The Forbes Pigment Collection was originally amassed over the career of the Museums’ second director Edward Waldo Forbes (director from 1909-1944). In many ways Forbes revolutionized the profession of museology in the early 20th century at the Fogg Art Museum (now included in the Harvard Art Museums), which he considered a Laboratory for Art. In so doing, he laid the foundation of conservation and technical art history as scientific disciplines, which continues today. The pigments and their raw sources are for teaching and as reference standards in order to identify the materials used by artists in making a work of art. At present there are almost 3000 samples and growing and growing. This lecture will examine the formation of the collection, how it is used and will present some recent additions to the collection.


Narayan Khandekar is the Director of the Straus Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies and the Director of the Centre for Technical Studies of Modern Art at the Harvard Art Museums, and Lecturer on the History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University. He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Melbourne and a Post-graduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Previously he has worked at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University; Melbourne University Gallery; and the Museum Research Laboratory, Getty Conservation Institute. His major interest is the materials and techniques of artists, in particular modern and contemporary artists. He is an author on over sixty publications.


We will be using Zoom which many of you may already be very familiar with.  You will be sent an invitation link with your ticket by email as soon as you register and you need only click on this link to join. If you do not already have Zoom you will be promoted to download or launch Zoom. Once you have clicked on this you will join the lecture.

Here is the link if would like to download Zoom in advance Download Zoom
Here is a link to a very short video on how to join How to Join Zoom

Please join 15 minutes earlier at 5.45pm to make sure we are all technically ready. I will be at the end of the phone leading up to and during the lecture for anyone who is having problems.


You can purchase a ticket online via Tixoom using a credit card.  Once you have paid you will be sent a ticket with a link to the lecture.  Please note that this link will be sent to the email registered to your payment method and it very often goes in to your Junk Folder – so please check this!

One Lecture £15.60

Buy a single ticket for this lecture only

Please contact for other payment methods or for any queries.

A Catch-Up Recording is available, so please book online as usual and then email to request a recording.