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April 11, 2022 40 min

Matt Saunders, Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies; Jennifer Roberts, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities, and American and Contemporary Art and; Kristian Hardy & Erik Zou, Harvard Undergraduate Fellows, Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP).

Diving into “artistic research,” we discuss what it means to Harvard professors and students. In today’s case study, we catch a glimpse into how artists and scholars engage with a specific set of images in the Alan Burroughs special collection at the Harvard Art Museums. To discuss its contents, we are joined in the studio by Harvard professors Matt Saunders and Jennifer Roberts who provide insights on how this collection inspired their scholarship and art making. We are also joined by Harvard college student, Erik Zou, an undergraduate Summer Humanities and Arts Research (SHARP) fellow. A Harvard graduate himself, Burroughs was interested in using X-rays to distinguish between original and repainted works of art. Join us in discovering what goes on within a painting and how technical analysis has radically altered our perception of art and artistic research.

Link to Alan Burroughs collection: 

Link to Matt’s biography: 

Link to Jennifer’s biography: 

Link to Jennifer’s Instagram: 

Link to SHARP undergraduate research programs: 

Link to Kristian Hardy’s biography: 

Works in Progress is recorded and produced in the Mead Production Lab, located on the traditional territory of the Massachusetts people, the original inhabitants of what is now known as Boston and Cambridge. The show is hosted by Bree Edwards and Kristian Hardy, engineered by Kat Nakaji, edited by Jemma Byrne, and produced by the ArtLab at Harvard University with help from Thinkubator Media. Theme music by Kicktracks and Gvidon.

For more information about the show, the ArtLab, and the artists featured, visit You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram by searching ArtLab at Harvard.

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