Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa, Photographs, Film, and Video, Voices

The Transformative Outer Peristyle

“I think there is something magical about shooting in natural light.” This week on Getty Voices, Tahnee Cracchiola shares her photographic encounters with wildlife on site at the Getty. Her first photographic love was architecture photography. Her journey shooting the Outer Peristyle led to some breathtaking architecture images at sunrise and sunset, as well as a  surprising visit from a new feathered friend!


During visiting hours the Getty Villa’s Outer Peristyle is bright, green and rich with sunshine. But it doesn’t always look so saturated with color. Sunrise and sunset are ideal times to shoot landscape and architecture to get the golds and oranges of the sun rising through the atmosphere, or the pink and purple hues of the sun setting. Even the most subtle shifts in light quality can change an image dramatically.

Sunrise over the Outer Peristyle

Sunset over the Outer Peristyle


The Outer Peristyle may appear quiet and calm in these photographs. I didn’t think anything more than insects and the occasional hummingbird visited the gardens, but on one early morning I was photographing the sycamore trees when a duck landed on the side of the reflecting pool! He was like a hotel visitor lounging by the hottub…swimming, drinking, perhaps waiting for his mate. The gardeners told me that he came here at the same time every morning with his mate. But she never came. It’s a mystery that remains unsolved.

Perhaps it was a tragic love story amidst the art and the gardens that we’ll never hear the ending of. We do know that this little guy is welcome to the Getty any day of the week.

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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