Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Top 10 Cool Things About College Night

It was an L.A.-fest last night with students from across SoCal gathering at the Getty Center for our annual College Night. This year’s theme was style in our fair city, inspired by the show Herb Ritts: L.A. Style, and students enjoyed free street food (mmm, tacos), checked out a live fashion shoot, toured the Museum behind the scenes, and heard from artist Anthony Friedkin and curator Paul Martineau. Here’s our unofficial top ten from the night.

10. Everyone’s a Supermodel. We all looked and acted just a little more glamorous after emerging from the Herb Ritts galleries.

9. Herb Ritts-Inspired Desserts. Ancho-chile brownies and Rice Krispie treats: a commentary on Ritts’s use of black and white, or just delicious?

8. Your Art on Display. Artist John Divola and college students from SMC, East L.A. College, Pierce, and College of the Canyons collaborated on amazing photographs that were on display in the Entrance Hall. Plus…

7. Your Art Online. Divola invited College Nighters to photograph Things That Are Cool including helmets, skies, and brightly colored shoes. (Did you email your hunt pix to You totally should, because they’ll be part of an online artwork.)

6. The Fountain of the Underworld. Students from the Otis College of Art and Design made a mash-up about The Life of Art, including a game of exquisite corpse about a silver fountain that bestows eternal life…in Hell. Which brings us to:

5. Crayons! Students used crayons and colored pencils to add their ideas to the story. When was the last time you reached into a Crayola box?

4. An Otis Student Zine. More awesomeness from Otis, including pics of this bowl doing Internet memes and the first chapter of a mystery novel starring this golden light. (OTIS STUDENTS: We want to read the rest of the story! Will Isabelle find the secret wall light? Why is Grandmother so secretive?!)

3. A Taxidermied Albino Elk. The star of an awesome fashion shoot created by photographer Melanie Pullen, upstaged only by…A Fashion Model with 3-Foot-High Hair. Overheard: “I wasn’t sure if her hair was going to start spewing lava! It was so volcanically rad!”

2. High Fashion Meets Street Food. In the galleries, students chewed on thought-provoking tours about high fashion in art, the L.A. landscape, and famous faces. In the courtyard, they chewed on tacos.

1. For Students, By Students. The student committee members who helped produce the event were proud. One told us, “I just can’t believe we made this happen!”

College Night takes place at the Getty Center each spring. Herb Ritts, tacos, and the fountain of the underworld are here daily.

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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.


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