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MSU collaboration supports exhibition on the intersections of art and chemistry

A collaboration between the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and the Midland Center for the Arts, the exhibition “Science Paints Our World: Chemistry and Art” opens in the Alden B. Dow Museum's Main Gallery, located in Midland.

It boasts 19 works on loan from the MSU Broad — including works by renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler and Charles Pollock. 

“The advocacy from MSU’s Research and Innovation Office bridged the gap to make the partnership with the Broad happen,” said Sarah Brandt, studio school manager and assistant curator at Midland Center for the Arts. “The center was interested in finding paintings that document the use of new chemically unique art mediums created and refined from the 1950s forward.”

The exhibition aligns with the 100th anniversary of the Midland section of the American Chemical Society. Collectively, all the artworks in the exhibition illustrate how new scientific developments and innovation in the chemistry of paint provided an expanded palette that inspired modern and postmodern artists. Also showcased are the types of paints and materials used in the featured artworks.

Through the joint effort of the Office for Research and Innovation and the MSU Broad, the type of interdisciplinary collaboration between science and art that the exhibition demonstrates is also reflected in the values of MSU.

The Office of Research and Innovation is extending the life of this partnership through their high school summer internship program, in which students specializing in writing visited the exhibition and spent time learning about how materials science is an important part of art creation.