About: Maria L. Gilbert

I’m a time-traveling 18th-century French countess who knows a thing or two about mummies and can make pigs fly. As senior writer/editor in the Collection Information & Access Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, I oversee content development for the interpretive media we create for the galleries, online, and mobile devices.

Posts by Maria L.

Posted in Art, Getty Center

Art Takes a Rest as Getty Center Closes for Carmageddon II

Raymond de Magnoncourt / Chasseriau

The Getty Center will not be open for gentleman or lady callers this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30. Our social calendar is affected by the demolition of the Mulholland Drive Bridge, which requires the 405 freeway to… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ask Us! International Ask-a-Curator Day is Wednesday, September 19

Gravestone with a Woman and Her Attendant / Greek

Update—Questions and answers here! We’re excited to join hundreds of art, history, and science museums internationally to participate in Ask-a-Curator Day, an online Q&A in which our friendly art experts—curators and conservators at the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute—will… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Devil Is in the Details: New Collection Page Zoom

Demon depictions

We recently began to add high-resolution images of objects from the collection on our website, enabling you to zoom in and observe tiny details (look for the zoom button on object pages). We started with over 1,700 antiquities, manuscripts, drawings,… More»

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

All Shook Up! Protecting Art in an Earthquake

The Agrigento Youth
The Statue of a Kouros (The Agrigento Youth) on loan from the Museo Archeologico Regionale in Agrigento installed in the Getty Villa, October 2010.

When you look at sculpture in the Getty Museum’s galleries, you wouldn’t guess that some of the pedestals are somewhat unusual. Under their polished veneer, they’re engineered to protect art from the movements caused by earthquakes. Many museums in California… More»

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

Connect with Art Using Google Goggles and Our New Mobile Collection Pages!

Video crew relaxing after the shoot

What is that painting? Wonder no longer. By taking a photo with the Google Goggles™ app for your smartphone, you can now instantly identify any painting in our collection, plus access related information and audio. Awesome, right? We created a… 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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