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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      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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