Monthly Archives: July 2012

Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Art & Archives

Grit, Money, Glory: Olympics Then and Now

Athletes and Competition (Gallery 211) at the Getty Villa

This weekend marked the start of the 2012 Olympics, a spectacle with 10,500 Olympic and 4,200 Paralympic athletes in competition across 26 sports, from handball to taekwondo to the good old-fashioned pentathlon. The Olympics we’re familiar with today are an… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute, Philanthropy

From Getty Intern to Arts Professional: Art Historian Jessica Maxwell

Jessica Maxwell
Jessica Maxwell, an alumna of the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program, at Princeton University in 2012

In 2004, Jessica Maxwell participated in the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program with an internship at the Getty Research Institute. She had such a great experience that she applied again the following summer, interning at the arts nonprofit LACE… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, technology

Curator’s Diary: Installing “Messerschmidt and Modernity”

Alabaster busts by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt in Messerschmidt and Modernity at the Getty Center

No amount of preparation over the life of an exhibition–from conception to development through implementation and finally installation–prepares you for the moments of surprise and delight as objects arrive from lenders and are uncrated and placed in the galleries. The… More»

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

Herb Ritts, A New Documentary

Paul Martineau / still frame from Herb Ritts documentary

A 12-minute film on Herb Ritts was just released to complement the exhibition Herb Ritts: L.A. Style, newly extended through September 2. Here the film’s director reflects on getting to know the artist, who died in 2002, through extensive interviews… More»

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

Treasures from the Vault: Needlework Pattern Books

Pattern books from the GRI's collection in a display case, summer 2012

Copies of pattern, model, and sample books for needlework are among the rarest of early modern printed books to survive intact. The reason is simple: virtually all such books were considered “working copies,” and leaves were torn out to be… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art & Archives, Editor's Picks, Getty Villa

What Did Ancient Music Sound Like?

Sarcophagus with Scenes of Bacchus / Roman

Ancient works of art illustrate that music had a strong presence in daily life of classical Greece and Rome. Vase paintings and sculptures in the antiquities collection offer an eye-opening view of the variety of musical instruments that were played, as… More»

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

The Devil Is in the Details: New Collection Page Zoom

Demon depictions

We recently began to add high-resolution images of objects from the collection on our website, enabling you to zoom in and observe tiny details (look for the zoom button on object pages). We started with over 1,700 antiquities, manuscripts, drawings,… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Art & Archives, Behind the Scenes, Editor's Picks, Education, Getty Villa

Reclining and Dining (and Drinking) in Ancient Greece

Getty Villa docent Don Petersen reclines on his left side, elbow raised on a stack of pillows, with his right knee bent. He holds a skyphos, a common stemless drinking cup.

Elite Greeks and Romans reclined to dine, and ordinary people copied them when they could. Although the practice seems strange to us, it must have been both comfortable and convenient, since reclining during meals spread throughout the Mediterranean and survived… More»

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

The Cult of Klimt

Study for the Figure of Lasciviousness (Beethoven Frieze) / Gustav Klimt
Study for the Figure of "Lasciviousness" (Beethoven Frieze), 1901, Gustav Klimt. Black Chalk. Albertina, Vienna, Gift of Elisabeth Lederer

July 14 marks the 150th anniversary of Gustav Klimt’s birth, an event celebrated by exhibitions and events in Vienna and right here at the Getty, with Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line. This summer, we are in the grips of… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

From Getty Intern to Arts Professional: Museum Curator Josh Yiu

Curator Josh Yiu at the Seattle Art Museum

This summer the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program is celebrating 20 years of supporting internships at arts organizations across L.A. County. Started  in response to our city’s civil unrest in the early 90s, the program aims to increase diversity within… 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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