Conservation

Preserving art and culture for the future, from field projects around the world to conservation science in the Getty’s own state-of-the-art labs

Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Art with an On-Off Switch: Restoring Stephan von Heune’s Tap Dancer

Tap Dancer by Stephan van Huene, with base panels removed to reveal components inside base

This is the first in a series of conservator’s reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. Stephan van Huene is recognized for his acoustical sculptures—which he called “machines”—that combine movement and sound. With the flip of a switch, the sculpture… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Conservation Comes Outdoors for Henry Moore’s “Bronze Form”

What's behind that tent? Henry Moore's Bronze Form is being conserved in situ at the Getty Center

What’s inside this tent? Henry Moore’s monumental sculpture Bronze Form 5/6—normally the first artwork visitors see when arriving at the Getty Center—is undergoing a conservation treatment behind a rather mysterious-looking safety screen. My colleagues and I will be working on… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

All Shook Up! Protecting Art in an Earthquake

The Agrigento Youth
The Statue of a Kouros (The Agrigento Youth) on loan from the Museo Archeologico Regionale in Agrigento installed in the Getty Villa, October 2010.

When you look at sculpture in the Getty Museum’s galleries, you wouldn’t guess that some of the pedestals are somewhat unusual. Under their polished veneer, they’re engineered to protect art from the movements caused by earthquakes. Many museums in California… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Conservation Institute, Philanthropy

Preserving the Photographic Heritage of the Middle East

Self-portrait by photographer Camille el Kareh, taken in Lebanon in the 1920s

We treasure our family photos because they are reminders of meaningful memories. The same can be said of the photographic collections held by institutions, for they represent who we are and where we have been. When photographs become damaged or… More»

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Also posted in Getty Conservation Institute, Philanthropy

A Big Lift for América Tropical

The canopy to protect the mural America Tropical, weighing 73,000 lbs and boasting an impressive 90-foot span, was lifted aloft by a construction crane and set into place.

Construction for the shelter, viewing platform, and interpretive center that will surround América Tropical, the only surviving public mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros in the United States still in its original location, is moving forward. The mural, located on the… More»

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Also posted in Architecture and Design, 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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Also posted in Getty Foundation, Paintings, Philanthropy

The Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Ghent Altarpiece - Brooch detail

It is now possible to zoom in to the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works of art in the world, thanks to a newly completed website focused on the Ghent Altarpiece. A stunning and highly complex… More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Looking at Apulian Vases in a New Light

Loutrophoros / Greek, 300s B.C.

Since 2008, the antiquities conservation and curatorial departments at the J. Paul Getty Museum have been working with colleagues at the Antikensammlung in Berlin to study and conserve a group of South Italian (Apulian) vases dating to the 4th century… More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Looking Inside a Reconstructed Roman God

Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa

The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are collaborating on the research and conservation treatment of the Berthouville Treasure, the extraordinary Roman silver hoard from the Bibliotheque’s Cabinet des Médailles. Almost one hundred objects arrived at… More»

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Also posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Madonna and Child Visit from Hearst Castle

Madonna and Child / school of Duccio di Buoninsegna

Starting tomorrow, a golden Virgin and Child from Duccio di Buoninsegna’s workshop will be adorning the Getty Center paintings galleries (North Pavilion, Gallery 201). Paintings by Duccio are astoundingly rare—there are fewer than 15 in existence, the Maestà in Siena… More»

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    • photo from Tumblr

      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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