Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

Rethinking Orientalism, Again

Les Femmes du Maroc: Revisited #1, Lalla Essaydi, 2009, chromogenic print. Image courtesy the artist

It’s been 27 years since art historian Linda Nochlin published her essay “The Imaginary Orient,” a critique of sexist and racist depictions of “brown and black folk” by Western artists such as Jean-Léon Gérôme. Back then, “I was put off… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

Enchantresses on Film

Alla Nazimova as Salome. Photo: United Artists / Photofest

The films we screen at the Getty go hand in hand with the art on view. Curating film series related to exhibitions is exciting, but it can also be challenging. How, for example, do you plan a movie event around… More»

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    • 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.


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