One of the bullet points in my job description should really be: to meet with interesting people.
As head of the J. Paul Getty Trust, I am constantly meeting smart people working on a range of interesting projects: the conservation of Roman mosaics in North Africa; the art historical and anthropological interpretation of the materiality of Buddhist art; the analysis of the impact of the environment on the physical properties of works of art; how artists and art historians see ancient Greek sculpture differently; how art historians are rethinking the nation-based structure of their research; how conservators are approaching the conservation of archaeological sites from Herculaneum outside Naples to Dunhuang in the far west of China; how the application of neural networks can be applied to the investigation of visual properties of paintings; the list goes on.
Everyone has a story or idea to share, and at the Getty, we have the exciting and challenging role of finding different ways to share these stories and ideas with you. Through our exhibitions, research programs, public programs, publications, and social media, we’re always searching for new and different ways to share stories and ideas with all of our audiences near and far.
Over the past several months I’ve been talking with scholars, curators, conservators, architects, artists, and authors about their recent projects, how they became interested in their field, and anything else I can learn from them about the range of questions facing our field and the work of the Getty—all with a microphone in hand. And so I thought I’d share these conversations broadly with others. That was the beginning of our podcast, Art + Ideas.
Art + Ideas launches today, and we plan to release a new episode every other Wednesday. Here’s a taste of what the podcast sounds like:
Speaking with these folks has been inspiring. I listen to a lot of podcasts during my commute and when I’m on the exercise bike in the morning. The portability and intimacy of podcasts make it an appealing medium—no matter where I go or what I’m doing, stories and ideas from around the world are only a download away.
This season, look forward to a conversation about André Malraux and the emergence of the illustrated art book, follow along on the development of an exhibition included in our Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, delve into the David Tudor Archives at the Getty Research Institute, and more. I hope you’ll join me and listen along on your commute, the next time you’re at the gym or on an airplane, or wherever your curiosity about art and ideas strikes you.