AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO TEACHING “ANALYSIS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE” TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN CHEMISTRY
1 Course lecturer. University of Granada (SPAIN)
2 Director, Department of Conservation Science (IPCE) (SPAIN)
3 Lecturer Restoration Workshop.University of Granada (SPAIN)
4 Cultural Heritage Institute of Spain (IPCE) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This communication presents an interdisciplinary experience of teaching a non-traditional science course: “Analysis of Cultural Heritage” to undergraduate students in Chemistry at the University of Granada (Spain). The purpose of the learning experience was to awaken students to the visual characteristics of the artistic world, providing them with a new perspective on Analytical Chemistry and its relation to the analysis of historic-artistic, architectural and archaeological artefacts, as well as aspects related to its conservation and restoration. This course includes topics such as pictorial techniques used in creating art-work as well as the chemistry involved in their making, their degradation process, the identification and characterization of artistic materials. It enables students to see and understand how chemistry is involved in the creation of art and its important contribution to a scientific approach to the conservation of Cultural Heritage. We think that an excellent way to bridge the artificial gulf between the worlds of the artist and the chemist, is to apply a interdisciplinary method to teaching. We discuss in this paper the main key resources used for teaching this discipline.
A first approach is to create a new website that provides students with ordered information on databases, attractive websites and electronic journals focused on both points of view: art and chemistry. The virtual platform SWAD (“Sistema Web de Apoyo a la Docencia”. University of Granada) permits contact between teachers and students with tutorials and participation in discussion forums.
Because it assumes beforehand that students have no background in Art and Restoration, this Course attempts to initiate their apprenticeship in this field. Thus interdisciplinary activities are proposed in which expert professionals collaborate with seminars which offer a visit to the Painting Restoration Workshop in the University of Granada. There students have an opportunity to see paintings in a completely new way: what the pictures hide (e.g. under drawings). They discover the advanced technology available to conservators before restoration work is undertaken, such as IR reflectography or X-radiography. It is essential that students perceive the need to collaborate between scientists, conservators and curators of Cultural Heritage. Thus, the visit to the Department of Conservation Science of the Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE, Madrid, Spain) contributes to improvement of knowledge about the professional activities of conservation scientists. In its four units (Analysis of Materials, Biodeterioration, Preventive Conservation and Physical Studies) students have the opportunity to learn how to work with real artwork which has a high scarcity value.
Our teaching experience is unique and the students are thrilled by this interdisciplinary learning experience.
Keywords: Learning experience, Interdisciplinary, Analysis, Cultural Heritage.