Welcome to the Chemical Jungle


Thank you for visiting.  My name is David Cordes and I am a professor of organic chemistry at Pacific University, a small liberal arts college located in Forest Grove, Oregon.  I love to teach chemistry and do research with students, but I also enjoy exploring the intersections of art and science through painting.  In these paintings I try to examine some aspects of the fascinating history and practice of chemistry I started painting science themes when I went to graduate school, beginning with a few chemically relevant paintings to decorate the chapter pages of my doctoral thesis.  Since then, I’ve been exploring various other themes in chemistry and science.

My first large project, “100 Years of Organic Chemistry,” is a series of about twenty portraits of some of the signature personalities involved in the development of organic chemistry in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  More recently, I have been working on two new series. The first of these, “Chemical Disasters,” is a set of paintings exploring the connections between industrial accidents, waterways, and corporate responsibility. The second project, “The Biggest Hits of Organic Chemistry,” features reflections of the major themes and concepts that are explored in an introductory organic chemistry course.  My latest series, “Chemical Weapons of the First World War” is a set of ~15 paintings prepared to mark the centenary of the birth of modern chemical warfare - the German chlorine attack at Ypres, Belgium on April 22, 1915. This set of paintings was shown at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, CO as part of a special symposium on Chemical Warfare. I am also pretty interested in the history and practice of alchemy in the North American colonies and in the developing United States.  A set of paintings on  Alchemy in America should be out next year.  

                                  To view some of the series of paintings, click on the following links:

Let me know what you think.  Contact me at: davidcordes@chemicaljungle.com



Show in Olympia, WA at
at South Puget Sound Community College
Oct 30 thru Dec. 8https://spscc.edu/gallery

I will have my studio open for Washington County 
Open Studios.
Sat. Oct. 21 and Sun. Oct. 22
For details, visit:
Washington County, OR
Open Studios Tour 2017 http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://www.multnomahartscenter.org/events/gallery/#currenthttp://livepage.apple.com/shapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3shapeimage_3_link_4shapeimage_3_link_5shapeimage_3_link_6shapeimage_3_link_7shapeimage_3_link_8