About: Jessica Portner

Posted in Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Making Over Early Photographs with Color

Luther Gerlach hand-colors a sepia photograph at an Artist-at-Work Demonstration

“First, ever so lightly, I take a little flesh-colored pigment and add a bit of color to his face,” said Luther Gerlach as he glided his brush over an old photograph of a boy clutching a hat. “Then let’s add… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mixing Afghan Rhythms at Sounds of L.A.

Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan. From left:

Just 48 hours before he was pounding percussion onstage at the Getty Center this past weekend, one of the creators of Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan (S.A.R.A.) was teaching tabla drumming at a music school in Kabul. But the Afghan-American… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Honey, They’re Playing Our Painting

Dancer Taking a Bow (The Prima Ballerina), Edgar Degas, pastel and gouache on paper, 33 1/2 x 27 in. (85.1 x 68.6 cm). Private collection

Many couples have a favorite song, a tune that conjures up memories of blissful infatuation and unending devotion. Elia and Maranatha have a painting. The couple met three years ago when Elia, a musician, was playing at a club in… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Drawing the Line: Conserving Master Drawings with a Light Touch

Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.
Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.

The intriguing exhibition The Secret Life of Drawings—closing this Sunday at the Getty Center—unveils hidden clues to unfinished works on paper, undiscovered sketches, and details of the artist’s craft. It also reveals that making damaged art look presentable can be… 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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