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  • ABOUT | Art Bio Matters

    ABOUT ABM Get in Touch Join the Community WHO WE ARE Art Bio Matters (ABM) is a dynamic and expanding gathering of curators, cultural historians, conservators, and scientists dedicated to exploring diverse research methodologies, perspectives, and objectives in the study of biological materials within cultural heritage collections. Here, your unique viewpoint is highly valued, whether you aim to enhance preservation, deepen analysis, or enrich interpretation. While rooted in the core disciplines of science, curatorial practice, and conservation, ABM enthusiastically embraces all participants interested in the exploration of cultural heritage studies. WHAT WE DO Art Bio Matters takes proactive steps to foster and empower a vibrant community of curators, cultural historians, conservators, and scientists through various platforms including a dedicated website, Slack workspace, and biannual gatherings. At artbiomatters.org, you can freely access educational resources, discover exciting opportunities, delve into descriptions of advanced scientific methodologies such as DNA analysis, mass spectrometry, and antibody-based techniques, explore historical and conservation materials, ponder open-ended research inquiries, and engage with emerging ethical considerations, among other offerings. We extend a warm invitation for you to join us, embark on a journey of exploration and learning, and share your invaluable expertise. As our website continues to evolve, we eagerly welcome suggestions and contributions to ensure that we effectively cater to the needs of our growing community. WHAT WE BELIEVE We believe that the identification and understanding of biological materials within collections is best achieved through active education and collaboration. In pursuit of this vision, Art Bio Matters (ABM) is guided by foundational principles that underpin our mission: Embrace the inclusive participation of specialists across all three disciplines—curatorship/cultural history, conservation, and science 1 2 3 4 Conduct candid evaluations of past projects, considering both logistical and aspirational aspects, to effectively prioritize crucial areas of study and optimize resource allocation. Cultivate curiosity, respect, and recognition for the invaluable contributions of each discipline to the field of cultural heritage studies. Foster an open environment in which the value of data from scientific analysis for non-scientific audiences is both debated and shared. By joining ABM, you gain access to our vibrant Slack workspace—a hub where you can connect with fellow members, engage in discussions on diverse topics, share noteworthy research findings, explore job opportunities, and stay informed about upcoming events. Additionally, you will receive exclusive invitations to our esteemed speaker series and updates regarding our highly anticipated biannual conferences. HISTORY OF ART BIO MATTERS Thanks to funding provided by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, ABM organized the first meeting of its kind to purposefully bring together a balanced group of science, conservation, and curatorial/cultural history representatives for open discussion and debate about the contributions of advanced DNA, proteomic, and antibody‐based techniques to the study of biological materials found in cultural heritage collections. This innovative, by-invitation-only meeting, which brought together 40 international specialists was co-hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York University. ​ ​ The ABM 2018 meeting was inaugurated by a public plenary session, Biological Material Matters in Works of Art, presented by Dr. Barbara Berrie , Head of Scientific Research, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Eight speakers were selected by a nine-person ABM 2018 Steering Committee to address pre-determined topics, including instrumentation, sampling techniques, and relevance to the information desired by conservators, historians, and curators. ABM 2018 resulted in the emergence of a cohesive and enthusiastic community, as well as the original artbiomatters.org website. It also accentuated the essential role of collaborative deliberations to maximize efforts to study, interpret, present, and preserve material cultural heritage. Advancements since 2018 have only reinforced the need for communication and continued discourse among all stakeholders. Engaging Dialogue Connection + Partnership Community Driven Why join the Art Bio Matters community? Members of the ABM community enjoy many benefits, regardless of their area of interest. Our website and Slack workspace have something for everyone: Access ABM 2018, 2021, and 2023 conference recordings and background materials. Anchor 1 Communicate through the ABM Slack workspace Connect with colleagues, discuss research questions, and network in the ABM Slack community. Visit our Join the Community tab for more information. Join the Community Participate in an ABM meeting ABM has biannual conferences sharing ongoing research through a dynamic forum of exchange. Visit the ABM Meetings tab for more information. ABM Meetings Build the ABM website We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested to do any of the following: Share a project Give a talk Provide a link to your publications, projects, or Opportunities to share with potential partners. Present an update on current projects through ABM's webinar lecture series. Educate and reach out Provide a link to a case study or video that applies to our Materials, Instrumentation, Ethics, and Sampling pages. Join and Help Build Art Bio Matters!

  • Adhesives

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Adhesives Used to glue or bind things together, biomolecule-based adhesives are incredibly wide ranging from proteins (hide or bone glues, egg, casein) to polysachharides (rice or wheat paste, plant gums) to lipids (beeswax) and more. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Surface History (Biome)

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Surface History (Biome) Over time, dust, pollen, yeast, bacteria, etc. continue to be deposited and accumulate on the surface of objects providing a history of an objects lifetime since creation. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Feathers/horn/hair/nails

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Feathers/horn/hair/nails Feathers, horn, hair, nails, scales, and hooves, all found in vertebrates, are made from a family of structural proteins called keratins. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Pigments / Dyes

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Pigments / Dyes Dyes are substances used to impart color to textiles, paper, leather, and other materials such that the coloring is not readily altered by washing, heat, light, or other factors to which the material is likely to be exposed. Pigments, on the other hand, are finely ground solids dispersed in a liquid, such as paint or ink, or blended with other materials. Most dyes are organic compounds, whereas pigments may be inorganic compounds or organic compounds. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • HOME | Art Bio Matters

    Welcome to ABM A Cross-Disciplinary Hub for Biological Materials Research in Cultural Heritage About ABM Education Community Meetings Resources Members Opportunities MISSION STATEMENT ART BIO MATTERS (ABM) provides a stimulating forum in which to explore current and new directions in the study of biological materials found in cultural heritage collections. Communication and partnerships are facilitated by a robust website, dedicated Slack channel, and interactive Art Bio Matters Meetings. While the core disciplines of ABM are science, curatorial/cultural history, and conservation, ABM welcomes other stakeholders involved in cultural heritage studies. A key aspect of the forum is the opportunity to discuss research at any stage of completion among a balanced community of experts in a format designed to promote collegial dialogue and debate. Read more about ABM ONSITE EVENT ABM 2023 ABM 2023 was an in-person meeting in NYC, continuing as a platform for open dialogue and debate between specialists interested in biological materials investigations of cultural heritage. Meetings EXPLORE ABM Projects Discover projects from the ABM community Explore Opportunities Explore opportunities for education, professional development, employment, funding, and more. Show more Events Stay connected to the most recent events with bimonthly ABM virtual presentations by ABM Members and other events of interest. Show more Join us and become a part of the ABM c ommunity

  • Ivory

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Ivory Similar to bone, ivory or dentin is comprised of a mineralized collagen matrix. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Varnishes/Coatings

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Varnishes/Coatings A wide variety of varnishes and coatings exist, generally with the purpose as acting as a protective coating or adding a specific sheen to an object. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Animal skin

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Animal skin Many products can be made from animal skin, such as parchment, vellum, and leather. By treating the collagen matrix of skin with different chemical processes (i.e. lime, tanning, etc.), the properties of the skin can be modified. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

  • Photographs

    Composition Conservation Historical Use Case Studies Photographs A photograph is an image which is captured using light, either electronically or on a photosensitive surface. Previous Next Back to Materials Coming Soon We need you to develop new content for the ABM website. Please email info@artbiomatters.org or message in Slack if you are interested in building the ABM website.

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