materials science

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

Getty Voices: The Stones of Rome

Detail of a stone fountain in Rome, Italy, showing damage caused by weathering
Rome is defined by its beautiful stone buildings, bridges, and sculptures. But stone isn't eternal, even in the Eternal City. Photo: Scott S. Warren

Conservators from around the world have gathered in Rome to learn techniques for preserving stone artworks and monuments. More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Research, Voices

Getty Voices: Attic Pots and Atomic Particles

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How did the ancient Greeks make their characteristic red-and-black pottery? Modern science may finally yield the answer. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Looking Under Judy Chicago’s Car Hood

The back (wall) side of Judy Chicago's Car Hood

This is the second in a series of conservators’ reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. In 1964 Judy Chicago created this wall-mounted sculpture, Car Hood, from a steel car hood and traditional automotive paint. The work was on loan… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

What Does Plastic Have to Do with Art?

Vestito Blu, Enrica Borghi, 2005. Mineral water bottles, plastic bags, and plexiglas, 85.8 x 85.8 x 263.3 in. (220 x 220 x 675 cm). Collection Mamac, Nice. Photo: Muriel Anssens. © Enrica Borghi

Many types of plastic used in artworks are now beginning to exhibit serious signs of deterioration – discoloration, crazing and cracking, warping, becoming sticky, and in extreme cases, turning completely to powder. The sheer number of plastics available constitutes a huge challenge for the conservation profession. 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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      #ProvenancePeek: June 30

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This portrait of actress Antonia Zárate by Goya is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. The records of famed art dealer M. Knoedler & Co. at the Getty Research Institute reveal its recent provenance: the painting was sold by Knoedler on June 30, 1910, to financier Otto Beit. Part of his collection, including this painting, was later donated to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. To this day the Gallery showcases some of its greatest masterpieces in the Beit Wing. This spread from a digitized Knoedler stock book records the transaction (second entry from top).

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art. He sold European paintings to collectors (such as Henry Clay Frick, the Vanderbilts, and Andrew Mellon) whose collections formed the genesis of great museums such as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Huntington, and more. Knoedler’s stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate, ca. 1805–06, José de Goya y Lucientes. Beit Collection, National Gallery of Ireland. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.

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      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      06/30/15

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