Monthly Archives: October 2012

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Poe-Inspired Prints by Ensor Join Research Institute’s Collection

Hop-Frog’s Revenge / James Ensor

Three prints by James Ensor have just joined the collection of the Getty Research Institute. All three were made in the 1890s, when Ensor was at the peak of his creative powers, and all contain the eerie imagery for which… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Art and Coming Out

Portrait of Keith Haring and Juan Dubose / Andy Warhol

Today is National Coming Out Day, which seeks to promote a safe world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  Keith Haring was one of the early advocates of the movement, donating a drawing of a person dancing out of… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

América Tropical Is Reborn on 80th Birthday

América Tropical after conservation in 2012. Mural: © ARS, New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City (c) J. Paul Getty Trust
Artwork: © ARS, New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Photo: © J. Paul Getty Trust

Today is América Tropical’s 80th birthday. Artist David Alfaro Siqueiros unveiled his mural to a disapproving Los Angeles on Sunday, October 9, 1932. Eighty years later his mural—L.A.’s mural—is now again publicly accessible. This is, frankly, a day that we… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Physiognomy, The Beautiful Pseudoscience

Untitled / Ken Gonzales-Day

What do the expressions “highbrow” and “lowbrow” have in common with saying a woman has “mousey” features? What does Homer Simpson have to do with photographs of sculpture in profile by contemporary artist Ken Gonzales-Day? All are contemporary manifestations of… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Victims of Soicumstance: My Automatic Visual Reactions to Messerschmidt

Untitled (Big Man) / Ron Mueck

A room full of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s Character Heads—currently at the Getty Center as part of the exhibition Messerschmidt and Modernity—may be the best place in L.A. right now to observe neurobiological reactions to human expression. The heads are not… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

New SCI-Arc Media Archive Allows Forward-Oriented Institution to Look Back

Frank O. Gehry from the SCI-Arc Media Archive

On an elegant white background, I see familiar faces, many of whom are much younger and in their prime: Charles and Ray Eames in black and white; a dark-haired, mustachioed Frank Gehry; and Reyner Banham, the keen observer of early-1970s… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

New Exhibition Offers Look Inside Pompeii’s Interiors

Detail of a transverse section of the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii / Jules Frederic Bouchet and Raoul Rochette

The exhibition Inside Out: Pompeian Interiors Exposed, recently opened at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood, provides a historic glimpse inside the houses and villas of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Drawing mainly from the photo archive of the Getty Research Institute,… 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 wacko. “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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