October 12, 2010

Getty Gives Kids the Scoop on Art

"Art Scoops" helps families and teachers explore art with kids

Flower Still Life, 1614. Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (Dutch, 1573 - 1621).
Oil on copper. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES—Did you know that not long after Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder painted Flower Still Life one rare tulip bulb sold for enough money to buy a mansion? Or that when Thomas Gainsborough painted a portrait of Anne, Countess of Chesterfield, her hair was piled high on her head with the help of wire frames, cotton stuffing and little pads full of wool or horsehair? Or that 2,000 years ago, if people in the audience really liked a performance, they would snap their fingers, instead of clapping their hands?

You would, if you clicked on Art Scoops, a new feature for kids, families, and teachers at

Art Scoops provides the scoop on dozens of works of art from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, with an emphasis on fancy princesses, spooky sea monsters, kooky characters from history, and magical animals from mythology. Each Art Scoop is a quick look into a story behind the work of art for parents and kids to explore together.

"Art Scoops promotes close looking, getting parents and kids to really look at art objects to answer questions about the work," said Elizabeth Escamilla, senior manager for Museum Education. "It’s written to be accessible and fun and to encourage interactions within the family."

Although Art Scoops is primarily intended as a resource for parents, who serve as their children’s first teachers, it’s useful in the classroom as well. "We hope teachers will integrate this resource into lessons, and that families will use it to spark interest and curiosity before a visit to the Getty," said Escamilla.

Art Scoops are divided into categories: Stylish, Fresh, Spooky, Magical, Kooky, Colorful, Fancy, and Lucky. Each category contains a half dozen or so works of art with engaging descriptions written for kids. Readers will learn that a 19th-century chandelier also served as an aquarium for goldfish, and that a ghost is an invisible character in a manuscript painting of three people staring at what looks like an empty space.

In fact, readers of Art Scoops may know more than most visitors to the museum. "We’ve included some surprises, and some information you won’t find in the wall text or the audio guides," said Escamilla. "This is the real inside scoop."

To get the scoop, visit and enter "Art Scoops" into the search feature.

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Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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