Mellon Grant Will Support Scientific Studies in the Arts

June 19, 2018

Northwestern University has received a $3.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Center for the Scientific Studies in the Arts, a collaborative partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago to investigate and conserve art.

The grant includes two components: $2.5 million in spendable funds to support the center over five years, and $1 million as a permanent endowment to support the position of a center co-director at Northwestern. In order to receive the permanent endowment, the University must raise $2 million in matching funds over the next four years. All funds count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.

“The fundraising effort is an exciting part of the grant,” said Marc Walton, the center’s co-director and research professor of materials science and engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. “The University is putting support and infrastructure into this goal because it sees value in work taking place at the intersection of art and science.”

The Mellon Foundation initially funded the center when it was established in 2013. Over the past five years, the center has built up infrastructure — in the form of scientific instruments, faculty, students and administrative support. It also has worked to uncover hidden details in famous paintings by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Georgia O’Keeffe and László Moholy-Nagy; peered inside a Roman-era mummy and beneath a medieval bookbinding; and achieved a better understanding of the 20th-century Parisian foundries that produced artistic bronzes.

Read more.