Monthly Archives: December 2013

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

The Miracles at Canterbury

Thomas Becket Window / Canterbury
St. Thomas Becket Window (detail), made in 1919 from fragments of 13th-century glass, Canterbury Cathedral. Photo: TTaylor via Wikimedia Commons

Born from Thomas Becket’s martyrdom on December 29, 1170, the stained glass in Trinity Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral reveals some of the most fascinating tales of the miraculous. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

An Illuminated Christmas

Detail of Christ and Mary from the Nativity in the St. Albans Psalter / Alexis Master
Dombibliothek Hildesheim

A nearly 900-year-old nativity scene, rendered in gold and jewel tones. More»

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Posted in Getty Foundation

Giorgio Vasari’s Monumental Painting “Last Supper” Reemerges After Nearly 50 Years

Positioning the panel vertically to align the margins of the joint. Archives of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Firenze.
Positioning the panel vertically to align the margins of the joint. Archives of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Firenze.

For the first time in 47 years, the five wooden panels that make up Giorgio Vasari’s “Last Supper” are joined together again to make the artwork whole. More»

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Posted in Education

Learning from Snowflakes

deer

A seemingly simple pop-up book can be the springboard to teach kids about identity and individuality. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Scholarship

Form versus Function: Rare Journals Acquired by the Getty Research Institute

Cover, Das Interieur
Cover, Das Interieur, 1904, Vol. 5, Part 2 (July–December). The Getty Research Insitute, 88-S330

New acquisitions provide researchers crucial context for two key international art movements—Jugendstil and Concrete Art. More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Art

Architecture as Art in Culver City

BeehiveHoriz

“Public art can contribute to defining a city’s identity and to unifying its vision,” and buildings contribute to this identity too! More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

Rings of Fire: Research at Synchrotron Facilities

Synchrotron Research Center
Late night at the Synchrotron Research Center in Stoughton, WI.

Conservation science never sleeps! And sometimes conservation scientists don’t either. What is it like to run experiments during the graveyard shift? More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Bigger Than Ourselves: Episcopal Priest Dr. Gwynne Guibord on Finding the Sacred through Art

Panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 117880. Colored glass and vitreous paint; lead came. Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury
Panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 1178–80. Colored glass and vitreous paint; lead came. Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

“All space, all beings, and all creation is sacred—but we don’t walk through life seeing it that way. Art offers a transition, helping us leave behind the secular world and move into a sacred place.” More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education, Getty Conservation Institute

Boot Camp for Conservators Explores X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

XRF analysis of The Title Makers / Alfred Jensen
Artwork: Yale University Art Gallery

In a joint Yale-Getty program, conservators learn to harness physics to analyze art. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Voices

Encounters with Indigenous Mexico | Getty Voices

The Zocalo, Mexico City / Cartas de relacion
The Zócalo, Mexico City's main square, depicted soon after the Spanish Conquest. Detail from Tenochtitlan, woodcut in Hernán Cortés, Cartas de relación (Nuremberg, 1524). The Getty Research Institute, 93-B9631

“There is so much to think over that I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not even dreamed about.” More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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