About: Peter Tokofsky

I'm an education specialist for academic and adult programs at the Getty Museum. That's a roundabout way of saying I organize the public lecture series for the Getty Center, and work with local college faculty to engage students with our collections and exhibitions. I'm also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA, and lead a travel study program to Vienna and Berlin during the summer. My primary interests are German cultural history of the past 200 years, the work of visionary artists, and the culture of museums.

Posts by Peter

Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Future of Museums Is in Our Homes: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum Manifesto

Museum of Innocence

Inside the unusual museum of the Nobel Prize-winning author. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Being Jewish in Austria: Four Questions for Writer and Critic Ruth Kluger

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

This Sunday the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Museum are teaming up to present Arthur Schnitzler and Vienna 1900. The program begins with a staged reading of Arthur Schnitzler—Being Jewish. Based on the journals and correspondence of renowned Austrian… More»

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Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Tonight: Peter Greenaway on Cinema and Art History

Peter Greenaway. Phot: Dennis van Doorn

Filmmaker Peter Greenaway speaks at the Getty Center tonight as part of our Getty Perspectives lecture series, which invites distinctive artists and scholars to offer their perspectives on the visual arts. I’ve long wanted Peter Greenaway to be part of… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

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

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

      #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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