Monthly Archives: February 2011

Posted in Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Drawing the Line: Conserving Master Drawings with a Light Touch

Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.
Working on Study of Three Skulls. At top left, the disfiguring oil stain; at top right, the same area of the sheet after the pastel application.

The intriguing exhibition The Secret Life of Drawings—closing this Sunday at the Getty Center—unveils hidden clues to unfinished works on paper, undiscovered sketches, and details of the artist’s craft. It also reveals that making damaged art look presentable can be… More»

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

Finding the Grace in Trees

Juniper Tree, Arches National Monument, Utah, August 27, 1958. Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 1990 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of the artist
Eliot Porter American, 1901–1990 Juniper Tree, Arches National Monument, Utah, August 27, 1958 Dye transfer print Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 1990 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of the artist

The relationship between the individual tree and the scene or the event depicted is what is interesting to see and to understand. Each photo tells a unique story. Trees are sometimes so old, they have seen so much. Trees don’t wait for the photographer to be beautiful or expressive, they just are. More»

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

Brush and Shutter: When Chinese Painters Became Photographers

Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin, 1878, Liang Shitai (also known as See Tay) (Chinese, active in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, 1870s–1880s), albumen silver print. The Getty Research Institute, 2006.R.1.4
Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin / Liang Shitai (also known as See Tay)

The new exhibition Brush & Shutter: Early Photography in China uses photographs, along with a few paintings and other artistic media, to tell a largely unknown story about China. In the second half of the 19th century, when China was… More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Reframing Robert Mapplethorpe

Sam Wagstaff, Robert Mapplethorpe, c. 1973. Polaroid. Promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Getty just announced our joint acquisition of the art and archival material of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989), one of the great photographers of the second half of the 20th century. Though… More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Education, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Did Parchment Smell? Your Manuscript Questions, Answered

Jean de Mandeville
Jean de Mandeville

“To make egg tempera paint, egg is mixed with water and pigment, which somewhat neutralizes the decomposition process of eggs, but it is also spread so thinly and dries so quickly that it never really has the chance to rot. Therefore it doesn’t smell.”
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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa

Poor Dog Group Unleashes the Power of Satyrs for Villa Theater Lab

poor_dog

L.A. theater ensemble Poor Dog Group is unleashing Satyr Atlas, a re-imagining of ancient Greek satyr plays, at the Getty Villa this weekend. What are satyr plays, you ask? Neither tragedy nor comedy, but a dramatic universe of their own… More»

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

Drawing from Antiquity: A Chance to Slow Down Time

Artist and drawing enthusiast Jaime Ursic gives a lesson in the Education Studio at the Getty Villa.

Jaime Ursic believes everyone should study drawing. Not just because she’s an artist, but because it gives you two near-magical gifts: looking closely, and slowing down time. She’ll show you how to do both at Drawing from Antiquity, a free… More»

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      A Brief History of the Fleur-de-lis in Art

      The fleur-de-lis, a familiar symbol with varied meanings and a rather obscure origin.

      If you read the labels of objects in museums bearing the fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur de lys, pronounced with the final “s”), you might notice that they were all made in France before the French Revolution of 1789. 

      What’s less apparent is that the fleur-de-lis marks objects that bear witness to a dramatic history of monarchy, democracy, and war: they speak to the inherent power of trappings commissioned for and by France’s pre-revolutionary kings.

      Adopted as a royal emblem in France by the 1100s, the fleur-de-lis can be traced to early Frankish monarchs including Clovis I, who converted to Christianity in 496, and the renowned Charlemagne. 

      A French word, fleur-de-lis translates literally to “lily flower.” This is appropriate given the association of lilies with purity (and the Virgin Mary) and given that France has long been known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.” In truth, the stylized flower most closely resembles a yellow iris. 

      As a heraldic symbol used in the arms of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis often appears in yellow or gold tones and set on a blue shield. 

      Given its intimate royal associations, the fleur-de-lis invoked the ire of revolutionaries even before the fall of the monarchy in 1792. In addition to toppling royal statues, vandals chipped away at crowns and fleurs-de-lis adorning the façades of buildings.

      Full blog post on the Getty Iris here.

      04/28/16

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