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Art and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

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Science Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

This lesson will help students understand applications of electromagnetic radiation in art conservation. In particular, students will learn art conservators use ultraviolet, infrared, visible light, and x-radiation to examine artwork. Properties of each form of radiation and its uses in art conservation will be introduced. Students will then solve problems. 

You will find guiding questions included in the additional info section of each artwork.

The Lunder Conservation Center

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Conservation Discussion

Shantelle Jones-Williams

X-Rays

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Ultraviolet Radiation

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Visible Light

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Infrared Radiation

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Judith Langley

Smithsonian American Art Museum

A Member of the Livingston Family

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Glory, Glory

Smithsonian American Art Museum