About The Iris

The Iris is the Getty’s online magazine. Launched in April 2010, it is written by the staff, volunteers, scholars, interns, and others at the Getty’s two Los Angeles campuses—the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu—and around the world.
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Editorial Philosophy

The goal of The Iris is to share. Through first-person perspectives, in-depth articles, and videos, we strive to offer news, stories, and discoveries about art, conservation, research, and philanthropy and to provide an entertaining and substantive behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Getty. On The Iris we share our work with you in our own words, and provide a platform for the Getty’s many voices—including those of our visitors—to be heard.

About the Title

The Iris is a reference to the Getty Museum’s best-known painting, Irises by Vincent van Gogh. The word iris can evoke the flowers in the Getty’s gardens at both the Villa and the Center; an iris is also part of the eye, and part of a camera lens. It’s how we focus, how we see. Iris is also the Greek and Latin word for rainbow, and the goddess Iris is personified by the rainbow.

The title was a result of a brainstorming challenge sent to the whole Getty staff. Ideas ranged from the tongue in cheek (Getty Up!) to the poetic (Verso, now by happy coincidence the perfect name of the Huntington’s blog). The Iris was an inspired idea from a staff member in the Getty Museum.

Farbenkugel / Philipp Otto Runge

Farbenkugel (Color spheres), 1810, Philipp Otto Runge. Plate 1 in Farben-Kugel; oder, Construction des Verhaltnisses aller Mischungen der Farben zu einander… (London, 1810). The Getty Research Institute, 85-B14127

About the Logo

The round Iris logo is a contemporary rendition of the color spheres (Farbenkugel) of German artist Phillip Otto Runge, which map the spectrum much as an explorer would chart a globe. A copy of Runge’s Color spheres, or construction of a relationship of all mixes of colors to one another… is found the Special Collections of the Getty Research Institute, and appears on posters and web materials for the Research Institute’s current scholar theme, color.

The new logo is intended to represent the diversity of topics and voices we publish on The Iris, as well as what we aspire to be: vivid, diverse, handmade, and contemporary with a boundless curiosity about the past.

About the Featured Blogs and Videos

The Iris now features videos, blog posts, articles, blog links, and other curated arts content. The Getty is just one of many interesting, diverse, and creative voices in the international arts community, and we look forward to using The Iris as an outlet to share great content from this wider community.

Our videos, links, and blogroll are carefully curated by Getty editors. If you have interest in seeing your online publication, blog, video, or site shared with the Getty community, please send a link to blog@getty.edu and we’ll take a look!

We Want Your Comments

We’re eager to hear from readers with questions, comments, critiques, and requests, and we always like to hear about topics of interest you’d like to see us cover. Feel free to leave a comment on any post or to email us at blog@getty.edu, and we’ll get back in touch.

We welcome your comments. Editors read and moderate comments daily, and we strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Comments are also moderated to ensure they are not abusive, defamatory, obscene, unlawful, invasive of another’s privacy or rights, or commercial or political in nature.

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Terms of Use
This blog is for educational and discussion purposes. Views expressed on this blog are those of the individual authors only.

Posts contain links to third-party websites. These links are provided with the intent of enhancing dialogue and offering a range of views. Some of these sites may contain commercial or political content or advertising. Third-party sites are not under the control of the Getty, and the Getty is not responsible for the contents of any linked site. A link does not imply endorsement of, sponsorship of, or affiliation with the linked site by the Getty. For more information on the Getty blog policy, see Terms of Use.

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    • photo from Tumblr


      Gold snake bracelet, worn on the wrist

      Romano-Egyptian, 3rd - 2nd century B.C. 

      Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum

      In the Hellenistic period, gold made available by new territorial conquests flooded the Greek world. 

      Combined with social and economic changes that created a wealthy clientele with a taste for luxury, this availability led to an immense outpouring of gold jewelry to meet the demand.

      Here’s a closer view of the detailing of the cross-hatching.


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