Art, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

See the Decorative Arts from a New Angle

Do artworks have an inner life? You might think so when you visit a new exhibition opening today at the Getty Center. The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display presents the life stories of four objects made to serve beauty and function, offering you the chance to examine them closely to understand how they were made, how they’ve been used, and what’s happened to them over time.

Today this silver fountain is a museum object, but 300 years ago it did dirty work washing used tableware. Mounted on a plexiglass panel to reveal its back, a gilt-bronze wall light reveals clues about its past: breaks and repairs, its time in the rooms of a certain French queen, and what it must have been like to put its 14 pieces together (take stem A, now insert panel B…no wait…).

Interactive features on iPads in the galleries, as well as online and in a free iPad app, offer a touchable tour with more secrets about each object, encouraging you to explore in greater depth.

The four pieces are presented under dramatic lighting and at unexpected angles (see the photos above, taken from a motorized lift by one of our intrepid preparators)—very different from the more traditional display in the galleries. They’re also placed at a much lower height than usual, so you can pull up a chair and—is chat the right word? I think it is.

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      theconsultingenabler:

      huntingtonlibrary:

      bookwho:

      huntingtonlibrary:

      complaintificate:

      libraryadvocates:

      libraryjournal:

      Check out a cake pan at Great Bend Public Library, Kansas

      This is amazing.

      Who says libraries are dying?

      I feel like there was another cake pan/library photo floating around a while back which was even more epic. Hanging them in bags seems much more sensible though.

      Oh man, does looking at this make anyone else hungry?

      Imagine taking that cake pan and putting gelato in it.

      stolen from the internet

      Can’t even work for the rest of the day now.

      First, huntingtonlibrary and thegetty were beautiful and magical together…until gelato came along and stole huntingtonlibrary's heart away.

      Wait wait wait, huntingtonlibrary what if we promised to fill this vase with gelato.

      It’s 9 feet high…

      Vase, 1889, Jean-Désiré Ringel d’Illzach. Bronze and copper, 107 1/2 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

      01/27/15

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