Monthly Archives: August 2010

Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Paintings

Jacques-Louis David, Political Artist

Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, Jacques-Louis David, 1804

Today is  the 262nd birthday of Jacques-Louis David, the French painter best known for his austere Neoclassical paintings such as Oath of the Horatii. David was as political an artist as ever lived. He was a leader of the French… More»

Tagged , , , , 1 Response
Posted in Art & Archives, Photographs, Film, and Video

I Have a Dream

New York City from Black and White in America Leonard Freed, 1963.  © Leonard Freed / Magnum Photos, Inc.

One night when I was 10, I sat down to do some homework, reading a speech in my history book. It was just another day, just another assignment. But as I read this speech, I became confused and angry. Every… More»

Tagged , Leave a comment
Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa

Getting to Know the Gela Krater

View of Stories of the Trojan War (Gallery 110) featuring the Mixing Vessel with Greeks Battling Amazons (the Gela Krater), Greek, 475–450 B.C., attributed to the Niobid Painter. Museo Archeologico Regionale, Agrigento, Sicily

Leading Spotlight Talks was one of my many tasks as a Multicultural Undergraduate Intern in the Education Department at the Getty Villa this summer. These talks are interactive discussions between an educator and visitors about one object at the Museum…. More»

Tagged , , , , , , , : | 1 Response
Posted in Art & Archives, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Travel Postcards, 18th-Century Style

The Grand Canal, Venice, Canaletto, DATE TK. Private collection

Picture this: You’re in the 18th century taking a Grand Tour across Europe, making all the “in” stops such as France and Italy. Before heading back home, you have one final task: buying souvenirs! You’ve taken fencing lessons in Paris,… More»

Tagged , , , , , : | Leave a comment
Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

An Alternative Beauty Pageant

Young Italian Woman at a Table / Cézanne

Tonight is the Miss Universe pageant, in which contestants vied for a title and a Trump Tower apartment by donning swimsuits, evening gowns, and out-there costumes. (Update—Mexico won.) But beauty queens are just so bland compared to the women that… More»

Tagged , , , : | 3 Responses
Posted in Getty Center, Getty Foundation, Getty Villa

Summer Interns Share Their Coolest Moments, Most Surprising Lessons

Getty summer interns with Conan O'Brien

When I walked into the Getty ten weeks ago, I could never have expected all the amazing experiences that I’d have this summer as the intern in the Web Group. During my internship, I’ve done everything from interviewing Getty staff for… More»

Tagged , , , Leave a comment
Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, Getty Research Institute, Scholarship

Career Profile: Patricia Harpring, Managing Editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program

Patricia Harpring

What do you do at the Getty? I manage the Getty Vocabulary Program. You probably want to know what that is! We compile databases of terminology that allow people to catalog art and to retrieve information about it. I’ve worked… More»

Tagged , , , , : | 3 Responses
Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education

Art and Power

Looking at art in the North Pavilion galleries at the Getty Center

“Focus is power,” said theater director Peter Sellars to a packed crowd at the American Association of Museums annual meeting earlier this year. Artworks can make you recognize things you instinctively knew but weren’t able to articulate. They bring ideas… More»

Tagged , 1 Response
Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, People & Places

You Asked, We Answered: The Mystery Plant Is…

Spanish flag in the Central Garden at the Getty Center - close-up of foliage

“What’s that?” is a common question in the Central Garden, a place full of exotic and curious plants. “James Cameron must have come here when he was dreaming up Avatar,” I recently overheard a visitor say while pointing to some… More»

Tagged , , 5 Responses
Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Trust

The Museum of Hidden Talents

Stilwalking at the Getty Underground opening

One of the coolest parts about working at the Getty is discovering the many artistic talents of your coworkers—the curator who bakes professional-quality wedding cakes, the project manager who hulas, the software engineer who writes environmental poetry. Everyone is just… More»

Tagged 2 Responses
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ProvenancePeek: Titian in Boston

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, in the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, is no exception. The MFA carefully details the painting’s Italian provenance on its collection page, but the path of this object even since then is complex.

      Between 1901 and 1907, Portrait of a Man Holding a Book entered the stock of no less than three galleries, purchased from the Italian family who owned it first by Agnew’s in London, then by Trotti in Paris, and then by Cottier in New York (marking its movement from the Old World to the New). A collector purchased it from Cottier, and the painting was held privately for 36 years.

      That collector was Frederick Bayley Pratt (1865–1945), son of Charles Pratt, oil magnate and founder of the Brooklyn Institute that bears his family’s name (incidentally, this writer’s alma mater!). 

      The Knoedler Gallery dealt frequently with members of the Pratt family. A quick peek into the searchable database of Knoedler’s stock books turns up nine instances in which a Pratt (Charles and Mary, Frederick’s parents, or Herbert and John, his brothers) bought works, as well as five instances where they sold works. This Titian portrait is one of those instances. Frederick Pratt sold the work to Knoedler in early April of 1943, and by the 10th, it had been snapped up by the Museum of Fine Arts.

      Knoedler shared the sale with Pinakos, an art-dealing concern owned and operated by Rudolf J. Heinemann. Purchasing works in tandem with other dealers was a widespread practice amongst powerful art galleries of the time; nearly 6,000 records in the Knoedler database had joint ownership.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database that anyone can query for free. You can find this Titian under stock number A2555.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, about 1540, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Charles Potter Kling Fund. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; stock and sales books documenting the painting’s sale by M. Knoedler & Co.

      _______

      ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archive at the Getty Research Institute.

      04/29/16

  • Flickr