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Also posted in Architecture and Design, Photographs, Film, and Video

Julius Shulman’s Journey to City Hall

View of Los Angeles City Hall from the Union Station construction site / Julius Shulman
View of Los Angeles City Hall from the Union Station construction site, ca. 1934, Julius Shulman. John C. Austin, John and Donald Parkinson, and A. C. Martin, architects, 1928

Los Angeles at the mayor’s office. More»

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Also posted in Architecture and Design

Women in Architecture Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the Getty Research Institute

Architect Greta Magnusson Grossman photographed by Julius Shulman in 1959
Architect Greta Magnusson Grossman photographed by Julius Shulman in 1959

Join us October 15 to improve the coverage of women architects on Wikipedia. More»

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Also posted in Scholarship

Second Half of Knoedler Gallery Stock Books Database Now Online

Relationship graph using Knoedler data displaying the nationality of artists whose work was purchased by Henry Clay Frick
Relationship graph displaying the nationality of the artists whose work was purchased by Henry Clay Frick.

16,000 new art-sales records are now online. More»

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Also posted in Photographs, Film, and Video

The Ruins of Palmyra, Captured in Vintage Photographs

Temple of Baal Shamin, Palmyra, Syria, 1864, Louis Vignes, negative; Charles Nègre, print. Albumen print. The Getty Research Institute
Temple of Baal Shamin, Palmyra, Syria, 1864, Louis Vignes, negative; Charles Nègre, print. Albumen print. The Getty Research Institute

A glimpse at Syria and Lebanon in the mid-1800s. More»

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

Dogs at the Medieval Banquet

A Hunter and Dogs Pursuing a Hare, about 1430–1440, Unknown. Tempera colors, gold paint, silver paint, and gold leaf on parchment, 10 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 27, fol. 85
A Hunter and Dogs Pursuing a Hare, about 1430–1440, Unknown. Tempera colors, gold paint, silver paint, and gold leaf on parchment, 10 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 27, fol. 85

Who let the dogs in? More»

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Also posted in Art, Behind the Scenes

A Beginner’s Guide to the Renaissance Book

Page in Liber amicorum
Page in Liber amicorum, 1602–12, Johann Heinrich Gruber. The Getty Research Institute, 870108. See full digitized book

A tour of the early printed page. More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes

Peek Behind the Scenes at the Getty Research Institute for #AskAnArchivist Day

Nancy Enneking | Ask an Archivist

What even is an archive? More»

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Also posted in Art

The Art of Sculpting with Sugar

Sugar sculptures of palm trees and nymph
Trionfi (sugar sculptures) of palm trees and nymphs, Arnold van Westerhout. Etching, 6 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄4 in. In John Michael Wright, An Account of His Excellence Roger Earl of Castlemaine’s Embassy: From His Sacred Majesty James the IId., King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, &c., to His Holiness Innocent XI (London: Printed by Tho. Snowden for the author, 1688), pl. 13. The Getty Research Institute, 83-B3076

In Early Modern Europe, sugar became its own art form. More»

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Also posted in Prints and Drawings, Publications, Scholarship

“Paper Museum” Goes Digital

Screen capture from Digital Montagny

A 19th-century sketchbook goes digital. More»

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Also posted in Art, Scholarship

Inside the Papers of Longtime LACMA Curator Maurice Tuchman

Maurice Tuchman and Henry Hopkins at LACMA, 1967
Art © The Estate of David Smith/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Inside the papers of the innovative and controversial curator. More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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