About: Heather Courtney

I'm part of a small team processing the Artist files series of the Harald Szeemann Papers. I have an MA in photographic preservation and collections management from Ryerson University, Toronto. Previously, I was a graduate intern in the Department of Photographs at both the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. My current research interests are in the history of private photographic collections in North America.

Posts by Heather

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Alphabet Szoup

H is for Haring
H is for Haring

A look inside the artist files of legendary curator Harald Szeemann. 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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