More than Meets the Eye in Art Masterpieces

Edward Olszewski

What you see on the surface of a great work of art is just a small part of the painting’s history.

“Each painting is its own mystery and is a laminate of layers,” says Edward Olszewski, chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University.

Olszewski acts almost as a detective, peeling back the layers of a masterpiece’s history. He uses technologies, such as X-rays and infrared reflectance spectroscopy, to reveal more than eyes alone can see.

Currently, Olszewski is examining 32 portraits and religious works by the 16th century artist Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael.

Collaborating with Maurizio Seracini, the world-renowned art diagnostician and founder of Editech Art Diagnostics, Olszewski is analyzing Seracini’s image data from the Raphael paintings at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy.  The Florentine artists were known for starting out with underdrawings as guides for their paintings.

The collaborators made some surprise discoveries. They found that Raphael single-handedly did the underpaintings in his early works. Once he gathered a following and became more established, more than one artist in his studio workshop contributed to the masterpieces. Read more.

Campus News

A construction fence for the Wind Turbine Project will block the west pedestrian entrance to lot 53 (the Veale Parking Garage), from today to Sunday. The parking entrances will not be affected by this change.

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Hunk, Hustler, Hard-Ass: Masculinity in the Media is an event being put on by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at 7 p.m. next Thursday in the 1914 Lounge on the second floor of Thwing Center. Hunk, Hustler, Hard-Ass: Masculinity in the Media will feature a lecture and presentation by Matthew Ezzell, who will present an examination of media portrayals of men and their role in society.  His presentation of images from men’s magazines, advertisements, and video games will illustrate what it means to be a man in our culture and how that affects views and treatment of women and men. Ezzell, PhD, is an assistant professor of sociology at James Madison University.  More information is online.

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Looking to get rid of your Sages books?  Consider donating them to Mortar Board Senior Honor Society's fourth annual Reading is Leading book drive.  Mortar Board members will be collecting new or gently used books to be donated to Mary M. Bethune Elementary School and Glenville High School.  Money will also be accepted. A $2 donation buys a new book for a child in need. Look out for collection stations through Nov. 10 in Nord or Thwing. Extra credit will be offered in HSTY 111 and COSI 101. For more information, please contact

For Faculty and Staff

Special Announcement to Retirement Plan B participants: Federal law requires annual notification to plan participants that includes important funding information about the plan.  The notice for the plan year beginning July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2010 is being provided online.  The notice contains instructions for obtaining additional information.  Please contact Benefits Administration at 368.6781 or if you have questions.

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Staff Advisory Council’s Training and Development Committee is collecting hats, gloves, socks and scarves for homeless men in Cleveland. Last year SAC donated 420 pairs of socks to Care Alliance. This year we have added additional items that are necessary to keep warm. Items can be dropped off at the Benefits Fair Nov. 9 and 10. A box for donations will be on the SAC table inside the Thwing Ballroom. In addition, you can drop items off until Dec. 3 at the Department of Anthropology, Mather Memorial Room 238. Contact Kathleen Dowdell at 368.2264 with any questions.

For Students

Thinking about applying for graduate school but have some questions? You’re not the only one. You are invited to attend an Open House sponsored by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University to get some answers Nov. 4. Registration and welcome breakfast begin at 10 a.m. Events include lab tours, lunch with graduate students, campus tours, Recknagel Research Symposium put on by  first-year graduate students, and more. For more information or to reserve a place for for this event, email Jean Davis at  jxd16@case.ed or call 368.2084. More information is available online.  

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Apply to become a resident assistant or graduate assistant in the Office of Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life for 2011-2012. Resident assistant applications are due Jan. 12. Gain skills that are transferable to any career: communication skills, working on teams, leadership skills, and time management. Join our team and create a positive, inclusive living community in the residence halls. Applications and more information are available online or you can attend one of our information sessions. See schedule online. Graduate students, please review our job descriptions for our 2011-2012 opportunities. Each position has varied job requirements and job responsibilities. Graduate position applications will be posted online in late November. Please email with questions.


Nov. 4 is School Discount Night at Severance Hall to hear the Cleveland Orchestra with Matthias Pintscher conducting.  Tickets are only $5 each, available online or by phone at 216.231.1111, or at the Severance Hall box office. The orchestra will perform compositions by Pintscher, Ravel and Dukas. All teachers, students and school staff are eligible for the discount. The tickets have a limited seat option, but there is no limit to the number of tickets you may purchase per ID.

