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

Conserving the Berthouville Treasure

Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure
Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure. Plate XV in Ernest Babelon, Le trésor d'argenterie de Berthouville près Bernay (Eure) (Paris, 1916). The Getty Research Institute, 2908-151

Conservation treatment represents an important moment in the life of an object, and this is particularly true for the Berthouville Treasure, an extraordinary group of Gallo-Roman silver that arrived at the Getty Villa two years ago. In collaboration with the… More»

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

A Roman Emperor Sojourns at the Getty Villa

Wheeling the Statue of Tiberius from the loading dock at the Getty VIlla

The Roman emperor Tiberius, who ruled from A.D. 14 to 37, has something of a reputation for wanting to get away from it all. In 6 B.C., he stepped out of the political and military arena and settled for seven… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

Website Offers Insider’s View of Westminster Abbey’s Cosmati Pavement Conservation Project

The first coat of microcrystalline wax being applied to the surface of the pavement. Courtesy of Westminster Abbey.
The first coat of microcrystalline wax being applied to the surface of the pavement. Courtesy of Westminster Abbey.

The Cosmati Pavement, the incredible medieval tile mosaic floor in front of Westminster Abbey’s High Altar, where Prince William and Kate Middleton took their vows last year, was rarely visible in past due to its age and condition, but all… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

It Takes a Village: Understanding Spanish American Colonial Art from the Ground Up

Serie Reyes y Profetas de Israe / Marcos Zapata

Art history is sometimes imagined as a discipline of solitary scholars, not unlike King Solomon as depicted in this Viceregal painting by Marcos Zapata: alone in a study, poring over texts, and waiting for the moment of inspiration (perhaps divine?)… More»

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Posted in Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

Field Report from the Art History Olympics, the 33rd CIHA Congress

Program book and Anne Helmreich's attendee badge from the 2012 CIHA conference

Art history, like most other professions, relies on acronyms. CIHA refers to the International Committee for the History of Art, which is one of the oldest organizations in the profession, founded in 1930. I recently attended CIHA’s 33rd Congress in… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Research

Mars Rover Technology Helps Unlock Art Mysteries

Giacomo Chiari, head of the science department at the Getty Conservation Institute, examines the painting on the west wall in the tomb of King Tutankhamen

This coming weekend, NASA’s latest Mars Rover, Curiosity, is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet to begin two years of scientific discovery, helping scientists unlock some of the planet’s as yet undiscovered secrets. Interestingly, the same technology being… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Foundation, Paintings, Philanthropy

Rubens’s Masterful “Triumph of the Eucharist” Series to be Conserved

Detail from Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry, Peter Paul Rubens, 1625-6, oil on panel. ©Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Detail from Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry, Peter Paul Rubens, 1625-6, oil on panel. ©Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

Thanks to a two-year grant from the Getty Foundation as part of the Getty’s ongoing Panel Paintings Initiative, the Museo Nacional del Prado is now conserving a magnificent series of six panel paintings completed in 1626 by artist Peter Paul… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

In Search of the Berthouville Treasure

Map of France showing the relative locations of Paris and Berthouville

The present whereabouts of the Berthouville Treasure are not a mystery. In December 2011 this priceless hoard of ancient Roman artifacts discovered by chance in the French countryside over 180 years ago was temporarily transferred from its permanent home in the… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Looking Under Judy Chicago’s Car Hood

The back (wall) side of Judy Chicago's Car Hood

This is the second in a series of conservators’ reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. In 1964 Judy Chicago created this wall-mounted sculpture, Car Hood, from a steel car hood and traditional automotive paint. The work was on loan… More»

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      An Infrared reflectogram of a painting by Andrea Del Sarto reveals an architectural drawing beneath. Could it be a compositional underdrawing of a Pietro Perugino painting? 

      “What an odd discovery! It was one of those moments I’ll never forget. It’s humbling to realize how little we really know about major artists who worked so long ago, and a little glimpse such as this makes that all the more apparent.” —Getty Museum Drawings Curator Julian Brooks

      Read more on this discovery on The Getty Iris here.

      09/03/15

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