National Public Gardens Day

Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Sniff Your Way through the Getty Gardens

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A smell tour of the Getty Center’s flora. More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Hi! I’m an L.A. Native.

Cream cups (Platystemon californicus)

They say L.A. has no center; they say it’s a desert. We native Angelenos know that’s not true—and not just when it comes to architecture, either. More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with Us

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Friday is National Public Gardens Day, a great excuse to get out there and enjoy our local green spaces. In Los Angeles we have a wealth of fantastic public gardens that appeal to plant geeks and relaxation seekers alike—including Robert… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Ladybugs in the Central Garden

Releasing ladybugs on the azaleas at the Getty Center

Each year we release ladybugs on the jacaranda trees and azaleas to eat aphids during the spring months. We buy them from insectaries that sell them by the thousands. We put water on the foliage before releasing them. When they… 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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