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Marc Sebastian Walton

Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts
Co-Director, Research Professor
Illinois, Evanston
Marc Walton joined the Northwestern University / Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts in 2013 as its inaugural Senior Scientist and as a Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. In January of 2018, he was appointed as the co-Director of the Center. Walton earned a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in archaeological science following an MA in art history, as well as a diploma in the conservation of works of art, from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. After earning his doctorate, Walton worked as an Associate Scientist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for two years before joining the Getty Conservation Institute in 2005, where he established and ran an analytical laboratory dedicated to the analysis of ancient works of art and artifacts. At the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, he leads multiple scientific research projects to investigate art objects in collaboration with cultural heritage institutions representing a broad spectrum of disciplines (from anthropology to contemporary art) and geographical reach (both U.S. and internationally). He is also implementing numerous collaborative initiatives with research groups across Northwestern University (Computer Science, Art History, Classics, Materials Sciences, Geochemistry). Walton's research focuses on the trade and manufacture of objects, and on developing imaging technologies in the field of conservation science, resulting in over 70 peer-reviewed articles. In 2018, Walton co-curated an interdisciplinary exhibition at the Block Museum of Art entitled "Paint the Eyes Softer" investigating the Fayum portraits excavated from the Roman Egyptian site of Tebtunis.