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Posts Tagged ‘J. Paul Getty Museum’

Paardebloem [De Europische insecten], Merian, Maria Sibylla, 1647-1717,Transfer print, hand-colored, 1730, Dandelion, with caterpillar. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Paardebloem [De Europische insecten], Merian, Maria Sibylla, 1647-1717,Transfer print, hand-colored, 1730, Dandelion, with caterpillar. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Sometimes we work on projects and wish we could include an image from a historic resource or an image created by a famous artist to show connections or to reinforce learning. Many good ideas have been cast aside because of questions like — Where do I look for the image I want to use? How do I ask for permission to use it? How much will it cost?

The Getty Research Institute has made the dilemma of image use a little easier to manage thanks to their Open Content Program. Launched in August 2013, the Open Content Program features digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or images that are in the public domain. The database has more than 10,000 images of works of art that include paintings, drawings, artists’ sketchbooks, sculptures and much more. The Getty Museum released 4,600 Museum images in August and the Research Institute added 5,400 in October. These images can be used for any purpose. No permission is required and the images can be used for free.

Natural history artists and educators will find many items of interest in the Open Content Program. For starters, it has 1,397 images about the natural world. Included are works of art by Maria Sibylla Merian and Jan van Huysum. Users can search for artists by name, search for specific types of art (e.g., drawing, photographs, etc.) or search by topic. Searches for topics such as trees, plants, flowers, and insects will keep you busy for quite a while.

This database is large and you will find yourself clicking here, there and everywhere. If you get lost in your own search, all you have to do is click on the Search History tab at the top of the page to view your search history and to revisit subjects you have explored.

The Getty Research Institute has made art and history accessible to everyone and it is a wonderful resource for artists, naturalists and educators.

Visit the Open Content Program



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Botanical artist and botanical art collector, Tania Norris, has generously donated 41 rare books to The Getty Research Institute (GRI). The collection includes
Der Rupsen Begin (Birth of the Butterfly), a book published by Maria Sibylla Merian. Published in 1717, this book is the first book to depict insect metamorphosis and is one of the few surviving copies hand-colored by Merian’s daughter.

With the acquisition of the Tania Norris Collection of Rare Botanical Books,
The Getty Research Institute can provide future generations with a unique in-depth look at the history of botany and botanical art.

David Brafman, curator of rare books at the GRI, said “The Norris Collection offers inestimable rewards for scholars researching global botanical trade and the ensuing stimulus of cultural exchange to the trend of collecting curiosities spawned in Renaissance and Baroque European culture. Other books in the collection document the codependent progress of technologies in the history of medicine, pharmacology, and the color and textile industries from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. No less important are the opportunities to study the complex artistic relationship between physiognomy and ‘naturalism’ in visual representation, as well as developments in urban planning and landscape architecture. Ms. Norris’ generous donation enhances significantly GRI’s existing collections in such subjects and promises to transform the way art historians examine the past in the future.”

In particular, the unique hand-colored copy of Maria Sibylla Merian’s
Der Rupsen Begin (Birth of the Butterfly) from the Norris Collection will find a companion in the GRI vaults: Merian’s stunning Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam (1719), the self-published book which documented the watercolors, drawings, and scientific studies she executed and conducted while exploring the wildlife of the South American jungles. The GRI copy was featured prominently in the Getty Museum’s exhibition, Merian and Daughters, which celebrated the extraordinary pioneering contributions of the artist-naturalist, the first European woman to travel to America expressly for artistic purposes.

The Norris Collection will also prove an invaluable complement for research in landscape and still-life painting, as well as insights it will provide to conservators and conservation scientists about recipes and global trade in color-pigments and other preparations in the decorative arts.

In addition to being a botanical artist and collector, Tania Norris is a founding member of the Getty Research Institute Collections Council and also serves on the J. Paul Getty Museum Disegno Drawing Council and Paintings Conservation Council.

On the Getty accepting her books, Ms. Norris said:

It was one of the proudest moments of my life when the Getty Research Institute accepted my books for their library. I never collected expecting anyone else to think my books of interest. But now at the GRI, anyone can view them; some have been or will soon be in exhibitions and programs. More importantly, they will be preserved for generations to come.

Learn more about this wonderful contribution to botany and botanical art education at The Getty Research Institute.

