About: Arpad Kovacs

I am an assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. I received my B.A. in art history from Queen’s University at Kingston and my M.A. in art history from York University in Toronto, Canada. I worked on several photography exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. before joining the Getty in 2011. I co-organized The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design and am working on an upcoming exhibition of work by Hiroshi Sugimoto, which will open in February 2014. My research interests focus on 20th-century American and Eastern European photography and contemporary lens-based media.

Posts by Arpad

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

Simultaneous Viewing and Ray Metzker’s Composites

Chicago / Ray K. Metzker
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.1966. © Ray K. Metzker

The exhibition The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design in the Center for Photographs charts the five-decade-long career of Philadelphia-based photographer Ray K. Metzker and offers a context for his visual aesthetic through a selection of works by founding members and influential students of Chicago’s Institute of Design. 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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