About: Melanie Tran

I'm a special collections graduate intern at the Getty Research Institute.

Posts by Melanie

Posted in Architecture and Design, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Research

Treasures from the Vault: Harald Szeemann’s “Project Files”

Photos of the Venice Biennale from the Harald Szeemann papers
Behind the scenes at the Venice Biennale. At top left, Szeemann inspects construction progress; at bottom right, artwork crates arrive by boat. Undated; photographers unknown. The Getty Research Institute, Harald Szeemann papers, 1892–2010

As director of the Venice Biennale, curator Harald Szeemann created new ways of showing art—and new places to show it. 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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