About: Roger Howard

I’m a museum technologist, pythonista/djangonaut. panographer, and woodworking enthusiast. As software architect at the J. Paul Getty Museum, I design and build virtual theme parks with the online collection.

Posts by Roger

Posted in Antiquities, Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Publications

Developing an Online Scholarly Museum Catalogue

Lollypop Viewer
A glimpse of the disabled "lollipop" viewer with Pendant: Divinity Holding Hares, Etruscan, 600–550 B.C. Height: 97 mm; width: 64 mm; depth: 24 mm; Diameter of suspension holes: 2.5 mm; Weight: 76 g. Gift of Gordon McLendon. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 77.AO.82

We just launched our first online scholarly catalogue, Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum, available at museumcatalogues.getty.edu/ambers. This catalogue was a collaborative effort between our Publications team, the Museum’s curatorial and conservation staff, and the department I… 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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