About: Ruth Cuadra and Suzanne Michels

About Ruth Cuadra I'm an application systems analyst in the Information Systems department at the Getty Research Institute (GRI). I provide systems support and development for the GRI’s Provenance Index and other databases of art historical information. I'm also part of a team developing a new search engine that will improve online access to the GRI's resources. In May 2010 I received my master’s degree in Museum Studies from John Hopkins University, and I recently completed strategic foresight training through the California Association of Museums (CAM). I'm now serving as co-chair of CAM's newly formed Foresight Committee, created to research current trends, provide findings, and generate and facilitate discussion in order to define strategies for assuring more sustainable futures for California museums. About Suzanne Michels I'm a software developer and have been consulting with GRI Information Systems department since January 2011. I created the text-processing algorithms used to parse data from electronic renditions of WWII-era German auction catalogs. Currently I’m developing methods for automating the handling of bibliographic data for entry in the Getty Research Portal—an interesting and challenging endeavor! My prior work includes development of defense-industry system simulations and commercial software.

Posts by Ruth Cuadra and Suzanne

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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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