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The exhibit, Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science closes on Sunday August 31st. This very special exhibit about a unique time in botanical art history should not be missed. Visit the exhibit website for more details.
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Currently available at ArtPlantae Books:

  • Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
  • Insects & Flowers: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian
  • Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science

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June 10 – August 31, 2008
Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science
Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) was a painter and naturalist who studied the process of metamorphosis. Together with her daughters Johanna and Dorothea, Merian produced the book Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname. This exhibit is located in the West Pavilion on the Plaza Level at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

July 3 – 31, 2008
Botanical Art – Drawing in the Garden
Members of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California will conduct demonstrations in the Central Garden from 1:00 pm – 3 pm on Thursdays and Sundays. You are invited to watch them work and to ask them questions about botanical art.

Nature Journaling with Kathy Dunham
Getty Drawing Hour: Getty Garden
Friday August 1, 2008
6 pm – 8 pm
Central Garden, The Getty Center
Learn how to sketch in the garden and create a sketchbook journal with artist Kathy Dunham. Free. Limit: 35 participants. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 5 p.m. Course repeats Friday, August 15, 2008, 6–8 p.m.

Family Festival Celebrating Maria Sibylla Merian
Getty Center, Plaza Level
Saturday, August 2, 2008
10 am – 6 pm
Listen to music from Suriname, make a hat out of ti leaves, create a floral broche, try your hand at natural history illustration, and watch botanical artists at work. Don’t miss out on a day of fun for the entire family.

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June 10 – August 31, 2008
Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science
Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) was a painter and naturalist who studied the process of metamorphosis. Together with her daughters Johanna and Dorothea, Merian produced the book Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname. This exhibit is located in the West Pavilion on the Plaza Level at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

July 3 – 31, 2008
Botanical Art – Drawing in the Garden
Members of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California will conduct demonstrations in the Central Garden from 1:00 pm – 3 pm on Thursdays and Sundays. You are invited to watch them work and to ask them questions about botanical art.

Collection Connection: Drawn to Flowers, Describing the Unfamiliar
Explore techniques for botanical illustration with Tania Marien and Deborah Shaw in this two-session drawing course. The first session will include studio exercises and in-gallery sketching at the Getty Center. The second session meets at the Huntington Library where participants will study and sketch plants. Complements the exhibition Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science. Course fee $45. Open to 25 participants.
Part 1: Tuesday, July 15, 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.; The Getty Center, Museum Studios
Part 2: Tuesday, July 22, 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.; The Huntington Library, Brody Teaching Laboratory

Plan Ahead for Nature Journaling with Kathy Dunham!
Getty Drawing Hour: Getty Garden
Friday August 1, 2008
6 pm – 8 pm
Central Garden, The Getty Center
Learn how to sketch in the garden and create a sketchbook journal with artist Kathy Dunham. Free. Limit: 35 participants. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 5 p.m. Course repeats Friday, August 15, 2008, 6–8 p.m.

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Be swept off your feet and travel back to the 1700’s while learning about Maria Sibylla Merian. Study the full-scale details of paintings from Merian’s Insects of Suriname. The books Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science and Insects & Flowers: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian are now available.

If you have plans to be in the LA area between now and August 31st, be sure to go to the J. Paul Getty Museum to see the Merian exhibit. If you read Chrysalis by Kim Todd or the new book by Ella Reitsma before viewing the exhibit, you’re appreciation for the exhibit will increase ten-fold.

Unable to see the Merian exhibit in-person? Then go to the Getty’s website, click on Exhibitions, and view the wonderful slide show featuring selections from the exhibit. This slide show is narrated by an art collector and botanical artist, a curator, and a historian.

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June 10 – August 31, 2008
Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science
Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) was a painter and naturalist who studied the process of metamorphosis. Together with her daughters Johanna and Dorothea, Merian produced the book Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname. This exhibit is located in the West Pavilion on the Plaza Level at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

July 3 – 31, 2008
Botanical Art
Members of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California will conduct demonstrations in the Central Garden from 1:00 pm – 3 pm on Thursdays and Sundays. You are invited to watch them work and to ask them questions about botanical art.

Friday, July 18, 2008
Beetles, Birds, and Butterflies: The Art and Science of Drawing from Nature (Part 2)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Museum Studios and galleries
Join Stephanie Schrader, assistant curator, Department of Drawings, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Museum educator Keri Jhaveri for a two-part course exploring natural history illustration. Course fee $30; $20 students. Limit: 30 participants.

Collection Connection: Drawn to Flowers, Describing the Unfamiliar
Explore techniques for botanical illustration with Tania Marien and Deborah Shaw in this two-session drawing course. The first session will include studio exercises and in-gallery sketching at the Getty Center. The second session meets at the Huntington Library where participants will study and sketch plants. Complements the exhibition Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science. Course fee $45. Open to 25 participants.
Part 1: Tuesday, July 15, 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.; The Getty Center, Museum Studios
Part 2: Tuesday, July 22, 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.; The Huntington Library, Brody Teaching Laboratory

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