Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Paintings

Getty Up! Welcome to the Getty’s New Blog

The Iris is a reference to the Getty Museum’s best-known painting: Irises by Vincent van Gogh. That painting is surrounded by knots of visitors most of the time; it’s behind glass because so many people want to reach out and touch it.

In addition, the Iris can evoke the flowers in the Getty’s gardens at both the Villa and the Center. But an iris is also part of the eye, and part of a camera lens. It’s how we focus, how we see. And critical seeing is at the heart of the Getty’s mission.

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

The name was suggested by Annie Combs-Brookes, events specialist at the Museum. She was one of nearly 100 Getty employees and volunteers who sent in more than 300 ideas for blog names. We were delighted by the creativity of the entries—and by the common threads that emerged.

Nine different people suggested some version of “Getty Up.” Two people came up with some variant of J. Blog Getty. There were many uses of the word “get”—as in Get This, Get Art, Get your Getty On. I was personally fond of Watching Paint Dry, submitted by a Getty Conservation Institute scientist who presumably did just that as part of his research. And we all really liked our second-place candidate, Verso, submitted by Lillian Wilson, imaging technician at the Museum, for its reference to views from the other side.

But ultimately the group of people from across the Getty that has come together to mount this blog chose The Iris: Views from the Getty. We’ll be using the Iris to launch a conversation with our readers about the fascinating work that goes on every day at both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, and by Getty staff, scholars, and grantees around the world. We hope to make the Getty’s vast resources of art and expertise more accessible and to engage our readers on the issues we’re passionate about: the visual arts in all their dimensions, the furthering of knowledge, the preservation of our artistic heritage, and our community—both here in Los Angeles and the larger international arts community that we serve.

We hope you’ll join us.

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  1. dyanne asimow
    Posted April 10, 2010 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Today’s my birthday. What a nice surprise — the prospect of intelligent and informative, perhaps even witty and opinionated discussions of art and museum work.

  2. Denise
    Posted April 10, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I was about to throw out the spent blue/lavendar and yellow tulips from my Easter display when I realized that they reminded me of a painting I had seen somewhere. Then to my surprise, I read your blog and see the Irises of van Gogh! That was the painting!! What a coincidence!

  3. Michael Tarbet
    Posted April 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


  4. John Jacobs
    Posted April 12, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Goya, self portrait. I love the idea of some good behind the scenes articles. Thanks.

  5. Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    This work demonstrates one more time the importance of studying one’s history in art, as now we are not creating new styles, just recreating old styles. I know of several artist’s who now use Van Gogh’s technique still today, but with a slight twist.

  6. Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    the white irish symbolize Vincent being melacholy

    painter Sydney

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      Composed from memories and from drawings made during his travels in Italy, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot painted this view for the Paris Salon of 1839. A dramatic colored sky and a few lone figures appealed to the melancholic sensibilities of the Romantic critics of the time.


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