wall painting

Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

América Tropical Is Reborn on 80th Birthday

América Tropical after conservation in 2012. Mural: © ARS, New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City (c) J. Paul Getty Trust
Artwork: © ARS, New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Photo: © J. Paul Getty Trust

Today is América Tropical’s 80th birthday. Artist David Alfaro Siqueiros unveiled his mural to a disapproving Los Angeles on Sunday, October 9, 1932. Eighty years later his mural—L.A.’s mural—is now again publicly accessible. This is, frankly, a day that we… More»

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

Backyard Archaeology at the Villa Ranch House

Site of a training excavation at the Getty Villa for students in the UCLA/Getty conservation program

Students in the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program recently dug up ancient wall paintings buried on the grounds of the Getty Villa. Not real ones, of course—it was all part of a classroom exercise for us conservators-in-training to better understand how conservation… 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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