Monthly Archives: January 2014

Posted in Ancient World, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

New Audio Tour Celebrates the Getty Villa’s 40th Anniversary

Doorway to the Outer Peristyle of the Getty Villa / reception area

Did you know Romans kept eels as pets and bought them…jewelry? Come stroll the grounds of this 40-year-young institution to hear that story and a few others besides. More»

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Posted in Art, Photographs, Film, and Video

David Hockney in the Promised Land

Woldgate Woods, 26, 27 & 30 July 2006 / David Hockney
Artwork © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt

“Why is vibrant color, like green, characteristic of Hockney’s landscapes of Northern England? I think it has to do with the nearly 30 years that he lived in L.A.” More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Voices

Getty Voices: Aztec Idols, Explorers, and Egyptomania

Bust of an Aztec Priestess / Jean Massard the Elder
Bust of an Aztec Priestess, Jean Massard the Elder. Lithograph in Alexander von Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique (Paris, 1813), plate 1. The Getty Research Institute, 85-B1535

How did one of the 19th century’s greatest scholars misidentify an Aztec sculpture as Egyptian? Simple: Egyptomania. More»

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Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books

A Medieval Soap Opera

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Falling in love in the Middle Ages was more of a roller-coaster ride than today’s soap operas. More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Center, Getty Villa

2014 at the Getty | Exhibitions and Events Preview

Bach from Terrain / Yvonne Rainer
“Bach” from Terrain, 1963, Yvonne Rainer. Gelatin silver print. Photo: Al Giese. The Getty Research Institute, 2006.M.24.124

James Ensor, a World War I centennial, photographs from Japan, and all things Queen Victoria this year at the Getty. 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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