About: Emily Beeny

I'm a curatorial assistant in the Department of Paintings at the Getty Museum, where, since 2009, I've worked on new acquisitions, special exhibitions, and a forthcoming online catalogue of the permanent collection. When not busy writing gallery labels, I continue to chip away at a Ph.D. in art history at Columbia University.

Posts by Emily

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Labeling Turner

Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino, Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), 1839. Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 48 1/4 in. (unframed), 48 1/4 x 60 3/8 x 4 3/8 in. (framed). The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.6

Writing the gallery label for a painting can sometimes feel like an art form in itself, a kind of circumscribed descriptive poetry not unrelated to haiku. How, in fewer than 100 words, do you capture the essence of an object,… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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