Getty Research Institute collection

Posted in Getty Research Institute, Prints and Drawings, Publications, Scholarship

“Paper Museum” Goes Digital

Screen capture from Digital Montagny

A 19th-century sketchbook goes digital. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Join Getty Curators for #AskACurator Day on September 16

Arpad Kovacs #AskACurator

Experts are standing by. Ask them anything! More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Bringing Order to Harald Szeemann’s Unfiled Posters

Three posters from the Harald Szeemann archive
Three posters from Szeemann’s projects: 12 Environments (1968), signed by Christo; Documenta 5 (1972), designed by Edward Ruscha; and The Tendency towards the Gesamtkunstwerk (1983), designed by Markus Raetz. The Getty Research Institute, 2011.M.30

How do you organize and catalog 1,200 posters? More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

The Sun King Illuminated: An Emblem Book for Louis XIV

Escutcheon with a Landscape / Jacques Bailly
Escutcheon with a Landscape (detail) from Emblems for Louis XIV, text in French and Latin by Charles Perrault, illuminations by Jacques Bailly, about 1663–68. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 11, leaf 5

Sleuthing the symbols of Louis XIV in the Getty Center galleries. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Prints and Drawings

Louis XIV as Royal Spectator

Detail of Fireworks on the Grand Canal / Jean Lepautre
Detail of fireworks in Fifth Day: Fireworks on the Grand Canal

Louis XIV appears front-row center in two engravings celebrating his grand parties. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Scholarship

Treasures from the Vault: The Research Papers of Elizabeth Roth, Keeper of Prints and Rare Books at the NYPL

Design for Fireworks Display
This print shows the design for a fireworks display that was scheduled to take place on June 22, 1763, near the Place Louis XV in Paris; the event was in celebration of the treaties marking the end of the Seven Years' War. The display features a façade elevated on a rocky island on the Seine and topped with an equestrian statue placed under a slender arch. Palm trees, exotic animals, putti, and allegorical figures appear among the rocks, while spectators are gathered on the shore.

A life’s work devoted to the unique art of festival books. More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Prints and Drawings

Louis XIV’s Golden Dome

Facade of the Church of the Invalides / Pierre Lepautre after Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Facade of the Church of the Invalides, 1687, Pierre Lepautre after Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Etching and engraving from a bound volume of 14 prints (Bâtiments du roi, Paris, 1687). The Getty Research Institute, 1392-604

A rare print for the dome of the Invalides in Paris reflects Louis XIV’s ambitions to make Paris “a new European center of architectural magnificence.” More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

6 Questions for the Getty’s Institutional Archivist

Nancy Enneking, Head of Institutional Records at the Getty, reviews photographs with her team of institutional archivist.
Nancy Enneking, Head of Institutional Records at the Getty, reviews photographs with her team of institutional archivist.

From a model of the Getty Center to a corrupt floppy disk, it’s all in there. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Louis XIV, the Original King of Viral Media

Louis le Grand / Pierre Drevet after Hyacinthe Rigaud
Louis le Grand 1714–1715, Pierre Drevet after Hyacinthe Rigaud. Engraving. The Getty Research Institute, 2011.PR.13

The original tech-savvy celebrity. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: The Business Files of Harald Szeemann

Wine box used by Harald Szeemann to file his business papers
Szeemann's handy filing system: wine boxes. Here, Merlot + Marrakech.

Wine, meticulous receipts, and reimagined police tape in the curator’s files. More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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