Behind the Scenes

Sound: Let There Be (Some) Light

The next time you’re in the Getty Center galleries, look up. The large louvers in the ceiling are working throughout the day to keep light-sensitive artwork from direct sunlight.

The goal is to keep the amount of light coming in to around 20 to 25 footcandles. (One footcandle = the amount of light put out by a candle at a one-foot distance.)

These large blinds run on a motor similar to the one that operates the flaps on an aircraft. They shift about three to ten degrees every hour throughout the day.

While glass keeps the sound to a faint muffle in the galleries, you can hear it in all its glory here:

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      "You’ve caught me looking very English today."

      You’ve traveled far! Are you into antiquities?

      "My wife is a classicist—she loves this collection. We’ve never been to the west coast before and actually just arrived yesterday. Only just arrived and I’m already famous!"

      James, September 29

      10/17/14

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