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Meet the Staff

Julie Arslanoglu

Research Scientist

Julie Arslanoglu joined the department in 2006. She investigates paints, coatings, adhesives, and the organic materials of artworks across all ages using mass-spectrometric and immunological techniques, with emphasis on natural and synthetic polymer identification and degradation. Her education and career bridge the conservation and science worlds, as she holds both an MSc in organic chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and a postgraduate degree in paintings conservation from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has worked at the Getty Conservation Institute, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the National Institutes of Health. She can be reached at Julie.Arslanoglu@metmuseum.org.

Selected Publications:

  • Pozzi, Federica, Arslanoglu, Julie, Cesaratto, Anna, and Skopek, Matthew. "How do you say 'Bocour' in French? The Work of Carmen Herrera and Acrylic Paints in Post-War Europe." In Journal of Cultural Heritage (2018).
  • Granzotto, Clara, Sutherland, Kenneth, Arslanoglu, Julie, and Ferguson, Glenn A. "Discrimination of Acacia gums by MALDI-TOF MS: Applications to Micro-Samples from Works of Art." Microchemical Journal (2018).
  • Ren, Fang, Natalya Atlasevich, Brian Baade, John Loike, and Julie Arslanoglu. "Influence of Pigments and Protein Aging on Protein Identification in Historically Representative Casein-Based Paints using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay." In Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 408 (2015): 203–215.
  • Arslanoglu, Julie, Silvia A. Centeno, Shawn Digney-Peer, and Isabelle Duvernois. "'Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art': An Investigation of Materials and Techniques." In Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 52, no. 3 (2013): 140–155.
  • ResearchGate: Publications by Julie Arslanoglu
  • Acaemida.edu: Publications by Julie Arslanoglu

Elena Basso

Research Associate

Elena Basso joined The Met's Department of Scientific Research in 2017 as a staff member for the Network Initiative for Conservation Science (NICS). She received her PhD in earth sciences from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2004. She became Research Fellow in the university's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2011 and, as part of her research project, she spent six months at The Met investigating cobalt blue pigments and their provenance issues in 2013. Between 2014 and 2015, Elena held an A. W. Mellon senior fellowship in conservation science at The Met, focusing her research on the archaeometry of early/middle Islamic Sgraffito ware from the archaeological site of Nishapur, Iran. Recently, she collaborated with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, as scientific consultant. Elena is specialized in archaeometric studies of archaeological and historic artefacts (i.e., stones, ceramics, glass, mortars, stuccoes), and she recently expanded her competences to metalworks and paints. She can be reached at Elena.Basso@metmuseum.org.

Selected Publications:

Eric Breitung

Research Scientist

Eric Breitung focuses on modern preservation materials and museum environment issues. He earned a PhD in physical organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked in the polymer materials laboratory on thin films and coatings at General Electric's Research and Development Center for 10 years, during which he spent one year as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at The Met. He then worked on textile dye analysis at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, followed by becoming senior scientist at the Library of Congress. There he focused on modern materials and development of materials analysis tools.

Selected Publications:

  • Catherine Stephens, Isabella Buscarino, and Eric Breitung. "Updating the Oddy test: Comparison with Volatiles Identified Using Chromatographic Techniques," Studies in Conservation, Supplement 1, (2018): S425-427.
  • Cassidy, Brianna M., Zhenyu Lu, Nathan C. Fuenffinger, Samantha M. Skelton, Eric J. Bringley, Linhchi Nguyen, Michael L. Myrick, Eric M. Breitung, and Stephen L. Morgan. "Minimally Invasive Identification of Degraded Polyester-Urethane Magnetic Tape Using Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Multivariate Statistics." In Analytical Chemistry 87, no. 18 (2015): 9265–272.
  • Marquardt, Amy E., Eric M. Breitung, Terry Drayman-Weisser, Glenn Gates, and R. J. Phaneuf. "Protecting Silver Cultural Heritage Objects with Atomic Layer Deposited Corrosion Barriers." In Heritage Science 3, no. 1 (2015): 1–12.
  • ResearchGate: Publications by Eric Breitung

Isabella Buscarino

Research Assistant

Isabella Buscarino joined The Met in 2017. She received her BA in chemistry from Barnard College. While at Columbia University, she did research with the Ancient Ink Laboratory—a subset of the Columbia Nano Initiative—where she reconstructed and characterized Frankfort black ink using Raman spectroscopy. She also worked as a conservator's assistant at the Columbia University Libraries Conservation Program and was a teaching assistant with the Making and Knowing Project. At The Met, Isabella assists with materials testing, environmental monitoring, and insect identification. She can be reached at Isabella.Buscarino@metmuseum.org; follow Isabella on Instagram.

