Art at The Met is made of many materials, including natural materials like minerals. Environmental conditions can affect these minerals, and even make an ancient statue grow ear hair! Learn about the science of crystals and salts, and how we use our knowledge to protect the art.
Art is full of mysteries that can’t be revealed by a quick glance. How do we see what’s hiding inside objects and learn how they were made and repaired? We use an x-ray machine, just like you’d find at the doctor’s office!
Sometimes the colors in paints and dyes come from the natural world, like plants, minerals, and… bugs? Meet the cochineal—the tiny, cactus-loving insect that brings a bright, vibrant red color to art, clothing, and even food—and learn all about the science of pigments.