History has seen many significant contributions by artists in science and vice versa, e.g. Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines, and Isaac Newton’s color theory. More recently, with the advent of nanofabrication techniques, lasers, and materials, photonics research has found exciting new applications in art. The 14 papers positioned at the boundary between art and science in this feature issue capture this breadth of topics. Creative art-scientists/science-artists create new art using the colorful properties of metallic nanostructures, birefringence of liquid crystals, interference in thin films, and coherence of lasers. A noteworthy new art form that is gaining interest uses metals as the “canvas”, lasers and nanolithography as the “brush”, and resonant nanostructures as the “paint”. We hope the reader will enjoy the spectrum of topics here that illustrate the potential of cutting edge photonic research for art-related applications: from the generation of modern visual art to the preservation and tagging of precious historical art.

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