American Philosophical Society
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102. Chemistry and Chemical Biochemistry[X]
1Name:  Dr. Robin J. H. Clark
 Institution:  University College London
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  102. Chemistry and Chemical Biochemistry
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1935
 Death Date:  December 6, 2018
Robin Clark’s work employing Raman microscopy changed the thinking of art historians and conservators on much artwork and many archaeological artifacts. His identification of the blue pigment on the priceless Lindisfarne Gospels (715 AD) in the British Library as solely indigo, not lazurite, removed the need for the then (2004) current but improbable proposition that trade in lazurite from Afghanistan to Northumbria existed in 715 AD; in fact we know from Clark’s work that it was not established until more than two centuries later. The identification of key pigments on "Young Woman Seated on a Virginal" provided persuasive evidence consistent with a reattribution of this painting to Vermeer, in consequence of which it was sold in London for 30 million dollars in 2004. However, many Egyptian papyri supposedly worth $3 million each and dating to 1250 BC were easily identified to have been illuminated with at least 7 modern pigments, including copper phthalocyanine blue (first made in Manchester in 1936); they thus proved to be virtually worthless. Robin Clark was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2010. He died in London on December 6, 2018 at the age of 83.
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