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  • Peplow_HERO-1

    The Reinvention of Black

    As the means of creating the color black have changed, so have the subjects it represents.

  • Cartensen_HERO-1

    The Ambiguous Colors of Nanotechnology

    Kate Nichols’ nanoparticle paints have changed how she sees color.

  • Ghent Altarpiece

    How to Make Art That Withstands the Test of Time

    A degraded frame from an old celluloid (aka nitrate) film, the same material used by Naum Gabo in some of his sculptures   In the 1930s, Russian-born sculptor Naum Gabo started experimenting with a thin, plastic material called celluloid. Previously used as film for photography or to make cheap jewelry, celluloid in Gabo’s hands became […]

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    “Molecular Still Lives” Show the Science in Our Food in Us

    Still Life with Gastric PeptideMia Brownell My grandfather wasn’t a big farmer, but his small garden in Kentucky was a miracle. There was rhubarb, corn, and peppers a-plenty, but mostly I remember the tomatoes. He bred his own, saving the seeds of the best specimens every year. By the time he was getting well into […]

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    The Quest to Understand—and Mimic—Nature’s Trickiest Colors

    The West Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae)AlessandroZocc via Shutterstock It was an image in a book of a sparkly blue fish—a West Indian Ocean coelacanth—that inspired German painter Franziska Schenk to begin a project that would occupy much of her adult life. “It was mysterious and beautiful,” she says, “and as a child I had […]

  • IR_VanGogh

    Looking at Art Through Different Eyes—Like a Bee

    There is more to the world than meets the human eye, a fact that hit home for the 18th-century astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel when he discovered infrared light—a wavelength of light that lies just outside the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can feel its heat, but we can’t see the light—not without […]