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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Research, Voices

Behind the Scenes at the GCI | Getty Voices

GCI Lab \ Beril Bicer-Simsir
Scientist Beril Bicer-Simsir testing grouts in the Getty Conservation Institute's laboratories.

A relatively new discipline, conservation science merges art and analysis to solve thorny conservation problems. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Research

Accelerated Aging Lab: The Scariest Place at the Getty?

Inside the Accelerated Aging Lab: tools for studying rock and mortar. The machine that looks like an industrial Kitchenaid is, in fact, a Kitchenaid—it’s used for mixing lime putty and mortars.

For those of us over 21, the idea of premature aging is definitely not attractive. Every time I pass the Getty Conservation Institute’s Accelerated Aging Lab, I get somewhat apprehensive. But the lab is not intent on hastening wrinkles and… 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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