Evidence & Expertise

9 November 2016 - 19 February 2017

cycladic_key-photoThis exhibition presents three object case-studies from the Ackland’s permanent collection to consider the many types of knowledge used to determine an object’s authenticity.

Drawing from provenance records, connoisseur evaluations, and scientific investigation, Evidence & Expertise demonstrates how no single form of analysis provides a concrete answer about authenticity. Instead, it is only by assessing the various types of evidence together that it is possible to form conclusions.

This exhibition will be on view on the Ackland Art Museum’s second floor, during the third Study Gallery rotation of the Fall 2016 semester (9 November – 18 December) and the first rotation of the Spring 2017 semester (11 January – 19 February).

Co-curated by Katelyn Houston, PhD candidate in Chemistry, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Carlee Forbes, PhD candidate in Art History, UNC-Chapel Hill, with the assistance Stephanie Liffland, an undergraduate double-majoring in Chemistry and Art History at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Art For Lunch Talk: “Authentication: A Bridge Between Art and Science”
with Carlee Forbes and Katelyn Houston
Thursday, 10 November 2016, 12:30 PM
RSVP Here!



Unidentified Artist. Imitation of a Cycladic Figure. c. 1960. Naxian marble. 14-5/8 x 3-3/8 in. Ackland Fund, 66.14.1. Seen with a UV reflectography scan, which reveals the presence or absence of surface pigments.

Unidentified Artist. Smiling Figure (“Sonriente”). Mexican, Veracruz, Pre-Columbian 600-800 BCE. Terracotta with traces of polychrome. Height: 15-3/4 in. Gift of Gordon and Copey Hanes in honor of Dr. Joseph C. Sloane, 90.95. Seen with a CT scan, which reveals the uniformity of an object’s material.

Unidentified Artist. Female Figure. African, Nigerian, Nok Culture, 100 BCE – 200 CE. Terracotta. 19-1/2 x 5 x 5 in. Ackland Fund, 97.15. Seen with a CT scan, which reveals the uniformity of an object’s material.