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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

Christmas at the South Pole: Conserving Sites of Antarctic Exploration

Ernest Shackleton's 1908 Nimrod expedition base, Cape Royds
Ernest Shackleton's 1908 Nimrod expedition base, Cape Royds. © Antarctic Heritage Trust, nzaht.org

“The last view of civilization, the last sight of fields, and trees, and flowers, had come and gone on Christmas Eve, 1901, and as the night fell, the blue outline of friendly New Zealand was lost to us in the… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Actor Peter Weller Discusses Renaissance Florence (and Answers Your Questions!)

Peter Weller in Padua
Actor Peter Weller in Padua, Italy

Actor and director Peter Weller is known for his many film and television roles, most famously Robocop in Paul Verhoeven’s campy classic. However, Weller’s interests go far beyond the camera—he is a scholar of Italian Renaissance art who is completing… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, 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 Research Institute, Scholarship, technology

Indian Architecture Next Frontier for CONA, Our Soon-to-Launch Research Tool

Archival photo of Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram / Kanchi, Chingleput, Tamilnadu, India

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) recently welcomed a delegation from the Center for Art & Archaeology (CA&A) of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) for a weeklong series of presentations, demonstrations of digital projects, and brainstorming and strategy sessions…. 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, Scholarship

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 Art & Archives, 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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      #ThyCaptionBe: Bonnacon

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Farting unicorn or the origin of “say it, don’t spray it”? It’s actually a magical animal from the Middle Ages…

      Here’s the full story:

      Porcupines have got nothing on this animal’s self-defense!

      According to the medieval bestiary (a kind of animal encyclopedia), the bonnacon is a creature with curled horn, leaving it defenseless against predators. 

      To compensate, it has the ability to aim and eject excrement like a projectile to distances of over 500 feet. Oh yeah, and the dung is burning hot. Doesn’t the bonnacon in this image look just a tad smug?

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

      05/03/16

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