Sarah Lowengard

Adjunct Associate Professor

I am a historian of technology and science who specializes in the chemistry and physics of the early modern West. My research combines art, material culture and materials science into more typical historical concerns of social, economic and intellectual life. My most recent book, The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Gutenberg-<e>, Columbia University Press, 2006)  examines the relationship between developing scientific theories and changing artisan practices for pigment making, textile-. ceramic- and glass-coloring endeavors. At present I am writing a book about the technologies of printing in colors before 1800, researching a biography of the eighteenth-century French color-printer and scientific crank, Jacques-Fabien Gautier-d’Agoty, and trying to complete a seemingly endless set of essays about the social and scientific transformations of ferric ferrocyanide (Prussian blue) from its invention to the present day. I was granted a Ph.D. from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1999 and have held fellowships from or at the Huntington Library, the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin), the Smithsonian, and the National Science Foundation. I am an associate member of The Pigmentum Project (London/Oxford) and serve as an advisory editor for the journal Technology and Culture. 

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.