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Sanchita Balachandran received a Masters of Arts in the History
of Art and an Advanced Certificate of Conservation from the Conservation
Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2003. She completed
post-graduate internships at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Straus Center for
Conservation at the Harvard Art Museums, and participated in numerous field
seasons on archaeological sites in Egypt. In 2009-2010, Balachandran was
awarded a Fulbright grant for nine months of archival research in India, where
she focused on the history of conservation at the Madras Government Museum.
Since 2008, she has taught courses related to the technical study and analysis
of ancient objects, and the history, ethics and practice of art conservation at
Johns Hopkins University. She is currently Associate Director of the Johns
Hopkins Archaeological Museum.
Sanchita passed her exams in August 2021, and her proposal presentation in January 2022, and is now working on her dissertation. Her dissertation committee members are: Lauren Petersen, Chair (Department of Art History), Rosie Grayburn (Department of Art Conservation), Annette Giesecke (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures), and external members Keats Webb (Smithsonian Institution) and David Saunders (J. Paul Getty Museum).
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TOPIC: Identifying Authorship through Technology: Ancient Greek Ceramics
This research looks at ways that the production technologies of ancient Greek vases may in fact give us a clearer sense of the "authorship" of these extraordinary objects. Informed by two years of experimental archaeology making numerous replicas of Greek vases with contemporary potters, the current project considers how we may possibly reconstruct the sensory experience and knowledge of the ancient potters and painters who made these objects in antiquity, and begin to "recognize" their work through new "technical" signatures. Using the technique of reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), the project investigates the preparatory drawings still present underneath the painted images on Greek vases in an attempt to identify specific hands of artists or trace evidence of collaborations between draughtspeople, potters, and painters in the ancient workshops.