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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Looking Under Judy Chicago’s Car Hood

The back (wall) side of Judy Chicago's Car Hood

This is the second in a series of conservators’ reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. In 1964 Judy Chicago created this wall-mounted sculpture, Car Hood, from a steel car hood and traditional automotive paint. The work was on loan… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Pacific Standard Time Takes Berlin

PSTinBerlin: The Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, with the Kunst in Los Angeles banner flying high

Pacific Standard Time officially ended in Los Angeles on March 31, but it continues nearly 6,000 miles away in Berlin. Pacific Standard Time: Kunst in Los Angeles 1950–1980 opened at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin on March 15th. With double the… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education, Getty Conservation Institute, Philanthropy

Preserving the Photographic Heritage of the Middle East

Self-portrait by photographer Camille el Kareh, taken in Lebanon in the 1920s

We treasure our family photos because they are reminders of meaningful memories. The same can be said of the photographic collections held by institutions, for they represent who we are and where we have been. When photographs become damaged or… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

What Is 砂金石? The Art & Architecture Thesaurus Publishes Chinese Terms

Necklace with aventurine
Necklace featuring 砂金石 (shā jīn shí), also known as venturina and aventurien

The big news in the Getty Vocabulary Program is that around 3,150 records in the Art & Architecture Thesaurus with one or more Chinese-language equivalent terms, plus descriptive notes and bibliographic citations in Chinese, are now published online. The Art… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Getty Foundation, Paintings, Philanthropy

The Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Ghent Altarpiece - Brooch detail

It is now possible to zoom in to the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works of art in the world, thanks to a newly completed website focused on the Ghent Altarpiece. A stunning and highly complex… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Catalogs of Łańcut Castle Return Home, in Digital Form

Lancut Castle, Poland

The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute has recently finished digitizing historic catalogs of the library of Łańcut Castle in Podkarpackie, Poland, and making them available to the U.S. Consul General in Krakow and the director of the Łańcut… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Looking at Apulian Vases in a New Light

Loutrophoros / Greek, 300s B.C.

Since 2008, the antiquities conservation and curatorial departments at the J. Paul Getty Museum have been working with colleagues at the Antikensammlung in Berlin to study and conserve a group of South Italian (Apulian) vases dating to the 4th century… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Looking Inside a Reconstructed Roman God

Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa

The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are collaborating on the research and conservation treatment of the Berthouville Treasure, the extraordinary Roman silver hoard from the Bibliotheque’s Cabinet des Médailles. Almost one hundred objects arrived at… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Architecture and Design, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy, Publications

Unlocking the Secrets of an Ancient Fountain

“Mudmen” pose in front of Chambers I and II at Peirene, on or about July 6, 1909

Do you picture archaeological sites as dry, dusty piles of stones? Meet Peirene, an ancient Greek ruin so tantalizing that archaeologists have literally died for it. Dry and dusty this place is not. The story of the alluring ruin is… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Philanthropy

Paving the Way: Mosaic Conservation Training in the Mediterranean Region

MOSAIKON course participants at the site of Herculaneum, Italy, preparing and presenting a site exercise on planning priority conservation interventions.

The Getty Conservation Institute recently completed the first training course for MOSAIKON, an ambitious collaboration dedicated to improving the  conservation and maintenance of ancient mosaics in the Mediterranean region. Begun in 2008, MOSAIKON is a partnership between the Conservation Institute,… 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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