Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

Artifacts, Crime + Materials


Spring 2024

Eric Doehne

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

— Pablo Picasso

How do we authenticate an animation cel, tell ancient artifacts from modern artifice, and unmask art forgers? This course explores recent trends in the world of art crime and the growing use of materials science and forensic analysis to authenticate, preserve, and repatriate cultural heritage.

The age and makeup of creative works can be determined using carbon dating, multispectral imaging, and other scientific tools. In this hands-on course, participants will gain an understanding of artists’ materials, apply scientific techniques to see otherwise invisible clues to origin and alteration, and get an insider’s look at the hidden histories of artifacts and the meaning of authenticity.