Seventh Forbes Symposium on Scientific Research in the Field of Asian Art

Deadline September 20, 2022

In 1951, Rutherford John Gettens came to the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution and founded the Technical Laboratory. Using scientific methods to study works of art, Mr. Gettens and his colleagues advanced our understanding in a number of areas. Ancient Chinese casting methods and the physical nature of paintings, particularly pigments, were subjects of notable work in the past, and today they continue to be active areas of research at the Freer Gallery, now part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. To mark the occasion of the museum’s hundredth anniversary, the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research will hold a symposium from June 9 to June 11, 2023. The theme of this program will be technical studies of Asian art. Those who are interested in giving a presentation are invited to submit an abstract for consideration. Original, previously unpublished scientific research on art objects from Asian cultures will be considered. Publication of the papers in a refereed volume following the symposium is planned in both online and printed book format.

Speakers should plan on in-person presentations of twenty-five minutes in length as conditions allow. The language of the symposium is English, although translation of presentations in other languages may be possible. Abstracts should be approximately 200 words in length. Submissions should be sent by email to The deadline for submissions is September 20, 2022, and notification of acceptance will be made by October 15, 2022. Manuscripts (3000–4000 words) will be due at the time of the symposium to enable publication to proceed in a timely manner. Further information on style and formatting will be sent to individuals whose papers are accepted. Funding to offset speakers’ travel expenses will be available.

Important Dates

September 20, 2022: Submission of abstracts for papers

October 15, 2022: Notification of acceptance of papers
December 2022: Preliminary schedule of papers announced
May 31, 2023: Deadline for registration
June 9–11, 2023: Symposium