Monthly Archives: June 2010

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Soccer and Opera: A Common History?

depicting Florentine soccer in Discorso sopra il givoco del calcio fiorentino del Puro Accademico Alterato, Giovanni de' Bardi (Florence, Stamperia dei Giunti, 1580). The Getty Research Institute, 1370-871

The World Cup kicks off today in South Africa, and the international mania for soccer—sometimes known as “the beautiful game’’—put me in mind of one of the many interesting treasures held in the collections of the Getty Research Institute. In… More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Geoff Dyer Is Not a Bore

Geoff Dyer. Photo: Jason Oddy

When British author Geoff Dyer came to speak at Zócalo Public Square at the Getty Museum, he was prepared to be a bore. “It’s going to be the classic definition,” he said, “the bore, the person who lectures you about… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Avant-Garde Antics: The Art of Display in Postwar Los Angeles

Wallace Berman’s gallery in Larkspur. Photo by Charles Brittin. Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, 2005.M.11

How do you hold a “secret exhibition”? In 1957, Los Angeles artist George Herms did just that, setting up his assemblage sculptures among the foundation blocks of a row of demolished buildings in Hermosa Beach. The show wasn’t publicized, and… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Interpreting Sacred Scripture across Faiths

Samson Fighting a Lion (detail), Franco-Flemish, about 1270
Samson Fighting a Lion (detail), Franco-Flemish, about 1270

How do people of different faiths read, interpret, and depict the sacred texts known in the Christian tradition as the Old Testament? Come explore the question with us this Sunday as Reverend Alexei Smith, director of the Office of Ecumenical… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Prints and Drawings, Publications

Leonardo da Vinci, Anatomist

From the new book: Leonardo's exploded view of the muscles and tendons of the soles of the foot, with anatomical notes in English

Leonardo da Vinci worked for 25 years on a complete guide to the human form that would have transformed the study of anatomy in Europe. But the project was never finished and the notes were all but lost for centuries… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Think Local, Exhibit Global—Research Institute Exhibitions on the Move

Installation view of Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950-1970 at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Photo: Randy Stegmeyer

Off the tram, up the stairs and take a sharp right before going into the main entrance pavilion. Head into the building across from the Cafe. That’s where you’ll usually find the distinctive exhibitions of the Getty Research Institute (GRI)…. More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa

Exploring the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

Fruit in the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

A beautiful day and the blooming of spring brought me out of my stuffy cubicle and into the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa. As the sun streamed onto my shoulders, I inhaled the fresh sent of mixed herbs and… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center

Saturdays Off the 405 Blasts Open with Les Savy Fav

Les Savy Fav's opening song, complete with Getty umbrella

Saturday early evening in the museum courtyard. An audience surrounded the outdoor stage. The bright L.A. sunshine was softening, and a peculiar figure wove through the crowd, dressed in white linen, a neon fur cape, and a white and silver… More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit idiosyncratic. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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