Art, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Digital Display: Student Scavenger Hunt on View

"Brightly Colored Shoes" from the Digital Scavenger Hunt

The Getty Museum is full of fabulous furniture, splendid sculpture, and of course, powerful paintings. What if you were asked to hunt for some of the most interesting details and objects in these works of art? Would you be able to look closely, think fast, and snap a cool photo? That was the mission given to students participating in artist John Divola’s “Digital Scavenger Hunt” at the Getty Center.

Students, ranging from second graders at Hooper Avenue Elementary to photography students from Santa Monica College, East Los Angeles College, Pierce College, and College of the Canyons, scoured the Getty collections and site photographing a variety of subjects including skies, brightly colored shoes (yes, they even photographed visitors with colorful kicks), gold and silver, heads with hats and helmets, plates, bowls, vases and doorways. Their goal was to create collaborative works of art made up of many personal, individual views.

After the hunt was over, the images were grouped by subject and printed as large-scale, collective photographs. You can see the resulting works in a new installation located in the Museum Entrance Hall.

The Digital Scavenger Hunt photos on display in the Museum Entrance Hall at the Getty Center

This playful project encouraged students to explore the medium of photography while engaging with works of art in new and creative ways. The “Digital Scavenger Hunt” was developed as part of the Getty Artists Program, an ongoing initiative that engages contemporary artists in collaborative projects at the Getty.

In addition to the work on view, there is also an exciting online component on the Getty Artists Program website. Here, you can see all of the work from the project and zoom in realllly close on each of the collages, to spot the little details that make them so unique.

Visitors can zoom in on details of the artwork, such as this piece that features hat and helmets

Congratulations to all the digital dudes and divas involved in the project! Like some of their favorite artists, students will now be able to say that their work is exhibited at the Getty!

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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.


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