Blog Papelitos

Object-based Learning Seminar Spotlight: Corina Rogge

Lee esta entrada en español.

This fall the ICAA resumes its Object-based Learning seminar with the University of Houston. Over the course of the next few weeks we will introduce some of the course’s faculty as well as insights and commentary from the students enrolled in the class. First up is Dr. Corina Rogge, Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Scientist at the MFAH!

Give, give, give – what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don’t give it away? Of having stories if I don’t tell them to others?
—Isabel Allende

Like people, cultural heritage objects have their own stories to tell and a close interrogation of them allows us to traverse time and space to better understand the creator, the creator’s culture and the impacts of time.  Some of these stories may be read by a close examination of an object- a utilitarian earthenware pot may retain fingerprints of its maker while its form and size speak to its original use, perhaps for grain storage or cooking.  However, other stories may require ‘interpreters’ in the form of conservators or scientists who can provide additional insights.  X-ray images can reveal how the pot was constructed, perhaps by coil or slab building, and analysis of minute traces of residues left behind on the pot’s surface can speak to what might have been stored, cooked or served in the pot.  New layers of meaning are revealed and the appreciation and understanding of the object deepens.

Conservation science is a field where scientific analysis is applied to the study and preservation of cultural heritage objects- we determine what materials an artist used (i.e. the pigments, media, and support) and then working with conservators and curatorial colleagues interpret our findings within the context of any statements an artist made, their cultural framework, and past art historical studies.  It’s a highly interdisciplinary field and there is no set path of study to become a conservation scientist.  I am an inorganic chemist by training, with a Ph.D. from Yale University, but my colleagues in the field have come from material sciences, physics, archaeology or imaging science programs.  My chemistry background gave me all of the analytical techniques I needed, but to that I had to study art history, visual arts, and archaeology in order to understand what my data is telling me.  What I love about the field is that every object is unique and has its own hidden story- and I’m the one that gets to reveal it and share it with others.  This object-based learning course is a wonderful venue to share the stories I’ve learned, but even more importantly to train emerging scholars how a close questioning of an object, a Socratic interrogation of it, if you will, is invaluable, exciting and revelatory.

No hay comentarios todavía

Conectarse o regístrate para comentar

Publicaciones recientes

Anuncio de Ganadores (ensayo) del Premio Peter C. Marzio 2023

Read this post in English. El ICAA se complace en anunciar los ganadores del Certamen 2023 del Premio Peter C. Marzio para Ensayo sobre Investigación Notable en Arte Latinoamericano y Latino. Ambos ensayos, galardonados a nivel de graduados, serán publicados en un número de Working Papers (2024). El Premio de Graduado de este año se […]



El 19 de agosto es el Día internacional de la fotografía y yo soy fotógrafo de papel. La delicada naturaleza del papel es incuestionable. El papel sucumbe: a la tinta, al manejo descuidado, a la humedad, al paso del tiempo, a la voracidad de los insectos y, bueno, hasta las tijeras vencen al papel. […]


Destaque mensual y del Orgullo: Los Contemporáneos

Escritores y artistas vinculados a la revista Contemporáneos, publicada en la Ciudad de México de 1928 a 1931, se denominó “grupo sin grupo”. En vez de adherirse a doctrinas específicas o estilos, se volcaron hacia una expresión individual compartiendo, así, el deseo de llevar a México ideas de las vanguardias internacionales. […]


Los Archivos del CAYC: Una colaboración entre ICAA/MFAH e ISLAA

Los Archivos del CAYC—la primera iniciativa organizada como parte integral de un vínculo a largo plazo entre el ICAA e ISLAA (Institute for Studies on Latin American Art)—generará la primera plataforma digital para el estudio más abarcador posible del CAYC (Centro de Arte y Comunicación). […]