Anna Vila

CATS has appointed Dr Anna Vila as senior researcher in conservation science.

Anna Vila has a research background standing at the intersection between science and conservation and has been working in the field of conservation science for the last twelve years.She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art (Conservation) and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, both from the University of Barcelona.

From 2000-2008, she was a research technician in the Molecular Spectroscopy Department at the Scientific-Technical Services of the University of Barcelona. She also collaborated with the Analytical Chemistry Department at the University of Barcelona, doing research on the material characterization of artworks and their pathologies as well as developing non-invasive methodologies and techniques to study artefacts from the cultural heritage field.

From 2008-2010 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Conservation Department at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she was working on an interdisciplinary research project focused on the development of a multistep analytical protocol to identify oleoresinous house paints in contemporary paintings. In 2010 she also worked at the Centre de Recherche et Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF) on the PoPART (Preservation Of Plastic ARTefacts in museum collection) project analyzing plastics from modern and contemporary art.

Since September 2010, she has been working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Scientific Research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). The objective of her current research is the material characterization of Pictorialist Photography using elemental and molecular non-invasive techniques.

On a more technical level, the major part of her research and experience has been focused on the study of contemporary materials using elemental and molecular analytical techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).


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