Getty Conservation Institute

Dedicated to advancing conservation practice around the world

Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Conservation Tools: Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Portrait of scientist Herant Khanajian in a Getty Conservation Institute lab with an FTIR machine
Herant Khanajian in a Getty Conservation Institute lab with an FTIR machine

This technique allows conservation scientists to identify materials from the tiniest of samples. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Conservation Tools: The Universal Testing Machine (UTM)

Associate Scientist Beril Bicer-Simsir placing a building material sample in the Universal Testing Machine.
Associate Scientist Beril Bicer-Simsir placing a building material sample in the Universal Testing Machine.

One machine to test them all! More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes

Thirty Years of Advancing Conservation Practice

Scientist works in a lab with acrylic paint
In 2007, the Conservation Institute began scientific research in modern artists materials, including paints and plastics.

A look back at the first 30 years of the Getty Conservation Institute, which turns 30 in 2015. More»

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Also posted in Art, Getty Foundation

Conserving Mosaics in the Middle East and North Africa, A MOSAIKON Trainer’s Account

mosaikon-1
A participant in 2014 MOSAIKON training workshop organized by the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (CCA) and supported by the Getty Foundation conserves a second-century Roman mosaic

A conversation with mosaics expert Roberto Nardi about conservation training. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Conservation Tools: The USB Digital Microscope

Conservators learn how to perform analysis of biological growth in a cemetery in Rome during the International Course on Stone Conservation. Photo: Scott Warren for the GCI
Conservators learn how to perform analysis of biological growth in a cemetery in Rome during the International Course on Stone Conservation. Photo: Scott Warren for the GCI

The USB microscope: portable, high-tech, and high-powered. More»

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Also posted in Conservation, Getty Foundation

Advancing Conservation Practice, One Intern At a Time

Former intern Elsa Bourguinon with GCI’s Tom Roby working on the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copán, Honduras in 2001. Photo: Richard Ross
Former intern Elsa Bourguinon with GCI’s Tom Roby working on the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copán, Honduras in 2001. Photo: Richard Ross

Graduate internships at the Getty Conservation Institute offer training in both conservation and leadership. More»

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Also posted in Conservation

Google Summer of Code Pairs Up with Arches Project

Google Summer of Code Intern Palash Oswal (left) at an week-long Arches community workshop held in the UK this summer.
Google Summer of Code Intern Palash Oswal (left) at an week-long Arches community workshop held in the UK this summer.

Two Google-sponsored interns combine their interests in cultural heritage and tech development to work on this open-source software system More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Conservation Tools: The GC/MS Instrument

Joy Mazurek of the Getty Conservation Institute with a GC/MS instrument
Joy Mazurek of the Getty Conservation Institute explaining what happens inside the GC/MS instrument during analysis.

This scientific tool helps conservators understand artwork from the tiniest of samples. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Ksours and Kasbahs

Detail of a wall painting in the Residence of the Caid, Kasbah Taourit, Ouarzazate, Morocco
Detail of a wall painting in the Residence of the Caid, Kasbah Taourit, Ouarzazate, Morocco

One of Africa’s most important sites of earthen architecture is the focus of an international conservation project. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations

Science Behind Glass

Getty Conservation Institute scientist Vincent Beltran working on high-tech frames
Photo: S. Warren

Santa Ana winds are no match for these high-tech frames. More»

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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.


      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour you can hear multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 

      07/29/15

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