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The Crucifixion with Saint John, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene

Chemotaxis and Cochineal: Microbial Insights into the Permanent Collection

Associated with: Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Date: Jun 22

Time: 6:00pm

Venue: Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Address: 1000 Holt Ave Winter Park, FL 32789, USA


Although paintings teem with bacterial life, their microbiomes represent a vast and largely untapped sector of microbiology. Dr. Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez and former Fred Hicks Curatorial Fellow Isaac Gorres will delve into their Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship project from the summer of 2020. Their research explored the microbial flora of a Flemish old master painting in the CFAM permanent collection, ultimately isolating a potentially undescribed Rhodopseudomonas sp. bacterium. Additionally, they will discuss exciting developments in the field of microbial art conservation and present a novel method of pigment identification based on microbial behavior.
Streamed live via:
Image: Attributed to Marcellus Coffermans (Flemish, 1520-1578), The Crucifixion with Saint John, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, ca. 1550

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