preparators

Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings

Behind the Scenes with J.M.W. Turner’s “Modern Rome”

framing_a_masterpiece

How long does it take to install a painting in the Museum, from loading dock to gallery wall? For J.M.W. Turner’s Modern Rome—Campo Vaccino, the answer is seven days: really busy days, with lots of people working together to make… More»

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

A Tribute to Bruce Metro, Head of Preparations, On His Retirement

Bruce Metro (far left) with some of his staff looking at an early model for the Getty Center.

On the occasion of head preparator Bruce Metro’s retirement today from the Getty Museum after 31 years, chief registrar Sally Hibbard and senior conservator for antiquities Jerry Podany, also longtime Getty employees, sat down to discuss Bruce’s impact on the… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

Career Profile: Marcus Adams, Antiquities Preparator

marcus_adams

This is the second in our series of Q&As on arts careers. We return from conservation in the field to discuss the behind-the-scenes work of a preparator. What do you do at the Getty? I’m a preparator—I set up and… More»

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

      09/17/14

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