Selected Publication:

Federico Carò

Research Scientist

Federico Carò received his PhD in earth science from the University of Pavia, Italy, where he worked on the characterization of natural and artificial building materials. At The Met, he investigates inorganic materials and techniques employed in artistic production, in close collaboration with conservators and curators. Particularly, his research interests focus on the mineralogical, petrographic, and geochemical characterization of stone and other geological materials in provenance and conservation studies. Since 2007, he has been involved in the study of Southeast Asian sculptural and architectural stone materials.

Selected Publications:

  • Carò, Federico, Centeno, Silvia, and D. Mahon. "Painting with Recycled Materials: On the morphology of calcite pseudomorphs as evidence of the use of wood ash residues in Baroque paintings." Heritage Science 6 (2018):3.
  • Serotta, Anna, and Federico Carò. "Evidence for the Use of Corundum Abrasive in Egypt from the Great Aten Temple at Amarna." In Horizon 14 (2014): 2–4.
  • Carò, Federico, and Janet Douglas. "Nature and Provenance of the Sandstone Used for Bayon Style Sculptures Produced During the Reign of Jayavarman VII." In Journal of Archaeological Science 40 (2013): 723–734.
  • ResearchGate: Publications by Federico Carò

Silvia A. Centeno

Research Scientist

Silvia A. Centeno focuses on artists' materials and techniques and deterioration processes in paintings, photographs, and works of art on paper. She received a PhD in chemistry from Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, and started at The Met as an L. W. Frohlich Fellow to study unusual gilding techniques in Pre-Columbian metalwork. She has published and lectured on a number of topics, including pigment- and platinum-based photographic processes, daguerreotypes, heavy-metal soap deterioration in oil paintings, modern paints, early lithographic inks, and Renaissance paintings. She currently leads interdisciplinary team projects working on the elucidation of nineteenth-century photographic processes and on the deterioration of oil paintings.

She can be reached at Silvia.Centeno@metmuseum.org.

Selected Publications:

Valeria Di Tullio

Research Associate

Valeria Di Tullio joined The Met in 2017. In 2013, she received a PhD in Applied Sciences to Environmental and Cultural Heritage Preservation, from Sapienza University in Rome. For seven years, she worked at the Institute of Chemical Methodologies of National Research Council of Italy (CNR), specializing in chemical and physical methods applied to cultural heritage. Her research activities included the study of nano-materials and hydro-gels for the conservation of cultural heritage and the characterization of ancient materials by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methodologies. At The Met, she is focusing on the study of the soap formation process in old master, modern, and contemporary paintings in a collaborative project with the University of Delaware funded by the US National Science Foundation.

Marco Leona

David H. Koch Scientist in Charge

Marco Leona studied in Italy where he obtained a laurea in chimica (MSc, Chemistry) and a PhD in crystallography and mineralogy from the Universita' degli Studi di Pavia. Prior to joining The Met, Dr. Leona worked at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and at the Los Angeles County Museum Art (LACMA). Dr. Leona pioneered the use of Surface Enhanced Raman spectroscopy to investigate natural and synthetic dyes in works of art. Besides his work at the Museum, he teaches analytical chemistry at the Conservation Center of New York University's Institute of Fine Art.

Selected Publications:

Maria Goretti Mieites Alonso

Associate Laboratory Coordinator

Maria Goretti Mieites Alonso joined The Met in 2018. She received an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela and holds an MBA from Cerem International Business School, Spain. Maria has acquired international experience in the fields of Quality Control and method development in Europe, and worked as adjunct professor in the Clinical Analysis Department at Jean Piaget University in Africa. At The Met, she manages the Scientific Research Department laboratories and provides technical support to the scientific research staff.

Kathy Miller

Manager for Administration

Kathy Miller began her career at The Met as a special assistant to the chairman of the Department of Paintings Conservation. She was formerly executive director of Horizon Concerts. She holds a BS from St. John's University and an MA in arts management from New York University.

Federica Pozzi

Associate Research Scientist

Federica Pozzi leads the Network Initiative for Conservation Science (NICS), a pilot program aiming to support New York–area museums that do not have access to a state-of-the-art scientific research facility. Federica earned her PhD in chemical sciences from the University of Milan, Italy, and, as part of her doctoral studies, she spent one year at The Met as a visiting scholar. After conducting post-doctoral research at The City College of New York and The Met, Federica held an Andrew W. Mellon fellowship in conservation science at the Art Institute of Chicago, and then joined the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as the first scientist on staff.

