Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Artwork in three dimensions and a variety of media, from ancient bronzes to Neoclassical marbles; plus furniture, porcelain, paneled rooms, and other decorative objects of great artistry

Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Physiognomy, The Beautiful Pseudoscience

Untitled / Ken Gonzales-Day

What do the expressions “highbrow” and “lowbrow” have in common with saying a woman has “mousey” features? What does Homer Simpson have to do with photographs of sculpture in profile by contemporary artist Ken Gonzales-Day? All are contemporary manifestations of… More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Victims of Soicumstance: My Automatic Visual Reactions to Messerschmidt

Untitled (Big Man) / Ron Mueck

A room full of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s Character Heads—currently at the Getty Center as part of the exhibition Messerschmidt and Modernity—may be the best place in L.A. right now to observe neurobiological reactions to human expression. The heads are not… More»

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Also posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Waxing and Waning of Summer in Decorative Arts & Sculpture Conservation

Applying a protective wax coating to Jack Zajac's Big Skull and Horn in Two Parts II

Every Monday—when the Museum is closed to visitors and Getty staff soldier on despite the closure of the coffee carts—the Getty’s outdoor sculptures get washed and rinsed of the week’s helping of dirt, pollution, bird guano, and spider webs. This… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

18th-Century Art for the 21st-Century Classroom

Participants at the Getty Museum's Art and Language Arts alumni event - August 11, 2012

Students are often lectured at, asked to receive information and not question what is being said. As a college student, I’ve experienced this first-hand. This summer, I got to explore more creative approaches to learning as part of the team… More»

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Also posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Strange and Wonderful Vase at Family Art Lab

Vase - detail of cast-bronze snails / Jean-Desire Ringel d’Illzach

This summer I’ve been helping to facilitate Family Art Lab, a weekend program at the Getty Center that combines a gallery exploration with hands-on art making in the Museum Courtyard. Through September 2, we’re offering a two-part experience centered around… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa

Installing “Lion Attacking a Horse” at the Getty Villa

Lionsculpture_lg
Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

The massive sculpture of a Lion Attacking a Horse hasn’t left Rome in over 2,000 years, but it feels right at home sitting in the Atrium of the Getty Villa. The giant marble, on loan through January 2013 as part… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Curator’s Diary: Installing “Messerschmidt and Modernity”

Alabaster busts by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt in Messerschmidt and Modernity at the Getty Center

No amount of preparation over the life of an exhibition–from conception to development through implementation and finally installation–prepares you for the moments of surprise and delight as objects arrive from lenders and are uncrated and placed in the galleries. The… More»

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Also posted in Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Case of the Broken Wax Banana

Untitled with broken peel / Robert Graham

This is the third in a series of conservators’ reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. Robert Graham’s sculpture Untitled came to the Museum last October for Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture 1950-1970. It’s a small wax banana resting… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

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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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation

Art with an On-Off Switch: Restoring Stephan von Heune’s Tap Dancer

Tap Dancer by Stephan van Huene, with base panels removed to reveal components inside base

This is the first in a series of conservator’s reflections on artworks in Pacific Standard Time. Stephan van Huene is recognized for his acoustical sculptures—which he called “machines”—that combine movement and sound. With the flip of a switch, the sculpture… More»

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      This is a portrait of a prisoner.

      A political prisoner at the time of the Reign of Terror in France, Andre-Antoine Bernard here is posed and styled with severity and strength. He was eventually exiled for voting to execute Louis XVI. But this defiant portrait lives on.

      Portrait of Andre-Antoine Bernard, July 24, 1795, Jacques-Louis David. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      08/22/14

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