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Eldred Theater at Case Western Reserve University continues its drama series with Eurydice, by Sarah Ruhl.  Performances are Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees on Nov. 14 and 21 at 2:30 p.m. Eldred Theater is at 2070 Adelbert Road. In Eurydice, Sarah Rule reimagines the classic Greek myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Ron Wilson, chair and Katharine Bakeless Nason Professor of Theater and director of the Graduate Acting Program, directs the seven-member ensemble. General admission is $10, with discounted prices of $7 for adults over 60 and Case personnel, and $5 for students. For ticket reservations or information, call the box office for the department of theater and dance at 368.6262. For more information please contact Keli Schimelpfenig, or 368.1160. Details are available online.

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Mark Irwin from the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern California will return to the Case Western Reserve University campus, where he once taught, to read selections from his six volumes of poetry. The program, free and open to the public, begins at 5 p.m. Nov. 4, in the Guildford House Parlor, 11112 Bellflower Road. More information about Irwin is available online.


The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.

Paul Giannelli

Paul Giannelli, Weatherhead Professor of Law, is author or co-author in the following publications:  Scientific Fraud, 46 Crim. L. Bull. (forthcoming 2010); Microscopic Hair Comparisons: A Cautionary Tale, 46 Crim. L. Bull. 531 (2010); Forensic Science: Why No Research?, Fordham Urban L. J. (forthcoming) (symposium); Independent Crime Laboratories: The Problem of Motivational and Cognitive Bias, 2010 Utah Law Review 247 (symposium); Daubert and Forensic Science: The Pitfalls of Law Enforcement Control of Scientific Research, 2111 Illinois L. Rev.  (forthcoming); Scientific Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions: A Retrospective, 75 Brooklyn Law Review 1137 (2010) (symposium in honor of Margaret Berger); Ballistics Evidence Under Fire, 25 Criminal Justice __ (forthcoming Fall 2010); Cognitive Bias in Forensic Science, 25 Criminal Justice 61 (Summer 2010); “Reasonable Scientific Certainty”:  A Phrase in Search of a Meaning, 25 Criminal Justice 61 (Spring 2010); The National Academy of Sciences Report: A Challenge to Forensic Science, 24 Criminal Justice 4 (Winter 2010); Baldwin’s Ohio Practice, Evidence (West Co. 2d ed. 2010) (2 volumes) (forthcoming); and Problems in Evidence (West Co. 5th ed. 2010) (with Broun & Mosteller) (forthcoming). Also a chapter, “Forensic Identification Science,” in Federal Judicial Center & National Academy of Sciences, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (3rd ed. 2010) (under peer review).

Oct. 28, 2010

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In the News

Navigating make-believe MH office could benefit young adult patients

Mental Health Weekly, Oct. 25, 2010
Melissa Pinto-Foltz, a clinical research scholar at Case Western Reserve University, believes she has identified a population for whom use of virtual reality technology could pay off: young adults ages 18 to 25 who frequent Facebook and are adept with all forms of technology. “A lot of them text even more than they talk,” said Pinto-Foltz. She is just weeks away from testing use of a virtual mental health practice in an attempt to ease the stigma of mental health treatment for young adults and to improve their illness self-management skills.

Medical Research: What You Need to Know About Clinical Trials, Oct. 27, 2010
In an effort to increase the health literacy in the Cleveland community, Case Western Reserve University, through the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative, is sponsoring a clinical research education day Nov. 6 with the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP).

Judge provides trial transcripts to jury in Matthew Warmus aggravated murder trial, Oct. 27, 2010
In the Cleveland murder trial of Matthew Warmus, Lew Katz, professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, commented on the jury’s request for transcripts of the testimony from three witnesses in the trial.  “It's more common to ask for the transcript of a particular witness,” he said. “We expect the jury to rely on what they heard during the trial. Reviewing the transcript allows them to look back at what they heard and make sure it was correct. I don't see a problem with it.”

Higher Ed News

To Save Money, Colleges May Force a Switch to E-Textbooks

Chronicle of Higher Ed, Oct. 24, 2010
Although students have been slow to adapt to electronic textbooks, that could change before long. Some publishers and college leaders are proposing that e-books should be required reading and colleges should be the ones charging for them – requiring students to pay a course-materials fee, which would be used to buy e-books for all of them. E-books are far less expensive to produce than traditional print textbooks and could actually reduce digital piracy.