Selected Publications:

Adriana Rizzo

Research Scientist

Adriana Rizzo has worked at The Met since 2004, conducting analysis of materials from art objects of different periods and cultures to provide insight into their manufacture and inform their conservation. She is interested in the study of organic materials and their degradation, as well as conservation-related issues. The analytical techniques she uses include molecular spectroscopy and chromatography-mass spectrometry. She holds an MSc in industrial chemistry from Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy, and a postgraduate diploma in the conservation of easel paintings from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, UK.

Selected Publications:

  • Rizzo, Adriana, Mechthild Baumeister, Beth Edelstein, Arianna Gambirasi, and Anke Scharrahs, with contributions by Julia Schultz and Daniel P. Kirby. "A Rediscovered Opulence: The Surface Decoration of an Early 18th-Century Damascene Reception Room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Architectural Paint Research: Sharing Information, Sharing Decisions, edited by Rachel Faulding and Sue Thomas, 117–31. London: Archetype Books, 2014.
  • Tsukada, Masahiko, Adriana Rizzo and Clara Granzotto. "A New Strategy for Assessing Off-Gassing from Museum Materials: Air Sampling in Oddy Test Vessels." In AIC news 37, no. 1 (2012): 1, 3–7.
  • Rizzo, Adriana, Nobuko Shibayama, and Daniel P. Kirby. "A Multi-analytical Approach for the Identification of Aloe as a Colorant in Oil–resin Varnishes." In Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 399, no. 9 (2010): 3093–107.

Nobuko Shibayama

Research Scientist

Nobuko Shibayama joined The Met in 1999. She received a PhD in applied science for functionality from the Postgraduate School of the Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan, in 1992 and a diploma in textile conservation from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, in 1995. The focus of her work involves the use of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques to identify dyes and organic lake pigments of art objects.

Selected Publications:

Catherine Stephens

Associate Research Scientist

Catherine Stephens joined The Met in 2016. She holds a PhD in macromolecular science and engineering as well as BA degrees in both chemistry and art history. Her work at The Met focuses on evaluating environmental conditions, identifying potentially hazardous chemical compounds found in materials proposed for use in display and storage, and developing novel analytical techniques that ensure the longevity of the collection. Previously, her specialty was studying the degradation mechanisms and structure-property relationships of polymeric materials paper, cellulose acetate, foamed epoxies, etc. found in museums.

Selected Publications:

  • Nancy Britton, Ann-Sofie Stjernlöf, and Catherine Stephens. "Digitally Created Katagami Stencils for Printing Textile Infills." In Embellished Fabrics: Conserving Surface Manipulation and Decoration 11th biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference held in Mexico City, November 6th – 11th, 2017. Eds. H. Sutcliffe and J. Thompson.
  • E. Torok, C. Stephens, R. Hodgson, C. Snow. "Gerasa mosaic Treatments at Yale University: An Examination of Materials Used in Structural Backing Systems."
    In The Conservation and Presentation of Mosaics: At whatMcost?: Proceedings of the 12th ICCM Conference, Sardinia, October 27 – 31, 2014. ed. J. M. Teutonico, L. Friedman, A. B. Abed, R. Nardi. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 285–94.
  • Stephens, Catherine, and Amy Williams. "Artificial Aging of Paper-Based Cores Wrapped in Various Isolating Layers for Use as Archival Storage Supports." In AIC: Research and Technical Studies 4, no. 4 (2013): 105–134.
  • Stephens, Catherine, B. Shrestha, Hannah R. Morris, Mark E. Bier, Paul M. Whitmore, and A. Vertes. "Monitoring Cellulose Degradation with Desorption Electrospray Ionization- and Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization- Mass Spectrometry." In Analyst 135 (2010): 2434–2444.
  • Stephens, Catherine, Paul M. Whitmore, Hannah R. Morris, and Mark E. Bier. "Hydrolysis of the Amorphous Cellulose in Cotton-Based Paper." In Biomacromolecules 9, no. 4 (2008): 1093–1099.

Mark Wypyski

Scientist Emeritus

Mark Wypyski graduated from Haverford College with a combined BS/BA degree, and earned graduate degrees in science, art history, and art conservation from Rutgers University and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Having worked at The Met since 1986, he specializes in the application of electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis for the characterization of art and archaeological materials. His many research projects over the years have concentrated mainly on compositional analysis of ancient and historic glasses and enamels.

Selected Publications:

  • Wypyski, Mark. "Chemical Analysis of Early Islamic Glass from Nishapur." In Journal of Glass Studies 57 (2015): 121–136.
  • ———. "Compositional Study of Medieval Islamic Enameled Glass from the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 1 (2010): 109–132.
  • ———. "The Neptune Pendant: Renaissance Jewel or Nineteenth-Century Invention?" In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 67, no. 1 (2009): 33–39.