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Posted in Ancient World, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Seven Plagues of the Ancient Roman City Dweller

Evening traffic along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, near the Getty Villa
It's nothing new: Gridlock and bad air, A.D. 2009. Photo: Eric Demarq, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Think city living is a struggle today? The ancient Romans had it just as tough, giving their poets plenty to complain about Roman poetry is filled with entertaining rants against urban evils, which I revisited with glee while preparing for… More»

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Posted in Getty Center

Getty Center Entrance Getting a Makeover

Architect's rendering of the new Getty Center entrance, coming fall 2014
Architect's rendering of the new Getty Center entrance, coming fall 2014

Fall 2014 marks the opening of a new Getty Center entrance, with easier access to bus and car parking and an improved drop-off area. More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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