science

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

Seeing Artwork in a New Light

Getty Conservation Institute scientist Jim Druzik holding one of several filters being evaluated for use in conservation lighting.

Jim Druzik is obsessed with light. More particularly, he’s concerned with the destructive power of light on priceless museum treasures, and it’s his pioneering work in conservation and preservation that could protect great works of art. Jim, a senior scientist… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

A Project of Seismic Proportions

Earthen structures in the vast adobe city of Chan Chan, capital of the Chimu Kingdom in present-day Perum

As Californians, we are well aware of the damage that results from earthquakes, even in new buildings constructed with modern materials. But what happens to historic buildings made of earthen materials such as adobe? These structures can be particularly vulnerable… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Forensic Techniques Illuminate a New Acquisition

Oil jar (lekythos) with a funerary scene, attributed to the Achilles Painter, Greek, made in Athens, about 435–430 B.C. Terracotta, 17 3/4 in high x 5 5/16 in. diam. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.14

The recently acquired white-ground lekythos on display in Women and Children in Antiquity (Gallery 207) at the Getty Villa is a handsome addition to the Museum’s antiquities collection. With its narrow neck and cylindrical body, this popular type of vase… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Getty Villa

Uncorking the Secrets to Ancient Cocktails

Patrick McGovern in his lab, sniffing out an ancient brew

Update—We’ve posted video excerpts from Patrick McGovern’s talk. See below for his discussion of Midas Touch, here for Chateau Jiahu, and here for Theobroma. What ancient brews were served at the funeral feast of King Midas, or his father Gordius,… More»

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

From Green Umber to Azurite, Walnut Oil to Egyptian Sandstone, Reference Collection Helps Scientists Analyze Art Data

The Getty Conservation Institute's Art Kaplan, examining mineral samples found in the Reference Collection.

Art Kaplan is on a mission. At my request, he’s looking for a particular yellow pigment to show me—and there are hundreds of yellows to choose from, in drawers labeled Yellow Ochre, Lemon Ochre, Golden Yellow, French Yellow, and labels… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Research

Ancient Greek Pottery Lends Its Secrets to Future Space Travel

XANES maps a) optical image showing black gloss (right) and coral red (left), b) distribution of Fe2+ species (measuring iron present in an oxidation state), and c) distribution of Fe3+ species (measuring specific minerals present).  Getty Conservation Institute

What do cutting-edge research into future space travel and the investigation of ancient ceramic pots have in common? More than you’d think. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa

Archaeologist Kathryn Gleason on Roman Gardens

The Outer Peristyle at the Getty Villa. © 2005 Richard Ross with the courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

Kathryn Gleason is an expert on Roman gardens and a pioneer in the field of garden archaeology, an exciting and relatively new field. In advance of her lecture on Roman gardens this Saturday at the Getty Villa, she spoke to… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Villa

What’s Simmering in That Beaker? Understanding Ancient Technology by Manufacturing Pigments

Elizabeth Drolet filters mixtures of dye extracted from madder roots with different inorganic materials, such as alum, lye or chalk. The different inorganic materials used produce different shades of red.
Elizabeth Drolet filters mixtures of dye extracted from madder roots with different inorganic materials, such as alum, lye or chalk. The different inorganic materials used produce different shades of red.

Powdered saffron, simmering roots, crushed leaves…no, it’s not what’s cooking in the kitchen, but what’s been cooking at the Getty Villa this quarter for the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. As part of a… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Prints and Drawings, Publications

Leonardo da Vinci, Anatomist

From the new book: Leonardo's exploded view of the muscles and tendons of the soles of the foot, with anatomical notes in English

Leonardo da Vinci worked for 25 years on a complete guide to the human form that would have transformed the study of anatomy in Europe. But the project was never finished and the notes were all but lost for centuries… 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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      Dressed in the finest 17th century fashions, a woman personifying September shops the local market.

      This sketch of September, the rich landscape, and bountiful harvest were made for paintings of the months for Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria for a dining hall in his Munich palace.

      Fashion Fridays explores art, history, and costume in the Getty collection.

      Personification of September, about 1644, Joachim von Sandrart. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      09/19/14

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