Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Boo! Don’t Look Now, But I See a Ghost

Mrs. Chapin oil merchant & his spirit wife & babe recognized / William H. Mumler

In the 1860s, an era fascinated with spiritualism—spirits, the supernatural, messages from the Great Beyond—a small-time engraver named William Mumler realized he could apply the latest technology of his day, photography, to create “spirit photographs.” Almost a visual séance, Mumler’s… More»

Also tagged , , , , 2 Responses
Posted in Art, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Question of the Week: Fake vs. Real—Does It Matter?

Cabinet, French, 1580 - details of the wood carving and metal ornaments

Question of the Week is a series inspired by our Masterpiece of the Week tours, offered daily at 4:00 p.m. Featuring an open and upbeat discussion among visitors and gallery teachers, the tours feature a new object and pose a… More»

Also tagged , , , , , , , , 12 Responses
  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #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.


  • Flickr