About: Erik Risser and David Saunders

Erik Risser I’m assistant conservator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, conservator of the bronze statue of Apollo from Pompeii, and co-curator of the exhibition Apollo from Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze. Past shows I’ve been involved with include Reconstructing Identity: A Statue of a God from Dresden and The Hope Hygieia: Restoring a Statue's History, which reflect my ongoing interest in the restoration history of large-scale marble stone sculptures and its impact on their conservation. Aside from museum-related activities, one of my pursuits is in further developing conservation practices in the field for both architectural remains and excavated materials. David Saunders I’m assistant curator in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum and co-curator of Apollo from Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze. In 2009 I curated The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani at the Getty Villa. I'm currently developing exhibitions on Aphrodite and on a group of large South Italian vases that were restored in the 19th century. Exhibitions aside, my main research interests lie with ancient Greek vase-painting and iconography.

Posts by Erik Risser and

Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Conservation

(Re)Discovering Tiberius

Statue of Tiberius
Statue of Tiberius, Roman, 1st century A.D. Bronze, 96 7/8 in. (246 cm) high. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei - Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro

Newly cleaned and conserved at the Getty Villa, this monumental Roman statue will go on view October 16. More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Apollo’s Drapery: An Unfolding Puzzle

Antiquities conservator Erik Risser working on the Apollo’s drapery in the Conservation Studio at the Getty Villa

A new exhibition opening at the Getty Villa, Apollo from Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze, marks the completion of an 18-month conservation project that developed in collaboration with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. The exhibition presents the different aspects… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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