About: Iris Yirei Hu

I was a Multicultural Undergraduate Intern in the Getty Museum's Education Department in summer 2012 and am currently pursuing my B.A. in art at UCLA. In addition to making art, I write and hope to continue my active involvement in facilitating multicultural dialogues through art education.

Posts by Iris

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

18th-Century Art for the 21st-Century Classroom

Participants at the Getty Museum's Art and Language Arts alumni event - August 11, 2012

Students are often lectured at, asked to receive information and not question what is being said. As a college student, I’ve experienced this first-hand. This summer, I got to explore more creative approaches to learning as part of the team… More»

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      gettypubs:

      COBALT

      The histories of many colors are amazing, but cobalt may well have the most brilliant of them all. From the Ming Dynasty to Renaissance Italy, cobalt was a popular glaze for porcelain and other ceramics. Cobalt ink is invisible unless exposed to flame, which turns it a vivid green. In the 17th century, this quality made Europeans believe it was witchcraft, but decades later it was used as a neat trick on fire screens. It wasn’t until 1802 that painters added cobalt to their palette. 

      It is this little tidbit from cobalt’s history that saved master forger Han van Meergeren’s skin after WWII, when he was tried for collaborating with the Nazis. Want to find out how some art history sleuthing and smart science got him a not guilty verdict? Hint: Don’t try to forge a Vermeer with cobalt! 

      Read all about it in The Brilliant History of Color in Art!

      Images, clockwise:

      Glazed earthenware dish with a marchant ship, Italy, about 1510. 

      Glazed earthenware tile floor, Spain, about 1425-50.

      Porcelain lidded vase, China, about 1662-1772.

      All objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

      12/18/14

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