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Posted in Architecture and Design, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

Modern Architecture Under the Conservation Microscope

Schindler House (Los Angeles, Calif.), interior, 1987. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute
Schindler House (Los Angeles, Calif.), interior, 1987. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute

Despite the increased recognition that works of modern architecture such as the Sydney Opera House, Le Corbusier’s Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, or Mies Van der Rohe’s IIT College of Architecture campus are culturally significant and… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ladybugs on the Lam!

Grounds and Gardens supervisor Michael DeHart with ladybugs

Artist Hirokazu Kosaka’s much anticipated presentation of “Kalpa” on January 20 at the Getty Center was an experimental performance spectacular, featuring hundreds of spools of thread being pulled in the mouths of Butoh dancers, and a shining spotlight that illuminated… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Villa

Seeing Art’s Bones: X-Raying Plant Fiber Objects at the Getty Villa

X-raying objects at the Getty Villa: Jeff Maish measures the distance between the table and the machine, while student Tessa de Alarcon adjusts the equipment to the desired height

We’re all familiar with the X-rays used to take images of people’s bones and teeth at medical and dental facilities. But did you know this same technology can also be used to examine the internal structures of museum objects? At… More»

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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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      The Perfect Male Form?

      This bronze sculpture is a copy of an ancient Roman marble statue known as the Belvedere Antinous, long considered one of the most beautiful statues to survive from antiquity. Engravings of the statue were used as models in the study of perfect body proportions.

      The bronze was once owned by Louis XIV, who purchased bronze replicas of ancient sculptures to enhance his kingly magnificence.

      A Bronze God for the Sun King

      Belvedere Antinous, about 1630, attributed to Pietro Tacca. Bronze. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Plate 11 in Gérard Audran, Proportions of the human body, measured from the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, 1683. The Getty Research Institute

      07/05/15

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