Monthly Archives: December 2010

Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum

My Odyssey through the Aegean Islands

Paros marble, Milos Obsidian, and Naxos emery

Art historian and archaeologist Nigel McGilchrist is taking us to the Aegean—and you can come along! On January 13, he’ll give a free illustrated talk at the Getty Villa on his nearly seven years exploring seventy of these beautiful islands,… More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, technology

A Look Inside J. Paul Getty’s Newly Digitized Diaries

J. Paul Getty's diary open to the page for March 29 and 30, 1952

They’re here! The diaries of J. Paul Getty are now part of the collection of the Getty’s Institutional Archives, thanks in large part to the late Jim Wood, former Trust President and CEO, who placed great value on the Getty’s history…. More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Obsidian Mirror-Travels Explores Myths and Truths about Ancient Mexico

obsidian_mirror

The current exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology, challenges our ideas of how we understand the past. More than 70 objects from the Colonial era to the present, including maps, books, photographs,… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Center, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Let Me Tell You a Story: Docent Tours That Entertain and Educate

Docent George Terrell at the Getty Center

If you’re planning to visit the Getty this holiday, you may be surprised to learn that we have no tour guides. Instead, we have engineers, film producers, social workers, photographers, teachers, doctors, artists, salespeople, landscapers, and just about every other… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, People & Places

Winter in the Central Garden

Foliage of Eschscholzia california in the rain in the Central Garden at the Getty Center

The Getty’s outdoor spaces are never more beautiful than in the colder months. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Career Profile: Kristen Kido, Gallery Teacher

Gallery teacher Kristen Kido leading a tour in the Getty Villa galleries
Gallery teacher Kristen Kido leading a tour in the Getty Villa galleries

What is your job at the Getty? I work as a gallery teacher at the Getty Villa. Gallery teachers lead tours in the museum and get to talk with visitors about art all day long. In the Museum we are… More»

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Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, technology

Tonight: Peter Greenaway on Cinema and Art History

Peter Greenaway. Phot: Dennis van Doorn

Filmmaker Peter Greenaway speaks at the Getty Center tonight as part of our Getty Perspectives lecture series, which invites distinctive artists and scholars to offer their perspectives on the visual arts. I’ve long wanted Peter Greenaway to be part of… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Mrs. Garrett’s Carrot Cake, A Slice of Getty Villa History

The Atrium of the Getty Villa before its renovation

Opening a new museum involves many tasks—and deciding what to display isn’t the only one. There’s also the matter of how to feed hungry visitors. When Stephen Garrett became the first director of the Getty Museum after the construction of… More»

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Posted in Getty Foundation, Scholarship

Looking With New Eyes at Scholarly Art Catalogues

SFMOMA, one of the participants in the OSCI initiative, has chosen to focus on Robert Rauschenberg, given their significant holdings of his work, and their team is gathering together curatorial essays, conservation documentation, audio interviews and related materials in a single online resource. Image: Collection (formerly Untitled), Robert Rauschenberg, 1954, oil, paper, fabric, wood, and metal on canvas, SFMOMA
SFMOMA, one of the participants in the OSCI initiative, has chosen to focus on Robert Rauschenberg, given their significant holdings of his work, and their team is gathering together curatorial essays, conservation documentation, audio interviews and related materials in a single online resource. Image: Collection (formerly Untitled), Robert Rauschenberg, 1954, oil, paper, fabric, wood, and metal on canvas, SFMOMA

The scholarly catalogue has long been a critical part of a museum’s mission, providing authoritative information about collection objects for scholars, students, and the general public. Richly illustrated and often based on years of painstaking research, print catalogues form one… More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum

Justice, Vengeance, Crime, Love, and Van Gogh

Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, about about 1805–06

Which art objects on the Getty Museum’s website are most popular? The answers might surprise you—or perhaps confirm what you’ve always suspected about the Internet.

Over the past year, three objects have vied for the top spot, each for different reasons. More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: Titian in Boston

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, in the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, is no exception. The MFA carefully details the painting’s Italian provenance on its collection page, but the path of this object even since then is complex.

      Between 1901 and 1907, Portrait of a Man Holding a Book entered the stock of no less than three galleries, purchased from the Italian family who owned it first by Agnew’s in London, then by Trotti in Paris, and then by Cottier in New York (marking its movement from the Old World to the New). A collector purchased it from Cottier, and the painting was held privately for 36 years.

      That collector was Frederick Bayley Pratt (1865–1945), son of Charles Pratt, oil magnate and founder of the Brooklyn Institute that bears his family’s name (incidentally, this writer’s alma mater!). 

      The Knoedler Gallery dealt frequently with members of the Pratt family. A quick peek into the searchable database of Knoedler’s stock books turns up nine instances in which a Pratt (Charles and Mary, Frederick’s parents, or Herbert and John, his brothers) bought works, as well as five instances where they sold works. This Titian portrait is one of those instances. Frederick Pratt sold the work to Knoedler in early April of 1943, and by the 10th, it had been snapped up by the Museum of Fine Arts.

      Knoedler shared the sale with Pinakos, an art-dealing concern owned and operated by Rudolf J. Heinemann. Purchasing works in tandem with other dealers was a widespread practice amongst powerful art galleries of the time; nearly 6,000 records in the Knoedler database had joint ownership.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database that anyone can query for free. You can find this Titian under stock number A2555.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, about 1540, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Charles Potter Kling Fund. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; stock and sales books documenting the painting’s sale by M. Knoedler & Co.

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      ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archive at the Getty Research Institute.

      04/29/16

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