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As part of the Getty Conservation Institute's expanding public programming, the GCI has partnered with the California Science Center in Los Angeles to create an exhibition that blends science and art. Fade: The Dark Side of Light explores the destructive effects of light exposure and provides museum visitors with an introduction to conservation science.

Interactive exhibits explain the nature of light and how and why it may permanently alter the appearance of many objects—from priceless works of art to personal treasures—and effect changes down to the atomic level. Visitors will be able to learn what conservation scientists, conservators, and curators are doing to mitigate the damaging effects of light.

The exhibition also provides an opportunity for the public to learn about pioneering research undertaken by the GCI and the University of Texas at El Paso to develop filters to strip away unwanted parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that have a lesser impact on our vision (see related article in this issue). These filters substantially reduce the amount of energy hitting an object without greatly affecting our visual perception of it.

The collaboration with the California Science Center is an opportunity for the Institute to reach out to new audiences. Through this exhibition, visitors are given a view into the ways science helps preserve important cultural treasures.

Fade: The Dark Side of Light opened October 10, 2007, and runs through May 31, 2008, at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. For more information, visit the California Science Center Web site.