Dr. Celia S. Chari is the Beal Family Postdoctoral Fellow in art conservation science at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at Harvard University


About Celia

My interests lie in material science and its applications: from aerospace engineering to art conservation. I received my MSc and PhD in Materials Science from The California Institute of Technology, where my doctoral work focused on the performance and degradation of advanced high-temperature ceramics, as well as historic ceramics. I am currently the Beal Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Art Conservation Science at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums

I work alongside materials scientists, chemists, geochemists, conservators and curators on technical and scientific examinations of works of art in the museum’s collection - from 3rd century Celtic bronze jewelry to 14th century Spanish altarpieces. I study light-induced alteration mechanisms of mineral pigments in collaboration with Harvard's Center for Nanoscale Systems and Center for Crystallographic Studies. I also use spectroscopic techniques combined with deep learning algorithms to non-invasively identify pigments in works on paper, predominantly Indian manuscripts. 

Recent News

My doctoral work was featured in the above video from Caltech's Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science. Watch it here!

Click below to hear my Icon Emerging Heritage Science Researcher presentation on Meissen porcelain glazes (Sep, 2022):