Chemistry in Art

Chemistry in Art Workshop

For many years, Dr. Patricia Hill facilitated workshops she developed for college and university faculty on the topic of chemistry and art. The first two workshops were part of the National Science Foundation’s Chautauqua Short Course Program. The next four workshops were funded by a National Science Foundation grant (DUE #9752769). Although Dr. Hill is now retired and no longer leading workshops, many chemistry educators are still interested in the connections to be made and the ways classrooms can be enriched by exploring art-related content.

Goals of the Workshops

  • Exposed participants to the many ways to integrate chemistry and art across the curriculum
  • Provided resources to help participants design and develop useful curricular materials
  • Provided knowledge and hands-on experience
  • Provided long-term support and consultation
  • Embraced fun!

Over 150 chemistry, science and art faculty from universities, colleges, community colleges, prep schools and several high schools participated in these workshops. Participants have implemented workshop materials and activities at their home institutions in a number of interesting ways including:

  • Enhancing existing chemistry courses for science majors
  • Modifying existing courses for non-science majorsart
  • Creating new courses for non-science majors
  • Creating topics courses for chemistry majors
  • Bringing science into an art course
  • Developing science courses for conservators
  • Instituting student research projects for science and non-science majors alike
  • Creating science and humanities seminar courses
  • Enhancing high school science and art courses

Topics Covered

Some of the topics covered in the intensive weeklong workshop included:art

  • Light & color
  • Pigments & dyes
  • Chemistry of frescoes Detecting fakes & forgeries
  • Paints & paintings
  • Optical devices & art
  • Teaching basic chemistry
  • Ceramic, glass & geochemistry
  • Metals and metalworking


Dr. Patricia S. Hill may be contacted at: