Sara Rich visit to AS IF Center – all about dendroprovenancing

Last weekend AS IF Center hosted Dr. Sara Rich, Lecturer in Art History at Appalachian State University. Sara is a certified diver, a scholar of Arabic and Hebrew, versed in the science of dendrology, and author of Cedar Forests, Cedar Ships: Allure, Lore, and Metaphor in the Mediterranean Near East. Her work involves dendroprovenancing – using dendrochronology to date the wood in shipwrecks. Each year, the earth’s climate leaves a signature of width in tree rings – the overall pattern of thinner and thicker rings can be read like a bar code that dates the tree from which the wood was cut.

AS IF Center breakfast at the Yellow House

Sara came to AS IF to work on a fiction project. We shared a breakfast with Olga Ronay, AS IF Advisory Board member and one of the founding partners of High Cove (where AS IF Center is located), John Moore, woodcarver and former professor of Classics at Brown University and New College, and Byrne Tinney, former UNC faculty member in Spanish, meteorology expert, and longtime resident of the area. Several other High Cove community members had a chance to meet with Sara as well. We shared pizza, hiked, enjoyed a fire at the Lodge, added “dendroprovenancing” to our vocabulary, and talked about ancient history, Arabic and Hebrew language, world travels, and alternative narrative forms for telling the stories of science.

At Sara’s visit, we were envisioning a way to screen off the Yellow House residents’ quarters and studio from the rest of the house, to create more privacy for residents to work. We were inspired with the idea of making a folding privacy screen, collaged with drawings, writings, collections and other works from AS IF visitors. Sara left us with the first element for this project, seen below: a study for a painting of a the multibeam echosounder imaging of the wrecked 16th c. galleon in the Eo Estuary in Ribadeo, Galicia, Spain. Thanks for your visit, Sara – we hope you’ll join us again!