Monthly Archives: February 2011

Posted in Art & Archives, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Cambodia’s Enduring Mystery

Shiva's Bull, Nandin.  The National Museum of Cambodia.

The exhibition Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia now on view at the Getty Center is a rare opportunity to experience first-hand the unique artistry of Khmer sculpture outside of Cambodia. At its height, the Khmer… More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Prints and Drawings

Honoré Daumier: Still Relevant after 150 Years

The French judicial system on trial: A Criminal Case, Honoré Daumier, 1865. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 89.GA.33

Years ago I found myself in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a posse of 15 finance geeks in tow, enjoying respite from a college trip to study financial institutions on Wall Street. Being the only art nerd amongst the… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Zhang Huan: Beyond the Body

Family Tree / Zhang Huan

The body, being, and humanness are Zhang Huan’s primary mediums and subjects. More»

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

Stilt-Walking Actors Extend Their Stay at the Getty Villa

Storage Jar with a Chorus of Stilt Walkers, black-figured amphora attributed to the Swing Painter, Greek (Attic), active about 550-525 B.C. Terracotta, 16 1/8 x 11 7/16 in.  (41 x 29 cm). James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater closed on January 3, but one loan object from the exhibition won’t be making its way back home for a while. An Attic black-figured amphora, or storage vessel, from the James Logie Memorial Collection at… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Scholarship

Deciphering the Getty Hexameters

hexameters_workshop
Jens Daehner, associate curator of antiquities (left), and Sarah Morris, professor of classics and archaeology at UCLA (right), take a close look at the Getty Hexameters.

Scholars from as far away as England and Holland and as near as Westwood recently gathered at the Getty Villa to decipher and discuss an enigmatic ancient Greek text inscribed on a now-fragmentary lead tablet. These so-called “Getty Hexameters” date… More»

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

Mixing Afghan Rhythms at Sounds of L.A.

Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan. From left:

Just 48 hours before he was pounding percussion onstage at the Getty Center this past weekend, one of the creators of Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan (S.A.R.A.) was teaching tabla drumming at a music school in Kabul. But the Afghan-American… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Education, Photographs, Film, and Video, technology

Six Questions for Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway at the Getty Center

For our Getty Perspectives lecture series, filmmaker Peter Greenaway came to speak about his new work creating immersive environments inspired by masterpieces of European painting. At the event, and on Facebook and Twitter, we put out the call for your… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

A Close Look at the Agrigento Youth

Statue of a Kouros (The Agrigento Youth), Greek, about 480 B.C., Museo Archeologico Regionale, Agrigento, Sicily. Photo © Angelo Pitrone

The Agrigento Youth, a Greek sculpture carved almost exactly 2,500 years ago, is wintering at the Getty Villa. It’s the second work from the Museo Archeologico Regionale in Agrigento, Sicily, to visit the Villa on loan, following the Gela Krater,… More»

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

Question of the Week: Demure or Coquettish? Revealing or Concealing?

Bust of Madame Recamier, Joseph Chinard, about 1801–1802. Terracotta, 24 7/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 88.SC.42

Can an artist do justice to a beautiful woman? This sensuous terracotta bust by Joseph Chinard captures the elegance and grace of legendary beauty Juliette Récamier, a socialite renowned for her wit and notorious for her love affairs. Holding a… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Honey, They’re Playing Our Painting

Dancer Taking a Bow (The Prima Ballerina), Edgar Degas, pastel and gouache on paper, 33 1/2 x 27 in. (85.1 x 68.6 cm). Private collection

Many couples have a favorite song, a tune that conjures up memories of blissful infatuation and unending devotion. Elia and Maranatha have a painting. The couple met three years ago when Elia, a musician, was playing at a club in… 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.

      _______

      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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