hidden gems

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

The Drawing That Once Hung in Thomas Jefferson’s Parlor

The Fright of Astyanax (Hector Bidding Farewell to Andromache), Benjamin West, 1797. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.GG.722
The Fright of Astyanax (Hector Bidding Farewell to Andromache), Benjamin West, 1797. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.GG.722

An American has slipped his way into exclusive British company—the exhibition Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings, opening July 19. Owned for years by Thomas Jefferson, admirer of all things classical, this pen-and-ink by Pennsylvania-born artist Benjamin West depicts a… More»

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

Hidden Gems of the Collection: Paintings That Keep Us Guessing

Head of a Woman / Michael Sweerts
Head of a Woman / Michael Sweerts

We continue our look at intriguing but lesser-known works from the Getty’s collection with two more off-the-beaten-path tips from Museum educators. In a previous post we looked at three relief sculptures; now we turn to two lovingly detailed paintings that… 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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      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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