About: Tevvy Ball

I'm an editor at Getty Publications and the series editor of the GCI's Conservation and Cultural Heritage series, which consists of books for a general audience on important cultural heritage sites worldwide. In the 1980s, well before coming to the Getty, I taught modern European literature and cinema—including the films of Werner Herzog—at the American University in Paris.

Posts by Tevvy

Posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Publications

Werner Herzog, Jean Clottes, and the Origins of Art

Rock art in Leliekloof, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Processions of people are typical of dancing scenes associated with altered states of consciousness. The sheep and dogs indicate that the paintings are less than 2,000 years old. Photo: Janette Deacon

I’ve long admired the films of Werner Herzog, so I was delighted to discover that his new film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, made in 3-D, is about the prehistoric paintings at Chauvet, in the Ardeche region of southeastern France. I… 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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