A Blue as No Other - The Science and Philosophy of Color in the Mesoamerican Codex

April 11, 2019 - 7:30 pm

E105 Adler Journalism Building

Annual Nancy Brownell Lecture on the History of the Book

A Blue as No Other - The Science and Philosophy of Color in the Mesoamerican Codex
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 7:30pm

E105 Adler Journalism Building

When not searching through Maya ruins in Central America, climbing in the Alps or mountain biking through some jungle, John Hessler is the Curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress and a Lecturer in Quantum Mechanics, Materials and Computing, in the Graduate School of Advanced Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests focus on the ethnobotany, chemistry and materials science aspects of archaeological remains, concentrating on the science of color and ancient nano-materials like Maya Blue.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, he is the co-director of the Mesoamerican Language, Theory and Decipherment Seminars, and is also on the faculty of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia where he teaches a seminar called the History & Construction of the Mesoamerican Codex. The author of more than 100 books and articles, including, the New York Times bestseller MAP: Exploring the World, his research and writing has been featured in many national media outlets including Discover Magazine, Wired Magazine, CBS News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and most recently on NPRs All Things Considered. His current research involves developing quantum mechanical models to help understand the stability and resistance to degradation of ancient nano-materials, including Maya Blue. He is at work on the forthcoming book, Collecting for a New World: Treasures of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress that will be published in 2019.