About: David Brafman

I've been the rare books curator at the Getty Research Institute since 2002. Before decamping from N.Y. to L.A., I was an adjunct professor in the NYU Classics Department and resident-expert at H.P. Kraus, Rare Books and Manuscripts, one of the world's leading dealers in rare books and manuscripts from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. I came to that circuitous career path by getting a Ph.D. in classics and Arabic from Duke University (and the irresistible urge to head straight back to N.Y. the second I finished my doctorate).

Posts by David

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Research

16th-Century Album Records Social Network of Europeans in Istanbul

Leaf 119 verso and 120 recto from Johann Joachim Prack von Asch’s liber amicorum (book of friends), 1587–1612. The Getty Research Institute, 2013.M.24
Leaf 119 verso and 120 recto from Johann Joachim Prack von Asch’s liber amicorum (book of friends), 1587–1612. The Getty Research Institute, 2013.M.24

Newly acquired “book of friends” provides insight into European contact with the Ottoman Empire. More»

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Posted in Art, Manuscripts and Books, Research, Voices

The Getty Graffiti Black Book

LALiberAmicorum_earlymeeting
One of the first looks at some of the pages for the Getty Graffiti Black Book. We examined a few of our special collections volumes to compare illustrations.

A cross-century, cross-community collaboration between L.A. graffiti and tattoo artists—in the tradition of Albrecht Dürer. More»

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

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