About: Alice Cisternino

As a gallery teacher at the Getty, I present a range of objects in different mediums and from different times to a diverse audience. Every day, I am reminded by the artworks in the museum and viewers’ responses to them that we are all part of a community, and part of a great expanse of time.

Posts by Alice

Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Question of the Week: Where Is the Line between Private and Public?

The Model Resting / Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Where is the line between private and public? Each situation has a different answer—and sometimes many different possible answers. As an example, take this painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec portrays a woman seen from above and behind as she… More»

Tagged , , , , , , , 5 Responses
Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education

Art and Power

Looking at art in the North Pavilion galleries at the Getty Center

“Focus is power,” said theater director Peter Sellars to a packed crowd at the American Association of Museums annual meeting earlier this year. Artworks can make you recognize things you instinctively knew but weren’t able to articulate. They bring ideas… More»

Tagged , , , 1 Response
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ThyCaptionBe: Warnings to the Rich & Powerful

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      It would be awesome if this was Medieval hangman, or a really awkward frat party, but it’s actually the result of a one-letter swap gone wrong in a book about the fates of the rich. 

      Here’s the full story:

      You sometimes regret what pops out unexpectedly when you open your mouth, but in this case, even the fish must have been quite surprised when a wooly lamb burst forth. 

      The stories in this text by Giovanni Boccaccio warn of the terrible fate that often awaits the rich and powerful. He uses here the example of King Polycrates, who tossed a ring into a river, hoping for good luck, and found it later in the mouth of a fish. 

      Someone got confused, though, and instead of a ring (in French, annel), what came out instead was a lamb (agnel). Apparently, neither the ring nor the lamb worked because the king was later hanged (background).

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

      08/31/15

  • Flickr