About: Frances Terpak

I'm a curator at the Getty Research Institute. My areas of focus include early modern optical devices, and 19th-century photography in China, Algeria, Persia, and the Ottoman empire.

Posts by Frances

Posted in Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Remembering Lewis Baltz

Lewis Baltz, Paris, 1992
Lewis Baltz standing in front of his installation, Ronde de Nuit, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1992

The influential photographer, writer, and teacher has passed. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

1850s Tehran Revealed in Rare Photographic Album

Tehran, Entrance to Golestan Palace / Luigi Pesce
Tehran, Entrance to Golestān Palace, 1850s, Luigi Pesce. Albumen print in Album fotografico della Persia, 7 1/2 x 9 5/16 in. The Getty Research Institute, 2012.R.18, no. 2

“The album narrates multiple stories that together provide new insights into the rich history of Persia.” More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

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

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

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


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