Why we're covering this:
- Because this room holds an incredible real-life lesson in art history.
- You've seen museum capers and art heists (hello Thomas Crown Affair), but this room holds the true keys to uncovering forgeries.
On the fourth floor of the Harvard Art Museum is a wall of color. This is the Forbes Pigment Collection, a vault of more than 2,500 pigments, or the small colored particles that are mixed with other materials to make paint.
Over several decades, the Forbes collection has amassed around 2,500 pigments. 00:35
Mummy brown comes from the resin applied to the outside of mummy bandages. 01:02
Experts can use the pigments to authenticate artwork by checking the materials that were used for the pigment against what was available in the purported artist's lifetime. 01:53