Monthly Archives: August 2010

Posted in Art, Paintings

Jacques-Louis David, Political Artist

Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, Jacques-Louis David, 1804

Today is  the 262nd birthday of Jacques-Louis David, the French painter best known for his austere Neoclassical paintings such as Oath of the Horatii. David was as political an artist as ever lived. He was a leader of the French… More»

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Posted in Photographs, Film, and Video

I Have a Dream

New York City from Black and White in America Leonard Freed, 1963.  © Leonard Freed / Magnum Photos, Inc.

One night when I was 10, I sat down to do some homework, reading a speech in my history book. It was just another day, just another assignment. But as I read this speech, I became confused and angry. Every… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa

Getting to Know the Gela Krater

View of Stories of the Trojan War (Gallery 110) featuring the Mixing Vessel with Greeks Battling Amazons (the Gela Krater), Greek, 475–450 B.C., attributed to the Niobid Painter. Museo Archeologico Regionale, Agrigento, Sicily

Leading Spotlight Talks was one of my many tasks as a Multicultural Undergraduate Intern in the Education Department at the Getty Villa this summer. These talks are interactive discussions between an educator and visitors about one object at the Museum…. More»

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Posted in Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Travel Postcards, 18th-Century Style

The Grand Canal, Venice, Canaletto, DATE TK. Private collection

Picture this: You’re in the 18th century taking a Grand Tour across Europe, making all the “in” stops such as France and Italy. Before heading back home, you have one final task: buying souvenirs! You’ve taken fencing lessons in Paris,… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

An Alternative Beauty Pageant

Young Italian Woman at a Table / Cézanne

Tonight is the Miss Universe pageant, in which contestants vied for a title and a Trump Tower apartment by donning swimsuits, evening gowns, and out-there costumes. (Update—Mexico won.) But beauty queens are just so bland compared to the women that… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, Getty Foundation, Getty Villa

Summer Interns Share Their Coolest Moments, Most Surprising Lessons

Getty summer interns with Conan O'Brien

When I walked into the Getty ten weeks ago, I could never have expected all the amazing experiences that I’d have this summer as the intern in the Web Group. During my internship, I’ve done everything from interviewing Getty staff for… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, Getty Research Institute, Research

Career Profile: Patricia Harpring, Managing Editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program

Patricia Harpring

What do you do at the Getty? I manage the Getty Vocabulary Program. You probably want to know what that is! We compile databases of terminology that allow people to catalog art and to retrieve information about it. I’ve worked… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education

Art and Power

Looking at art in the North Pavilion galleries at the Getty Center

“Focus is power,” said theater director Peter Sellars to a packed crowd at the American Association of Museums annual meeting earlier this year. Artworks can make you recognize things you instinctively knew but weren’t able to articulate. They bring ideas… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

You Asked, We Answered: The Mystery Plant Is…

Spanish flag in the Central Garden at the Getty Center - close-up of foliage

“What’s that?” is a common question in the Central Garden, a place full of exotic and curious plants. “James Cameron must have come here when he was dreaming up Avatar,” I recently overheard a visitor say while pointing to some… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Trust

The Museum of Hidden Talents

Stilwalking at the Getty Underground opening

One of the coolest parts about working at the Getty is discovering the many artistic talents of your coworkers—the curator who bakes professional-quality wedding cakes, the project manager who hulas, the software engineer who writes environmental poetry. Everyone is just… More»

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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.


      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour you can hear multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 

      07/29/15

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