Santas

Who colour-coded Christmas?

18 Oct 2011

The conventional colours of Christmas – red and green – are not, as many might suppose, a legacy of the Victorians. Instead, they hark back to the Middle Ages and perhaps even earlier, according to Cambridge research scientist Dr Spike Bucklow.

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Empty swingset

A Class Apart

26 May 2010

Despite our best efforts, social mobility in the UK does not seem to be improving. Diane Reay, Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, will be speaking at Hay about the hereditary curse of the English education system and her developing vision for a “socially just” replacement.

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Detail from Westminster Retable

Dragonsblood: the alchemy of paint

01 Sep 2009

Through his exploration of the science of art, the recipes of medieval artists and the writings of alchemists, art conservation scientist Spike Bucklow sets out to disentangle the alchemy of medieval paint.

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Recent Mural painting at Samding Monastery, Tibet

When a woman becomes a religious dynasty

01 May 2008

A rare Tibetan manuscript - a treasure that had remained hidden for centuries - set in motion a journey by Hildegard Diemberger that was to bring alive the still-unfolding story of a 15th-century Tibetan princess.

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Winsor and Newton catalogue with painted samples

Gems of colour: pigments of the ‘Colourmen’

08 Feb 2008

Dragon’s Blood, Purple of Cassius and Scarlet Lake – all pigments concocted by the 19th-century 'Colourmen' of Winsor & Newton artists’ suppliers. Now, a painstaking and methodical analysis of their hand-written recipe books has been developed into a searchable database.

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Spike Bucklow

Organic chemist, puppet maker, art conservator...

01 Feb 2008

From organic chemist, through maker of rubber monsters, to conservator of fine art, Spike Bucklow describes his career path as "something of a drunkard's walk". But you could say that it has always been leading to the same end: the application of science for the benefit of art.

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