About: Cathy Carpenter and Alice Cisternino

Cathy Carpenter I'm an education specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Alice Cisternino I'm a gallery teacher at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum

In Studio: John Mason

Artist John Mason in his studio, January 8, 2012

On January 8 sculptor John Mason opened his studio and shared insights into his creative process with us and a group of eager participants. The event was part of “In Studio,” a program we in the Museum’s Education Department organized… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum

In Studio: Larry Bell

Larry Bell in his studio, January 22, 2012

Artist Larry Bell creates sculptures that play with optical effects, light, and perception. He opened his studio and shared creative insights into his creative process last January 22 as part of “In Studio,” a program we in the Museum’s Education… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum

In Studio: Ed Moses

Ed Moses in his studio, December 18, 2011

Artist Ed Moses opened his studio and shared insights into his creative process last December 18 as part of In Studio, a program we in the Museum’s Education Department organized featuring six artists whose work is included in the exhibition… 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 I heard 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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