less exclusively on 
virtual platforms and digital resources for their research and teaching during 
the COVID-19 pandemic has made plainer the need for scholars to understand the 
relationship between works of art as material objects and as data. The 
evidentiary status of digital representations of works of art is a question 
that has become as pressing for students and scholars of art history as it has 
long been for conservators and conservation scientists, imaging professionals, 
data scientists, and information specialists. Processes of translation from the 
material into data and vice-versa are poorly understood by most art historians, 
potentially jeopardizing the validity of research questions and findings. This 
predicament is especially conspicuous in the realm of color—a property of 
artworks that is often misunderstood or marginalized.

Led by Sarah K. Rich, the workshop’s distinguished faculty includes Susan 
Farnand (Rochester Institute of Technology), Carolyn L. Kane (Ryerson 
University), Hannelore Roemich (Institute of Fine Arts), Michael Hickner (Penn 
State), John Russell (Penn State), Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University), and 
Tracy Stuber (Getty Research Institute).

The workshop will take place August 9 – 13, 2021.

Plans are to conduct the workshop in person; however, should conditions related 
to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitate the shift to a virtual format, all 
sessions will be live-streamed and necessary instructional materials will be 
shipped in advance to participants. The decision about whether the workshop 
will be held in-person at Penn State or conducted virtually via Zoom or another 
digital platform will be made at the time applicants are notified of admission.


Applications for Virtual/Material : Color/Pigment are due via email to<> by 11:59 pm EST on Monday, December 14, 
2020. Award notifications will be sent in late February.


  *   Applicants should be PhD students in art history or a related discipline 
(e.g. archaeology, architectural history, visual studies).
  *   International students and students pursuing their PhD at institutions 
outside the U.S. are eligible and encouraged to apply.
  *   Interested students who do not anticipate being able to travel to Penn 
State to participate are encouraged to apply given the possibility that the 
workshop will be conducted virtually.


Roundtrip travel, shared lodging, shared meals, books, and all lab materials.


  1.  Letter of Interest (2-3 pages), which should include an explanation of 
the value of this workshop for your current research
  2.  Dissertation prospectus or other relevant writing sample (20 pages 
  3.  CV
  4.  One recommendation letter

Please share this announcement with anyone who might be interested.

Best regards,
Carolyn Lucarelli


Carolyn Lucarelli
Curator of Visual Resources
Department of Art History
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: 814-865-2062<callto:814-865-2062>
VRC web site:
VRC blog:

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