The Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) is a collaborative endeavor in conservation science that pursues objects-based and objects-inspired scientific research to advance the role of science within art history, curatorial scholarship, archaeology, and conservation. The cooperative program was launched in August 2004 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program bridges the gap between museum specialists and materials science experts by promoting collaboration between the two institutions.
The goals of the program include research which can be disseminated not only within the field of conservation and conservation science, but in the broader fields of materials science, chemistry and physics and a seminar series in conservation science.
The ultimate objective of the program is not only to strengthen the Art Institute’s research capabilities, but also offer a model for integrative and cross-disciplinary collaboration among museums and universities in the effort to strengthen the field of conservation science in the U.S.