Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Experience Art Off the Beaten Path with New Summer Tours

Gallery teacher Lucena Valle explores materials in sculpture with participants on a Daily Detour

Gallery teacher Lucena Valle explores materials in sculpture with participants on a Daily Detour.

See the Museum’s collection from an insider’s point of view with three new tours at the Getty Center offered just for summer.

Why special tours for summer? We have more visitors in July and August—and we find that you’re often feeling more adventurous during the warmer months. In response, we in the education department decided to experiment with our daily programs to include new and varied approaches that offer different ways of engaging with art.

The ever-popular highlights tour continues at 11:00 a.m. every day—it’s a great choice if you’re a first-time visitor looking for an overview of the collection. But if you’re more of an “explorer” hungering for a journey off the beaten path, join us for one of these new offerings.

Begin your adventure with Morning Masterpiece at 10:30 a.m. weekdays: a short, focused viewing and discussion of one object in the collection. It’s a great way get inspired for your day at the Museum, and the friendly educators who lead the tour can offer tips for what to see next. Plus, you can join the discussion online at our Question of the Week discussions.

Come lunch, Stark Inspiration, at 12:30 p.m. weekdays, offers a 30-minute participatory and multisensory exploration of art. You might read a poem, hear a song performed live, or make a drawing—all to illuminate the meaning of modern sculpture.

Ann Erwin and Laura Lewis present a musical exploration of modern sculpture in the Museum Entrance Hall

Ann Erwin (on flute) and gallery teacher Laura Lewis present a musical exploration of 20th-century sculpture in the Museum Entrance Hall. Photo: John C. Lewis

Come back for Daily Detour at 3:00 p.m. daily, when an educator takes you and a group of other curious visitors on a unique hunt in search of works of art that aren’t typically featured in our highlights tour.

Usually the educator leading the tour comes prepared with a topic, such as “arts of fire” or “depictions of the goddess Venus,” but sometimes visitors help shape the tour by requesting subjects or artists they’d like to explore—on a recent hunt, for example, the group sought out  examples of porcelain featured in paintings.

As always, the tours are free, no reservations required. Just bring your spirit of adventure to the Museum Information Desk, and we’ll guide you from there.

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One Comment

  1. Bryan
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Such fantastic ideas for a unique touring experience of the museum!

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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