In 2007 the Getty Museum acquired a landscape by artist Théodore Rousseau that experts found hard to categorize—it was more ambitious than a sketch, but far from a conventionally finished painting. Thinking about this one picture launched curator Scott Allan on a journey into Rousseau’s art that would last many years and take him to dozens of museums and collections around the world. In this audio of a talk offered at the Getty on June 23—titled “Théodore Rousseau: ‘The Sun of a Small Creation’”—Scott offers a behind-the-scenes view into the making of the exhibition that resulted from this effort, Unruly Nature: The Landscapes of Théodore Rousseau. He reveals the critical as well as practical ins and outs of creating an object list, securing loans, and formulating an installation plan.

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Unruly Nature: The Landscapes of Théodore Rousseau exhibition information

Unruly Nature exhibition catalogue

Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867) artist’s biography

I think we can begin. First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Scott Allan, associate curator of paintings at the Getty and curator of the Théodore Rousseau exhibition which just opened earlier this week. I hope some of you have had a chance to see it, and it you haven’t I would certa...