Rerelease: Émile Zola’s Biography of Édouard Manet

In this episode, curator Scott Allan discusses a biography of Édouard Manet written by author and art critic Émile Zola. Édouard Manet was controversial during his lifetime, and the account discussed here, written by a critic and novelist he knew well, provides insight into his life and his art. This biography was published last year in a short book that is part of the Getty Publications Lives of the Artists series.

During the month of January, we are rereleasing some of our most popular episodes of Art + Ideas. This episode was originally released in August 2018.

Rerelease: Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles, Part 1

In 1947, Frank Gehry boarded a train in Toronto bound for Los Angeles, his uncle picked him up from Union Station, and the rest, as they say, is history. In the first installment of a four-part series, Gehry shares stories from his first years in Los Angeles and how his interest in architecture began. Later episodes in the series explore Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles and how his practice has evolved during his seventy years as an Angeleno.

During the month of January, we are rereleasing some of our most popular episodes of Art + Ideas. This episode was originally released in June 2016.

Preserving and Conserving Gunpowder in the Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang has spent decades using gunpowder as a medium for paintings and performances. Although the explosions are momentary and ephemeral, the records of these events are works of art collected by museums around the world. When Cai began to wonder about the longevity of this unusual material, he turned to the scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI).

In this episode, the artist discusses his relationship with this unorthodox medium and is joined by GCI scientists Rachel Rivenc and Tom Learner to talk about the research collaboration he is undertaking with the institute.

Contextualizing the Nude in Renaissance Painting, Sculpture, and Drawing

The nude human figure, both male and female, has been central to European art for centuries. During the Renaissance of the 1400s and 1500s, artists across Europe used the nude to explore religion, nature, human relationships, and beauty itself. But artists’ approach to the nude were not monolithic, nor were these works received without considerable controversy. Although created long ago, these works continue to inform contemporary attitudes toward the nude human figure in art.

The exhibition The Renaissance Nude, on view first at the Getty before moving to the Royal Academy in London, explores the development and deployment of the naturalistic nude, as well as the contexts in which these works were created and received. In this episode, curator Thomas Kren discusses this incredible exhibition.

The Salk Institute Part 2: Conservation for the Future

The Salk Institute opened in La Jolla, California, in 1963, with striking buildings of concrete and earthy wood lining a travertine plaza and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But within a few years, the buildings began to weather badly, causing unsightly effects that led to inadequate conservation efforts. In 2013, fifty years after the Institute opened, the Getty Conservation Institute began a multi-year process to understand the challenges posed by aging, repair the damage, and plan for the future of the site.

In this episode, Susan Macdonald, head of Getty Conservation Institute Field Projects, and Thomas Albright, Professor and Director of the Salk Institute’s Vision Center Laboratory, discuss the conservation of the Salk Institute and the architecture’s impact on the science performed there.

The Salk Institute Part 1: Founding and Forming

Shortly after inventing the polio vaccine, scientist Jonas Salk set his sights on another groundbreaking undertaking: creating an institute where science and art could meet and inform each other. In architect Louis Kahn, Salk found a man who not only shared this vision, but who was capable of designing the space to support it. The Salk Institute’s monumental modernist buildings and plaza, located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, are the result of this collaboration.

In this episode, Jonathan Salk and Nathaniel Kahn, sons of Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn respectively, discuss their fathers’ relationship to each other and to the Salk Institute.

India & the World with curator Naman Ahuja

The exhibition India & the World: A History in Nine Stories has an ambitious goal: to use objects to chronicle cultural, economic, and artistic exchange and influence between India and the world. From four-thousand-year-old seals from the Indus Valley found thousands of miles from where they were created to contemporary works of art made out of money and concrete, the wide-ranging exhibition centers on India to address our shared human experiences.

In this episode, Naman Ahuja, professor of the history of art at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, describes the curatorial process for this multi-venue, multilingual exhibition and touches on some of the key objects on display.

Palmyra: Loss and Remembrance

During its heyday from the first to third centuries CE, the ancient city of Palmyra flourished as a crossroads of Eastern and Western people, goods, and cultures. The unique blend of Eastern and Western influence on Palmyrene society remains visible in the elaborate funerary relief portraits carved to commemorate loved ones. In this episode, we tour an exhibition of Palmyrene funerary portraiture, on loan from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen and Stanford University, with curator of antiquities Ken Lapatin and Getty guest scholar Rubina Raja, who is professor of classical archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Robert Polidori and the Getty Museum

Before the Getty Center opened to the public in 1997, photographer Robert Polidori captured the half-installed galleries and impressive architecture of the museum while on an assignment from The New Yorker. With brilliant colors and beautiful light, these images provide striking behind-the-scenes views of the curatorial process. In this episode, Polidori discusses these photographs of the Getty, touching on his artistic philosophies, creative process, and career.

Julien Stock on Discovering a New Michelangelo

In the late 1990s, Old Master drawings expert Julien Stock made an incredible discovery—a previously unknown Michelangelo drawing. Hiding in an unmarked book at England’s Castle Howard, the study of a mourning woman from early in Michelangelo’s career had not been seen for generations. This drawing is now part of the Getty Museum’s collection. In this episode, Stock tells the story of this discovery and the process of verifying the authenticity of his remarkable find.