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‘Artists as Inventors’

Monday, April 30, 2018
Photo of Professor Patrick McCray, Photo credit BRIAN W. ROBB


‘Artists as Inventors’

With prestigious Smithsonian Institution fellowship, historian W. Patrick McCray will further his research about the convergence of modern technology, science and art

By Amy Bentley

Santa Barbara, CA

Do artists simply create works of art, or is a work of art an invention in its own right? And what happens when artists team up with engineers and scientists to incorporate technologies like computers and lasers into their creations?

These questions and more will be the subject of new research by scholar W. Patrick McCray, a professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, who has been awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship. McCray, who specializes in the history of modern technology and science, will spend the 2018-2019 academic year at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.