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Gregory Dale Smith Appointed Conservation Scientist at Indianapolis Museum
Dr. Gregory Dale Smith is the Senior Conservation Scientist to lead the new Conservation Science Laboratory at the IMA. Photo: Tom Wolf.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced that it has hired Dr. Gregory Dale Smith as the Senior Conservation Scientist to lead the new Conservation Science Laboratory at the IMA. The position was established through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant, which must be matched by $1.5 million within three years, will enable the IMA to establish a state-of-the-art conservation science laboratory under the leadership of Smith.

In October 2008, the IMA announced plans to build a Conservation Science Laboratory to complement its existing expertise in the care and treatment of works in its collection. The Conservation Science Laboratory will also augment the IMA’s potential as a resource for training and professional development by helping the IMA to foster partnerships with universities and corporations involved in central Indiana’s growing role as a hub of the life sciences industry, as well as establishing scientific research and art conservation collaborations with major museums worldwide.

“We are thrilled that Greg is joining the IMA to lead this important conservation science initiative. With many new, previously unstudied materials being used by artists and designers today, we believe that the IMA can contribute to significant advancements in the field that will help museums preserve cultural heritage for centuries to come,” said Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “With Greg’s unique research background, and his already notable contributions to conservation science, we are confident we have found the best person to lead this endeavor.”

When he assumes his position on December 28, 2009, Smith will lead the IMA team in establishing a comprehensive plan for outfitting the laboratory with scientific equipment funded through a previously announced grant of $2.6 million provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc. Longerterm goals include hiring a second scientist and implementing a fellowship program. Smith currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Conservation Science at Buffalo State College, one of only three graduate programs for comprehensive art conservation training in the United States.

”The inclusion of this state-of-the-art science laboratory within the IMA’s world renowned conservation facility will allow the museum to understand better its wide-ranging collections and improve its stewardship of the artwork and objects. I am excited by the opportunity to lead this new science initiative and to initiate a research program to investigate innovative methods and new materials for conserving works of art,” said Dr. Greg Smith.

The IMA’s newly expanded conservation resources will support research and publication by museum conservators, scientists and curators to continue to build the IMA’s reputation as an industry leader in the fields of conservation, collections care and art history. Once equipped and fully staffed, the IMA’s lab will join an esteemed group of science labs at other leading arts institutions in the United States: the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Harvard Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Getty Conservation Institute.

Gregory Dale Smith, Ph.D.
Smith previously served as the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Conservation Science at Buffalo State College, one of only three graduate programs for comprehensive art conservation training in the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in physical/analytical chemistry from Duke University and has completed postdoctoral research at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, and at University College London.

Smith’s research interests include studying condition issues affecting modern polymers used in art, pigment degradation processes, and the development and testing of innovative conservation treatments. He is a member of a working group participating in a large-scale, longterm collaboration with Tate (London) and the Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles) on the analysis of modern artists’ materials. Smith’s academic and professional career is distinguished consistently throughout with honors and awards, including a Marshall Scholarship to study in Britain, National Science Foundation Research Fellowships, and a Barry M. Goldwater Science Scholarship. He also has performed five seasons of archaeological fieldwork and archaeometry in Galilee, Israel serving as field chemist and field supervisor with the Sepphoris Regional Project, Sepphoris Acropolis Excavation, and the Cana of the Galilee Project.

Smith has authored numerous articles for journals in the fields of chemistry and conservation and is a highly sought-after lecturer for symposia in the field of art conservation. He is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), a member of the AIC Education and Training Committee, and the Chair of the AIC Research & Technical Studies Specialty Group.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art | Dr. Gregory Dale Smith | Andrew W. Mellon Foundation |




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