Dr. Elizabeth Wise spoke on the unexpected connections of bacteria and art. She is a professor at Lourdes University

Most people do not usually think of bacteria when they think of art, but bacteria is involved in the conservation as well as the creation of art. Select bacteria produce pigments which can be extracted to create long-lasting paints. These bacteria may be used to create vibrant “living paintings” in petri dishes.

Bacteria also have a surprising use in the conservation of art. Older paintings can be cleaned by the application of select bacterial strains. The presence of microbes (fungus, mold, and bacteria) on paintings also has the potential to detect forgeries!

The lecture was part of Lourdes University's Lifelong Learning Monthly Lecture Series. The series aims to bring outstanding speakers to our community.

Knowledge Stream is made possible by a generous gift provided by the Appold Family Charitable Fund.