Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mayer Hawthorne’s Big Love

Mayer Hawthorne sings

With heart-shaped LPs and fizzy mint juleps in hand, energetic fans welcomed Mayer Hawthorne and the County’s dazzling retro-crooning act on June 12 at our second outdoor concert of the summer.

It was a stylish show. Mayer set the fashion bar in a black satin tux with white tipping, fat Buddy Holly glasses, and gleaming silver hi-tops. The County donned crisp black trousers and white cotton shirts, and the pretty young backup dancers, clad in black dresses and gold sandals, pinned feathers to their tresses.

The audience seemed to have heard to call to bring a bit of flair, and milled around the museum in seersucker suits, pageboy haircuts, crimson lipsticks, breezy printed dresses, and towering stilettos. A few fortunate early visitors picked up the limited edition records and tees imprinted with secret love songs not featured on Mayer’s albums.

DJ Clifton leaves his haunt the Echo fora night at the Getty.

DJ Clifton leaves his haunt the Echo for a night at the Getty. Photo: Moonie

DJ Clifton, resident spinmaster at the Echo, was a perfect match, and in his trademark dapper suiting he finessed the mood with a sweet set of funky soul.

Then Mayer hopped on stage, and brought the splashy, flashy, love-filled music bonanza he’s known for to the outdoor courtyard. As the sun faded, the lights grew electric, and Mayer turned on his charm, flirting with the crowd and choosing special souls who’d staked a stageside spot to sing straight into their star-filled eyes.

He sang about love and its inevitable counterpart, heartbreak, but always with lifted harmonies and sleek choreography. Swaying band members framed Mayer’s tambourine-laced lyrics, and then he’d sidle up alongside his vivacious, smiling dancers, the Mayerettes.

Mayer Hawthorne, dancers, and The Getty Museum

Mayer Hawthorne and the Mayerettes in the Museum Courtyard. Photo: Moonie

Adoring fans—both male and female—took note of his inspiring attitude towards youthful adventures in romance: love can have its share of pain, but you might as well enjoy the ride. And they did, filling the night with buzzing laughter and genuine verve.

Saturdays Off the 405 continues with Dawes this Saturday, July 10, then Bomba Estéreo (July 24) and the Antlers (August 28).

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      #ProvenancePeek: June 30

      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 portrait of actress Antonia Zárate by Goya is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. The records of famed art dealer M. Knoedler & Co. at the Getty Research Institute reveal its recent provenance: the painting was sold by Knoedler on June 30, 1910, to financier Otto Beit. Part of his collection, including this painting, was later donated to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. To this day the Gallery showcases some of its greatest masterpieces in the Beit Wing. This spread from a digitized Knoedler stock book records the transaction (second entry from top).

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art. He sold European paintings to collectors (such as Henry Clay Frick, the Vanderbilts, and Andrew Mellon) whose collections formed the genesis of great museums such as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Huntington, and more. Knoedler’s stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate, ca. 1805–06, José de Goya y Lucientes. Beit Collection, National Gallery of Ireland. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.


      #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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