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Thursday Evening Hours Open Thursdays until 9 p.m., sponsored by Constellation Energy.

Fall Forum: The Archimedes Palimpsest

Saturday, November 12, 2011
12:00 PM–04:30 PM

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  • 12-12:30 p.m. registration, check-in and refreshments
  • 12:30-4 p.m.  lectures (four 45 minute lectures)
  • 4-4:30 p.m.   panel discussion
  • Price for all sessions: FREE

12:30-12:45 p.m.    Fall Forum: The Archimedes Palimpsest Intro: Dr. Will Noel (moderator): exhibition curator of Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes, and Walters Curator of Manuscripts & Rare Books

12:45-1:30 p.m.     Cultural Heritage Research at the Walters: What Will We Discover Next?: Glenn Alan Gates: Conservation Scientist, The Walters Art Museum

1:30-2:15 p.m.      The Challenge of a Lifetime: Conserving the Archimedes Palimpsest: Abigail Quandt: head of Conservation of Manuscripts & Rare Books, The Walters Art Museum

2:15-2:30 p.m.      BREAK

2:30-3:15 p.m.      Seeing the Invisible Between the Lines – Imaging of the Archimedes Palimpsest: Roger Easton: Professor, Imaging Science at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)

3:15-4:00 p.m.      Splashing out of the Bath: Archimedes and the Palimpsest: Reviel Netz: Stanford Professor of Classics & Philosophy, history of pre-modern mathematics, co-author with Will Noel of The Archimedes Codex

4:00-4:30 p.m.      Panel Discussion

Hear about the groundbreaking techniques that saved the earliest surviving Archimedes manuscript, revealing what he sketched in the sand in Syracuse in the 3rd century B.C.

Archimedes was not merely antiquity’s greatest scientist: he also became an ancient legend, capturing the imagination of countless generations of Greek and Roman readers. One may wonder just what was so special about him and how his work is relevant today. Join exhibition curator Will Noel and distinguished speakers as they discuss topics surrounding the discovery of the Archimedes Palimpsest, including the imaging of the document, Archimedes’ long-lost content, and the groundbreaking conservation and imaging techniques undertaken by a diverse team of specialists.

The panel includes Stanford University Professor and historian of pre-modern mathematics, Reviel Netz, the co-author with Will Noel of The Archimedes Codex (2007); RIT imaging scientist Roger Easton; Walters conservators Abigail Quandt and Glenn Alan Gates, and Will Noel as moderator.

About the speaker:

William Noel is Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, a position he assumed in 1997. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Cambridge University, England. Among the positions he has held are Director of Studies in the History of Art, Downing College, Cambridge University, and Assistant Curator of Manuscripts, The J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Will Noel is the author of The Harley Psalter, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology Vol. 4, Cambridge University Press (1995), a detailed investigation into the making of an illustrated eleventh-century Psalter. He is also co-editor and contributor to the exhibition catalogue, The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, London (1996). In 2002, together with Daniel Weiss and Griffith Mann, he curated an exhibition entitled The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible at the Walters Art Museum. Noel’s recent book, The Oxford Bible Pictures, Faksimile Verlag, Luzern and The Walters Art Museum (2004), concerns a series of English miniatures of the thirteenth century in the Walters Art Museum. Since January 1999, Noel has directed an international program to conserve, image and study the Archimedes Palimpsest, the unique source for three treatises by the ancient Greek mathematician ( Noel has co-written a popular account of the project, entitled The Archimedes Codex, together with Reviel Netz, which was published by Wiedenfeld and Nicolson (2007).

Noel has taught and lectured widely. He is on the Faculty of Rare Book School, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. and is an Adjunct in the Department of History of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. Noel likes reading and sailing.


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