J. Paul Getty Museum

Eight thousand years of art on view in two locations, plus a year-round offering of education programs, music, theater, and more

Also posted in Art

Museums Based on Books: Your Nominees

Alice and Wonderland and Darth Vader
John Tenniel / gtartwork

What book would you like to see as a museum? More»

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Also posted in Manuscripts and Books

Reconstructing Medieval Bread

Baking Bread / Unknown illuminator, Belgium
Baking Bread (detail) in a psalter by an unknown illuminator, Belgium, mid-1200s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, each leaf 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 14, fol. 8v

A food historian sleuths the reality of medieval bread-baking. More»

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Also posted in Paintings

Louis Style in the Getty Galleries

Detail of frame on Fruit Piece / Van Huysum

13 gorgeous frames from the Golden Age of French frame-making. More»

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Also posted in Photographs, Film, and Video

The Man Who Photographed Ghosts

Mrs. Tinkham (detail), 1862-1875, William H. Mumler. Albumen silver print. 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum. 84.XD.760.1.7
Mrs. Tinkham (detail), 1862-1875, William H. Mumler. Albumen silver print. 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum. 84.XD.760.1.7

Meet the world’s first spirit photographer, William H. Mumler. More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

Pastels, Portraits, and Paramours

Portrait of John, Lord Mountstuart / Jean-Etienne Liotard
Portrait of John, Lord Mountstuart, later 4th Earl and 1st Marquess of Bute (detail), 1763, Jean-Étienne Liotard. Pastel on parchment, 45 1/4 x 35 1/2 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000.58

A new installation celebrates an 18th-century pastel master. More»

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Also posted in Art, Education

Back to School: Great Teachers Get Creative at the Core

Creative at the Core K-12 teacher workshop at the Getty Museum

A weeklong program helps teachers bring artworks into their classrooms. More»

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Also posted in Getty Center

A Salad Garden Grows at the Getty: An Interview with Julia Sherman of Salad for President

Getty Salad Garden
Photo: Abby Han

An installation of organic heirloom vegetables and salad greens has sprouted at the Getty. More»

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Also posted in Art

The Future of Museums Is in Our Homes: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum Manifesto

Museum of Innocence

Inside the unusual museum of the Nobel Prize-winning author. More»

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Also posted in Prints and Drawings

Walk, Look, and Learn

A Lady Walking in a Garden with a Child / Gainsborough
A Lady Walking in a Garden with a Child, about 1785, Thomas Gainsborough. Black chalk with stumping and heightened with white pastel, 20 x 8 11/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 96.GB.13

A drawing unfolds a story about 18th-century fashion and manners. More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

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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      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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