About: Miriam Katz

I am the research associate in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. My primary responsibility is cataloging the 110,000+ photographs owned by the Museum.

Posts by Miriam

Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video, Research, Voices

Getty Voices: Be a Photograph Sleuth

Miriam looks through her handy magnifying glass and light to try to determine the photographic process of this image.
Miriam looks through her handy magnifying glass and light to try to determine the photographic process of this image.

I spend as much of my time looking through a magnifying glass as a classic detective does—solving the mysteries of the Getty’s Department of Photographs. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Boo! Don’t Look Now, But I See a Ghost

Mrs. Chapin oil merchant & his spirit wife & babe recognized / William H. Mumler

In the 1860s, an era fascinated with spiritualism—spirits, the supernatural, messages from the Great Beyond—a small-time engraver named William Mumler realized he could apply the latest technology of his day, photography, to create “spirit photographs.” Almost a visual séance, Mumler’s… More»

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      PRUSSIAN BLUE

      It started as a mistake, transformed workflow for architects, and revived Japanese print-making.

      Created as a result of mixing blood, potash, and iron sulfate while trying to make red cochineal dye, Prussian blue was announced officially in 1710. 

      Paper covered with ammonium ferric citrate plunged into potassium ferricyanide turned Prussian blue and preserved the image of objects set on top of the paper in the process. And thus the “cyanotype” was born.

      From there, architects found these “blue prints” useful to make copies of one drawing. Sound familiar?

      More in The Brilliant History of Color in Art

      The Italian Comedians, about 1720, Jean-Antoine Watteau. J. Paul Getty Museum.
      Equisetum sylvaticum, 1853, Anna Atkins; and Anne Dixon. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      01/28/15

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