artists’ letters

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Research

Letters by René Magritte Join Research Institute’s Collection

Photo of Rene Magritte painting Les Promenades d'Euclide, 1955
© 2013 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The artist’s business dealings with gallerist Alexander Iolas are the focus of nine revealing letters from the 1950s and ’60s. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Paintings

Treasures from the Vault: Sylvia Sleigh and Lawrence Alloway, Mutual Muses

The Turkish Bath / Sylvia Sleigh
© Estate of Sylvia Sleigh

Intimate relationships visualized: the work and love of Sylvia Sleigh and Lawrence Alloway. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: Artwork by Richard Tuttle Discovered in the Archive of Galerie Schmela

Detail of calligraphy in a letter from Richard Tuttle to Alfred Schmela, 1968

As I was recently working on the archive of  the German art dealer Alfred Schmela, I discovered an unusual  mailing  sent by American postminimalist artist Richard Tuttle. Addressed to Alfred Schmela and his wife Monika in Düsseldorf, Germany, it was… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: You Look Like Hell

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Escaping the in-laws or medieval Sea World? It’s actually an extreme punishment for a dress code violation. 

      Here’s the full story:

      The Christian tale of Saint Josaphat is roughly based on the life of the Buddha in a kind of medieval game of telephone, in which the sources for the text passed through Christian circles in the Middle East in the 8th century before appearing in European versions in the 11th century. 

      Here an unsuitably dressed guest—we can see that his tattered clothing and scruffy facial hair have no place at the well-dressed gathering—is cast into the dark, open mouth of a terrifying animal. 

      To make matters worse, the story is a parable in which Barlaam, Josaphat’s Christian teacher, describes the sinful who do not make the cut at the Last Judgment.

      Holiday Lesson: Always check the dress code.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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