Traveling to Collect: Bugs, Saffron, Mercury, and Bugs

Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 5:30pm

116 ABW

Cheryl Porter will give a public lecture on her recent travels to gather material samples—Armenia for the Armenian cochineal, Greece to harvest saffron, the mines at Almaden to learn how mercury and cinnabar were mined there, lac harvest in India— used in the production of pigments found in medieval manuscripts and paintings.

Cheryl Porter has been Director of the Montefiascone Project, Montefiascone, Italy since its inception in 1988. She worked at University College London Paintings Analysis Unit, analysing the use of pigments in paintings and manuscripts. She was Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the Dar al-Kutub (National Library and Archives of Egypt) and Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation 2007–2010 and is a consultant for a number of institutions with book, papyrus and manuscript collections. She is currently writing a book on the use of colour in manuscripts for Yale University Press.