About: Jessica Portner

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Power Breakfast Inspired by a King: The 18th-Century Toilette

The Milliner / Francois Boucher

When posh Parisians in the mid-18th century greeted the day, their morning ritual wasn’t anything like our hasty shower, breakfast, and dash out the door. Their toilette, or ritual of rising and dressing, was an hours-long activity of luxurious pampering,… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

The Making of Charles Ray’s “Boy with Frog”

Boy with Frog (detail), Charles Ray (American, born 1953), 2009. Painted fiberglass, 96 1/16 x 29 1/2 x 41 5/16 in. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery

Peering up at a giant sculpture, I often wonder: How do artists construct such massive creations? Here’s a peek at the journey, from artist’s conception to the Getty Center’s doorstep, of the larger-than-life Boy with Frog, which was installed yesterday… More»

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

Walker Evans’s Havana, through an Architect’s Lens

Havana Cinema, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, XXX. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Julio César Pérez Hernández, architect and author of Inside Cuba, visits the Getty Center this Thursday to talk about Cuban architecture in conjunction with the exhibition A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now. Evans’s photographs of Cuba from… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

A Gallery Fit for a Prince and Now the Public? The Düsseldorf Gallery and the Modern Museum

View of a Room at Pommersfelden Palace. Johann Georg Pintz, printmaker; Salomon Kleiner, draftsman; in Representation au naturel des chateaux... (Augsburg, 1728), pl. 18. The Getty Research Institute,84-B21917

Most museum galleries have certain things in common. For one, the works are spaced a restful distance apart from one another on the wall. For another, they’re typically organized by school or theme. The focus might be, say, on fashion… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Getty Villa

Uncorking the Secrets to Ancient Cocktails

Patrick McGovern in his lab, sniffing out an ancient brew

Update—We’ve posted video excerpts from Patrick McGovern’s talk. See below for his discussion of Midas Touch, here for Chateau Jiahu, and here for Theobroma. What ancient brews were served at the funeral feast of King Midas, or his father Gordius,… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Paris Gamblers: Gaming in 18th-Century France

Interior with Card Players, Pierre-Louis Dumesnil, about 1752. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971 (1976.100.8) TMS Creditline Repro: 	   	Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Players of backgammon, bridge, and bingo might feel a keen camaraderie with the prosperous Parisians of the 1700s whose sumptuous world is brought to life in the current exhibition Paris: Life & Luxury. The well-coiffed elite of the time relished… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

The Nazarenes: German Artists Illuminating the Spirit of the Age

The Coronation of Charlemagne, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1840. Brown ink over graphite on paper. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009.5

In the emerald-green galleries of the exhibition Spirit of an Age: Drawings from the Germanic World, I was drawn to a cluster of quiet drawings that convey beautiful stories: miraculous healings, heroic quests of medieval knights, momentous coronations. These are… More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Research

The Museum as Classroom: Q&A with Guest Scholar George Hein

Shedding light: George Hein in the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.
Shedding light: George Hein in the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.

George Hein, a leading authority on museum education whom the Museum’s Education Department invited as a guest scholar this spring, says that museums are inherently educational. The professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences at Lesley… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mortals Pay Homage to Homer’s “Iliad,” Epic of Gods and War

A Homeric omen: A Greek wine Cup featuring a scene of an eagle battling a snake, made about 530 B.C.

Mighty sieges and human follies. The bravado of warriors and the rages and schemes of gods. The Iliad, one of the best-told epics of all time, will be heard aloud again when some 150 volunteer readers recite the ancient Greek… More»

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

Pointing East, Thinking West: Felice Beato’s Photographic View

Interior of the Sikh Temple with Marble Mosaic, Felice Beato (British, born Italy, 1832–1909), negative, 1858; print 1862. Printed by Henry Hering. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.475.7

Whether he planted his tripod in India, China, Japan, Korea, or Burma, the Italian-born photographer Felice Beato always portrayed a country’s culture through a distinctly Western lens. The Museum’s current exhibition of his work, Felice Beato: A Photographer on the… More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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