Sunday, July 24, 2016

Event 2 - Getty Center

On Saturday night I went to Night Getty Museum, where surprisingly I found an event called 'Saturdays Off the 405', produced by SPACELAND Presents. On July 23rd, Burger Records, an independent record label and store based out of Orange County, presented The Muffs, The Garden, Jessie Jones, Gap Dream, and VAJJ (some bands I guess) in a festival format across two stages. There were young people dancing, drinking and even smoking along the death-punk music and singers screaming on the top of their lungs, made an extreme contrast to the classical museum of art (I don't like it).

Running across all the crowd, I went inside the Getty Museum. I guess there must be some rules, the staffs kindly reject my request to take a picture together. So I secretly took a shot with me and a staff's back.

Among all the exhibitions I have seen in Getty, the one I could relate most with technology is photography and furniture. Unfortunately they were closed. However, I found something interesting out of expectation. Below is an Italian post-medieval painting. It fascinating how artists could combine gold and colour together. especially when those gold leaves have a special texture and gloss, sometimes even beautiful decorative pattern.

It is worth knowing that the mixing of gold and colour is extremely difficult, which sometimes can lead to disastrous outcome. Steps includes 1) Seperation of gold and paint 2) Tooling the gold and 3) Sgraffito. Sgraffito is a technique used when burnished gold is covered with tempera paint, the paint could be removed in a pattern exactly as the smoked ground is removed from an etching plate, and a design in gold and colour is resulted. Specific steps could be found in the book The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting.

I also find an interesting website that has tutorial of how to make an egg tempera panel with gold leaves:

The glass vase and utensils are my favorite in every museum. In Getty this time, a glass bottle in the shape of a soldier really drew my attention. The extreme details of the clothing, the delicate shaping of the arms and legs, and especially the little metal sword attached to the side make this piece a great combination of technique and artistic design.

Below is a regular, normal golden jar that to me, is extremely decorative (with bad taste though) and nothing functional (maybe for storing nuts, water and etc.) However, I was shocked when I read its description because it is actually used in medicinal preparations. Now I kind of hope that modern laboratory measuring cups could have this kind of artistic taste too.

In summary, Getty is always an amazing place in every visit, and each time, (if I read the collection descriptions carefully), something new can always be found. Who would've thought that I could find technology tightly combined with arts in glass section, medieval art section and decorative vases? But I guess that's the magic of this topic :)


"Saturdays Off the 405 (Getty Museum Programs)." Saturdays Off the 405 (Getty Museum Programs). The Getty Museum, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Lorenzetti, Pietro. The Crucifixion. 1320. Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Siena.
Thompson, Daniel V. The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. New York: Dover Publications, 1956. Print. 

"Medieval Egg Tempera Painting :: Step-by-step Technique." Medieval Egg Tempera Painting :: Step-by-step Technique. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.
"Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages. The Met, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.

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