gallery programs

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Looking at Gérôme’s “Pollice Verso”

Pollice Verso: Detail of vestal virgins in the stands / Gerome

Visitors are captivated by The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme.  I met a couple from Miami who were so intrigued by a review of the exhibition in The Art Newspaper that they decided to fly to L.A. to see it. … More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Villa

Museum Educators Get Creative with Focus Tours

Gallery teacher Amber Wells leads a discussion in the Athletes and Competition gallery at the Getty Villa.

Three o’clock is a good time to be at the Getty Villa. Depending on the time of year, the afternoon light might be streaming through the haze over the Inner Peristyle, a cool fog might be blowing in over the… More»

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Posted in Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Art Circles—Better than Bowling

The Angel Appearing to Elijah, Ferdinand Bol, about 1643–4. Private Collection, New York
The Angel Appearing to Elijah, Ferdinand Bol, about 1643–4. Private Collection, New York

On a recent Saturday night, nearly 20 visitors tried to make sense of a huge, mysterious painting in the Getty Center’s Flemish gallery. Mysterious, because our leader, Lilit Sadoyan, had covered up the painting’s accompanying wall text. We were forced… 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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