Hello, I work here.

so my workstation is pretty… working. it’s basically on a nice workbench with lots of books and stuff all around me. over in the corner is a fume hood, a gigantic sign that says “FLAMMABLE, KEEP FIRE AWAY”, “NOTICE: SPILL KIT”, and a gigantic sink with lots of beakers and droppers drying all around it. there is this sick 18th century european furniture sitting waiting to be conserved near me that’s black but painted with gold leaf, depicting china. tomorrow i have my chemical safety training so i can work with the solvents on monday… they kept pointing me out awkwardly during the general safety training session (which basically taught us ergonomics, and to wear gloves when dealing with blood in case of bloodborn pathogens) and saying how i get to deal with all this flammable material… so sweet!

so now i’m on my own for about an hour. i have a gigantic window right next to me that looks out onto the bel air side of the getty. There is a vineyard up in them thar hills! It’s nice to have a window. I visited some other peoples’ cubicles and, while somewhat spacious for the 10 week intern, they dont have the cool stuff i’m doing, or the nice huge window. from my secondary supervisor’s station i can see my boyfriend’s old dorms at UCLA, and royce and all that ucla jazz, out past to hollywood and south bay. i have a nametag above my desk on this giant bookshelf that is fastened to the wall to make it official.

my dept. is currently installing a new exhibit of french bronzes from the Lourve. i went upstairs, and even though the exhibit is opening on monday, everything is still in crates! i learned about all the logistics of moving priceless pieces of art, like how they specially make crates for each and every piece, how the foam is packed, how it’s mounted if it’s a statue… they have seismic mounts that have springs and stuff. no other museum has to do this except for the getty because of the nature of the geology in california… each set of springs (there are four- two that bisect the other two) so the mounts move freely in all four directions. they have steel clips and stuff too that blend in really well unless you’re looking for them. there are a couple pieces that were out that were phenomenal– one of a gigantic interpretation of mt. olympus and its greek gods, one of a GIGANTIC FOOT, and a bronze cast piece of wall art. the foot is really huge. like about 4 feet long, 2.5 feet wide. the rest of the equestrian statue was melted down in the french revolution to be used for cannonballs and stuff, but they kept the foot (of louis XIV) to show the scale of how huge the statue was. the wall art had an interesting installation story: it weights about 1,000 lbs, and had to be lifted by a crane with two straps, fastened to the wall with clips, and then has a pedestal to rest on as well.

everyone is running around a lot– i seemed to have started at their busiest period. the show opens on the 23rd, but i hope i’ll be chugging along by then.

–Sarah Butler


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