About: Patricia Harpring

I am the managing editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program, which compiles, edits, and publishes the three Getty vocabularies (AAT, TGN, ULAN, with the new CONA in development; see the Getty Vocabularies page). I do training and publish papers at various conferences around the country and abroad. My new book, Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies, is fast becoming a textbook in library schools. I have a PhD in Italian Renaissance art history; I have worked in the arenas of art standards and vocabularies at the Getty since 1985. This acquired knowledge of terms and trivia is helpful in the outside world too: I’m a respected opponent in Scrabble. More about Patricia Harpring: Career Profile: Patricia Harpring, Managing Editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program

Posts by Patricia

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

What Is 砂金石? The Art & Architecture Thesaurus Publishes Chinese Terms

Necklace with aventurine
Necklace featuring 砂金石 (shā jīn shí), also known as venturina and aventurien

The big news in the Getty Vocabulary Program is that around 3,150 records in the Art & Architecture Thesaurus with one or more Chinese-language equivalent terms, plus descriptive notes and bibliographic citations in Chinese, are now published online. The Art… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Conservation, Getty Research Institute

An Update on the Earthquake in Chile

Earthquake damage at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Talca, Chile. Photo: Jorge Sacaan Riadi

The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) is a tool for cataloging and retrieving art information. It is being translated into several languages. Our friend and colleague Lina Nagel (manager of the AAT Spanish translation project) at the Centro de… 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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