About: Thomas Kren

I'm acting associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum and ran the Department of Manuscripts from its inception in 1984 until last year. I've curated numerous exhibitions at the Getty, including Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (2003) and A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII (2005), and written books on manuscripts, including, most recently, Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Posts by Thomas

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

See the Book That Was Kept in Storage for 800 Years

Stammheim Missal on display in the Getty Museum galleries

One of the most exciting aspects of curatorial work is the privilege of bringing you great works of art that were rarely seen before their acquisition by the museum. Case in point: the Stammheim Missal, one of the greatest manuscripts… More»

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      What unexpected thing have you learned by working at a museum?

      The more time you take with the art, the better. 

      The first time I saw a work by James Turrell, my eyes totally deceived me. I walked into the room (Acton, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art) and saw a gray rectangle “painting,” but I was baffled and could not figure it out—I got closer and closer until my face was pressed against the wall next to it, trying to figure out what it was. When my friend stuck her arm into the painting and revealed the illusion (a square cut into the wall and lit to look flat), my mind was blown! You got me so good, James.

      Also, always offer to take a family photo for the tourists!

      What do you wish you could tell all people about yourself, museums, or life? 

      Everyone is creative.

      Emily, Education Technologist at the Getty, July 24, 2014

      07/29/14

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