Monthly Archives: December 2012

Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Manuscripts and Books, Prints and Drawings

Lessons from the Romans on Getting the New Year Off to a Good Start

Janus-head flask / Roman
Janus-head flask, 1st century A.D., eastern Mediterranean. Glass, 3 7/16 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.474

We are in the territory of Janus, the ancient Roman god who gives us the name of our first month. Janus is the master of beginnings, as well as doors and archways (minus their hinges, a subspecialty deputized to the… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

A Partridge (detail)/from a bestiary
A Partridge (detail) in a bestiary, about 1270. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 7 ½ x 5 5/8 in. (19.1 x 14.3 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 3, fol. 38v

Illuminated manuscripts are one of my true loves, and as a treat for the 12 days of Christmas, I’d like to share just a few of the glorious things that my true love gave to me this year. On the… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Christmas Adventures, from Silver Screen to Gilded Page

Alistair Sim as Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol
Scrooge repents his selfish ways in the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol. Courtesy of United Artists

I love Christmas movies, from the moment when Natalie Wood is stunned by Santa Claus speaking Dutch in Miracle on 34th Street to Rudolph setting off with Hermey the dentist in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my other great… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

Christmas at the South Pole: Conserving Sites of Antarctic Exploration

Ernest Shackleton's 1908 Nimrod expedition base, Cape Royds
Ernest Shackleton's 1908 Nimrod expedition base, Cape Royds. © Antarctic Heritage Trust, nzaht.org

“The last view of civilization, the last sight of fields, and trees, and flowers, had come and gone on Christmas Eve, 1901, and as the night fell, the blue outline of friendly New Zealand was lost to us in the… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Art, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: William Krisel, Southern California’s Architect

William Krisel and Dan Palmer in 1958
William Krisel and Dan Palmer in 1958. Julius Shulman photography archive. The Getty Research Institute, 2004.R.10

The Getty Research Institute is pleased to announce the opening of a new archive relating to mid-century architecture in Southern California: the William Krisel papers. Processed with a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, the collection consists… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Getty Center

The Getty Center Turns 15

The Getty Center in 1997 - tram arrival plaza

Like all masterpieces, the Getty Center wasn’t built in a day. From architect selection to opening, it took 13 years. And it was well worth the wait. The J. Paul Getty Trust and all of its programs finally had a home…. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

An Ancient Curse Revealed

Curse Tablet / found in Morgantina, Sicily
Curse Tablet, about 100 B.C., found in Morgantina, Sicily. Lead, 3 11/16 x 1 13/16 in. (9.4 x 4.6 cm). Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone

One small but powerful object stands out among the artifacts excavated from the ancient city of Morgantina in central Sicily, now on loan to the Getty Villa from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone and on view in Gallery 104…. More»

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Posted in Getty Foundation, Paintings, Philanthropy, Publications

Gil de Castro, Painter of Latin American Independence Movement, Gets a Fresh Look in New Getty-Supported Publication

José Olaya / José Gil de Castro
José Olaya, 1828, José Gil de Castro. Oil on canvas, 204 x 137 cm. Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Peru, Lima. Gil de Castro Project. Photo: Daniel Giannoni

In 2008 a team of Latin American scholars led by Natalia Majluf, director of the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) in Peru, was awarded a Collaborative Research Grant from the Getty Foundation for a study of painter José Gil… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Pollarding the Getty Knuckle Trees

sycamore tree on restaurant plaza
Pruned sycamore tree branches "like jacks made of wood"

What is this strange tree, and why does it look this way? Pollarding explored and explained. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Seven Ways of Seeing “Lion Attacking a Horse”

Lion Attacking a Horse / Greek
Lion Attacking a Horse, Greek, 325–300 B.C.; restored in Rome in 1594. Marble, 150 x 250 cm. Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

In August, the Greek sculpture Lion Attacking a Horse flew over the back wall of the Getty Villa and took up residence in our Atrium. We have now lived with the sculpture for over three months, and are already lamenting… More»

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