Professor, Center for Historic Architecture and Design
(School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy)
Professor, Department of Art History
Affiliated Faculty, East Asian Studies Program
323 Alison Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Chandra L. Reedy specializes in the study and documentation of traditional materials and technologies. Her goals are to better understand the history and reasons for change, range of fabrication methods, possible functions, aesthetic intents, and values expressed by material culture. She also develops and tests new preservation methods and strategies. Her primary interest is Tibetan art and material culture, with secondary interests in South and Southeast Asia, along with Europe and North America.
She is the author of Himalayan Bronzes: Technology, Style, and Choices (University of Delaware Press, 1997, 341 pages) as well as the author or co-author of four other books and more than 60 book chapters and journal papers. She most recently published a book and an accompanying interactive CD titled Thin-Section Petrography of Stone and Ceramic Cultural Materials (Archetype Publications, London, 2008, 288 pages) illustrating the enormous amount of information polarized light microscopy can provide to material culture research. She also maintains an active program of ethnographic field research, especially in Asia. Most recently, she conducted work in Dharamsala, India and in Tibetan regions of China (Sichuan Province, and in Lhasa). Studying the materials, processes, and products of traditional workshops; and learning to decode both tangible and intangible aspects of objects, buildings, works of art, and village designs can help us better understand historic and archaeological materials and sites, how and why they change, and how to best preserve their most significant components.
Reedy serves as Director of the Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials (within the Center for Historic Architecture and Design). The emphasis is on objects and building materials of stone, ceramics, metals, and glass. A strength of the laboratory is thin-section petrography and other uses of light microscopy, and new methods of digital image analysis to update these techniques. She has received more than 20 research grants for work associated with the Laboratory.
Reedy served as Director of the Ph.D. Program in Art Conservation Research at U.D. (1989-2003), and was promoted to full professor in 2000. She teaches courses in the art of Tibet, traditional architectural materials, international preservation approaches, technology of cultural materials (metals, ceramics, and glass), and science and the detection of art forgeries. She has been a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education since 1997, and is also committed to online teaching and other applications of new educational technologies. She received the Exemplary Application of Teaching Technology Award from IT-User Services (2005) and the Innovative Teaching Award in Distance Education (2004) from the University of Delaware.
She teaches or co-teaches many workshops outside of U.D., with a variety of sponsors such as the American Institute for Conservation, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, the Washington Conservation Guild, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Library of Congress, and others. These workshops include Scientific Methodology for Conservation Treatment Selection, Scientific Method and Experimental Design in Preservation and Conservation Research, Conservation of Historic Glass and Stained Glass, Recent Advances in the Conservation of Silver, and others. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation for eight years, Associate Editor of Archaeometry for five years; and served on the Board of Directors and on dozens of committees and task forces for many of the 12 professional organizations to which she belongs as a member, professional associate, or Fellow. In 2003 she received the Rutherford John Gettens Award for exemplary service to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.