An exploration of the past, present, and future of materials science and engineering.
6 months ago

Episode 25: The Materials of Art

Can art make you a better scientist?

Can art make you a better scientist? Can an understanding of materials science make you a better artist? We think so! So does Darryl Butt, dean of the College of Mines at the University of Utah. We interview him for this episode and discuss tons of interesting aspects of materials science and art. For example, he explains how ancient artists like Da Vinci had an understanding of atmospheric light and used it in their art. We also discuss how modern materials science characterization tools like microscopy, X-ray diffraction and more can be used to inspect art, determine its provenance, and even find out if a piece is a forgery! Dean Butt also explains how paint is made and explains some of the advantages of home made paint.


If you have questions or feedback please send us emails at [email protected] Make sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, google play, and now Youtube or wherever you find your podcasts. If you like the show and want to help us reach more people, consider leaving a review - it helps us improve and it exposes new people to the show. Finally, check out our Instagram page @materialism.podcast and connect with us to let us know what new material you’d like to hear about next. We’d like to give a shoutout to AlphaBot for allowing us to use his music within the podcast. Check him out on Spotify. And as always a special thanks to Kolobyte who created the intro and outro for our podcast. He makes a ton of really cool synthwave music which you can check out at Also visit our sponsors for this episode The American Ceramic Society Arts Archeology & Conservation Science division,, and

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Materialism Team: Taylor Sparks (co-creator, co-host, production), Andrew Falkowski (co-creator, co-host, production), Jared Duffy (production, marketing, and editing)

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