Monthly Archives: April 2010

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Volcano Observer: Sir William Hamilton and Mount Vesuvius

View of an Eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Peter Fabris. Hand-colored engraving in Sir William Hamilton, Campi Phlegraei, 1776.
Interior view of the crater of Mount Vesuvius, as it was before the eruption of 1767, Plate IX in Sir William Hamilton, Campi Phlegraei, 1776

As news of the erupting and disruptive Icelandic volcano has streamed worldwide, we should pause to pay homage to the pioneering work of the British diplomat, collector, and amateur vulcanologist Sir William Hamilton (1730–1803). Appointed Britain’s special envoy to the Spanish court… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Thespian Experimentation at the Villa, with Singing Frogs

The Troubadors posing in front of the Getty Villa with their fellow frog actors.

A 2,400-year-old comedy. One week to work on it. Oh yeah—and it’s a musical. The Getty Villa is a hotbed of new ideas about very old theater. In the new Villa Play-Reading Series, translations and adaptations of classical plays are… More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Elementary Teachers Share Lessons Inspired by the Getty’s Collection

Discussing student artwork at the Art and Language Arts Culminating Event on April 24, 2010

Today’s school teachers have a wealth of pressures. Not only do they tackle the day-to-day challenges of balancing good teaching with classroom management, but they must also meet the demands of high-stakes standardized testing—and, more recently, face the threat of… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

GCI and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities: Proud Parents of MEGA-J

One of many pleasant surprises: a chance meeting with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  With him are Sa'te Masa'deh and Ahmad Lash, from left.

When eight colleagues from Jordan’s Department of Antiquities (DoA) came to the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in early April, they had only an inkling of what was in store. Sure, they knew they were going to be trained on “MEGA-J,”… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Eating with the Elite: A Culinary Tour of the Machine d’Argent

La Machine D'Argent, François-Thomas Germain, French, 1754

This spring the Museum is offering a feast of tours and courses about food in art. Nancy Real and Lilit Sadoyan, two gallery teachers, agreed to give me a taste. We went straight to the magnificent Machine d’argent by François-Thomas… More»

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Posted in Publications

Visit Us at the L.A. Times Festival of Books

Come see us at booth #515

We’re looking forward to The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend on UCLA’s campus. The largest public literary festival in North America, the two-day free event is expected to draw more than 130,000 people. Anchored by bookseller booths and… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa

Seeing the Chaparral for Earth Day

View from the trail in Los Liones Canyon in Topanga State Park

Both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center have the good fortune of being adjacent to state parkland, and some of us make a point of getting out at lunch or after work to enjoy nearby hiking trails. We think… More»

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Posted in Art, Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Hidden Gems of the Collection: Reliefs

Carved Relief / Parent

We’ve asked our Museum educators, who work in the galleries and get to know the art as intimate friends, to let us in on lesser-known objects they especially love—and that we ought to explore. First up are three relief sculptures… More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Research

The Future of Art Bibliography

Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center
Daylight exterior, GRI

Today art historians and librarians from Europe and the United States are coming together at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art at “The Future of Art Bibliography in the 21st Century.” This meeting, funded by the Kress Foundation and organized… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Publications

“I Mean to Box with Love”—Classical Verse for National Poetry Month

Love, ancient Roman style: Cupids cook up perfume (love potion?) in this fresco fragment from the first century A.D.

Love, in all its glory and frustrations, its heady emotions and sheer physicality, comes alive in Classical Love Poetry, a refreshing dip into the verse of the past for National Poetry Month. Think classical poetry is stale and stuffy? Quite… 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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