About: Kenneth Lapatin

I'm associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, specializing in Greek and Roman art. In 2009 I curated the exhibition Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems at the Getty Villa and was guest curator of Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Currently I'm developing exhibitions on the modern reception of Pompeii and other sites destroyed by Mount Vesuvius, a Roman silver treasure from France, and monumental Hellenistic bronze statuary.

Posts by Kenneth

Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

In Search of the Berthouville Treasure

Map of France showing the relative locations of Paris and Berthouville

The present whereabouts of the Berthouville Treasure are not a mystery. In December 2011 this priceless hoard of ancient Roman artifacts discovered by chance in the French countryside over 180 years ago was temporarily transferred from its permanent home in the… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Research

Deciphering the Getty Hexameters

hexameters_workshop
Jens Daehner, associate curator of antiquities (left), and Sarah Morris, professor of classics and archaeology at UCLA (right), take a close look at the Getty Hexameters.

Scholars from as far away as England and Holland and as near as Westwood recently gathered at the Getty Villa to decipher and discuss an enigmatic ancient Greek text inscribed on a now-fragmentary lead tablet. These so-called “Getty Hexameters” date… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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