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 Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

“Not Like a Coward”: Remembering a Warrior’s Death

Gravestone of Pollis / Greek
Gravestone of Pollis, Greek, made in Megara, about 480 B.C. Marble, 60 1/4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 90.AA.129

The intimate association between being remembered and risking one’s life on the battlefield lies at the heart of Homer’s Iliad. The preeminent warrior Achilles famously chose to die young in battle and be forever honored, and this heroic code is well… More»

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Also posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

What Time Is It? In the Collection, It’s Always 10:10

Wall Clock / Andre-Charles Boulle
Wall Clock, about 1710, attributed to André-Charles Boulle. Gilt bronze veneered with blue painted horn and brass; enameled metal; glass. 2 ft. 4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 73.DB.74

For the clocks in the Getty Museum’s collection, time stands eternally still. More»

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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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      Princess Leia hair is so totally 300 A.D.

      A proto-Princess Leia emerges from this 1,700-year-old terracotta lamp created in North Africa. 

      We may have Roman North Africa to thank for the famous Leia hairstyle, as this braided look appears on depictions of women in ancient artworks from this region, such as the terracotta lamp (left) at the Getty and the marble sculpture (right) at the Met.

      09/04/15

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