gallery tours

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education

Art and Power

Looking at art in the North Pavilion galleries at the Getty Center

“Focus is power,” said theater director Peter Sellars to a packed crowd at the American Association of Museums annual meeting earlier this year. Artworks can make you recognize things you instinctively knew but weren’t able to articulate. They bring ideas… More»

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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 Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Naked or Nude? Gérôme’s Provocative Bodies


During a tour of the new exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme, curator Mary Morton stopped in front of Gérôme’s Snake Charmer and asked the audience, “What do you see?” Murmurs spread through the crowd. One brave little girl… 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 Art, Education, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Eating with the Elite: A Culinary Tour of the Machine d’Argent

La Machine D'Argent, François-Thomas Germain, French, 1754

This spring the Museum is offering a feast of tours and courses about food in art. Nancy Real and Lilit Sadoyan, two gallery teachers, agreed to give me a taste. We went straight to the magnificent Machine d’argent by François-Thomas… More»

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      William Pope.L

      Tell us a bit about how and why you became an artist.

      I used to blame my being an artist on my grandmother, but that was my younger self looking for a scapegoat. At one point in undergrad, I had a moment, a crisis where I thought it was my job to save my family and the best way to that was to be a commercial artist—but I had to let go of that. Truth be told, being an artist is something I choose every day. Of course, maybe I choose art because I’m afraid of theater—too much memorizing and being in the moment and shit.

      A lot of your work deals with racial issues—perceptions of “blackness,” “whiteness,” the absurdity of racial prejudices, the violence of it. Why do you address race in your work? Do you think art can be an agent of change?

      I address race in my work ‘cause day-to-day in our country it addresses me. Yes, art can change the world but so can Disney—so there is that. I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world? Would we allow this?

      Humor, with a touch of the absurd, seems to be an important component in your artistic practice. What role does humor play in your work?

      I like to use humor in my work ‘cause it answers/deals with questions in ways that are very unique. Humor answers questions with an immediacy and creates a productive amnesia of the moment in the receiver—but then the wave recedes, the world floods back in with its pain, confusions, and crush but the humor remains like a perfume or an echo or a kiss inside beneath one’s skin.

      More: Artist William Pope.L on Humor, Race, and God

      From top: Obi Sunt (Production Image from the making of Obi Sunt), 2015, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Gans-Nelson fight, from the album ‘Incident to the Gans-Nelson fight’ (Page 40-3), Goldfield, NV, September 3, 1906, William Pope.L. Courtesy of Steve Turner and the Artist; Tour People, 2005, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Failure Drawing #301, NYU/Napkin, Rocket Crash, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L.


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