J. Paul Getty Museum

Eight thousand years of art on view in two locations, plus a year-round offering of education programs, music, theater, and more

Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Voices

Getty Voices: Looking Closely

Using augmented reality on an iPad in The Life of Art at the Getty Museum

As the designer of The Life of Art, my job was to get you to look—really look. More»

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Also posted in Art, Paintings

Dear “Woman in Blue,” Let Me Tell You Of…

vemeer_writing_steve_featured

“You will be forgotten. Your image, however, will be immortal. Through it, you will travel far—not by horse and cart, or merchant ship, but through the sky…” More»

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Also posted in Art, Paintings

What Makes an Artist Great? Curator Scott Schaefer on Vermeer

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter / Johannes Vermeer as installed at the Getty Center
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)

Johannes Vermeer is a beloved artist. Is he also a great one? More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings

Write the Opening Line to Vermeer’s “Lady in Blue”

Detail of woman's face and letter in Woman in Blue Reading a Letter / Vermeer
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)

What do you imagine the first line of this letter might say? Share your ideas, and we’ll continue the story. More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books, Paintings

A Call to Arms! Heraldry in Renaissance Florence (And a Mystery You Can Help Solve)

virgin_child
The Virgin and Child Surrounded by Saints, between 1350 and 1365, Follower of Bernardo Daddi (possibly Pietro Nelli). Tempera and gold leaf on panel, 37 ½ x 26 in. (95.3 x 66 cm). Portland Art Museum, 61.51

Heraldry is a fascinating and complex system by which coats of arms are devised and decoded.  My familial arms—yes, my family has a coat of arms, and yours may have too—are composed of an intricate grouping of objects, including a… More»

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Also posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations

Church Pews and iPads? Designing “Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance”

Installation view of Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance showing pews and iPads
Installation view of Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance showing the design treatment for a gateway object, Giotto's Peruzzi Altarpiece from about 1309–15. (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, GL.60.17.7). At left, The Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul, about 1330, Bernardo Daddi. The J. Paul Getty Museum. At right, the Carmina regia manuscript, about 1335–40, Pacino di Bonaguida. The British Library

When we first started planning for the design of Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance in the fall of 2011, we faced a major challenge: how to deliver the wealth of information we wanted to convey about the artworks…. More»

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Also posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

A Partridge (detail)/from a bestiary
A Partridge (detail) in a bestiary, about 1270. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 7 ½ x 5 5/8 in. (19.1 x 14.3 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 3, fol. 38v

Illuminated manuscripts are one of my true loves, and as a treat for the 12 days of Christmas, I’d like to share just a few of the glorious things that my true love gave to me this year. On the… More»

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Also posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books

Christmas Adventures, from Silver Screen to Gilded Page

Alistair Sim as Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol
Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol. Courtesy of United Artists

I love Christmas movies, from the moment when Natalie Wood is stunned by Santa Claus speaking Dutch in Miracle on 34th Street to Rudolph setting off with Hermey the dentist in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my other great… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

An Ancient Curse Revealed

Curse Tablet / found in Morgantina, Sicily
Curse Tablet, about 100 B.C., found in Morgantina, Sicily. Lead, 3 11/16 x 1 13/16 in. (9.4 x 4.6 cm). Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone

One small but powerful object stands out among the artifacts excavated from the ancient city of Morgantina in central Sicily, now on loan to the Getty Villa from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone and on view in Gallery 104…. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Seven Ways of Seeing “Lion Attacking a Horse”

Lion Attacking a Horse / Greek
Lion Attacking a Horse, Greek, 325–300 B.C.; restored in Rome in 1594. Marble, 150 x 250 cm. Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

In August, the Greek sculpture Lion Attacking a Horse flew over the back wall of the Getty Villa and took up residence in our Atrium. We have now lived with the sculpture for over three months, and are already lamenting… More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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