Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Trust

Ask Him Anything! Jim Cuno on Reddit This Monday

Jim sits down with Snoo, Reddit’s alien mascot

Jim sits down with Snoo, Reddit’s alien mascot, to prep himself for the upcoming Q&A.

At keyboards, everybody! This Monday, Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno joins the Reddit community in an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

What is a Reddit AMA, you ask? Well, it’s where the whole world converges on Reddit, known as the front page of the Internet, to ask questions of celebrities, politicians, musicians, innovators, business leaders, and other interesting people. Some of the best have included sessions with Microsoft honcho Bill Gates, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, comedian Louis C.K., and even president Barack Obama. (Obama’s was so popular that it crashed Reddit’s servers.)

Jim is up for pretty much any sane question—after all, Reddit’s AMAs are anything-goes—but he’s assured us that he can talk most intelligently about what he actually knows and thinks about every day: the arts, museums, the digital humanities, and what it’s like to lead one of the world’s biggest arts organizations. Of course, he’s also remarkably knowledgeable about lots of other things, including his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. (The Iris, however, endorses the Dodgers.)

If you’re interested in asking Jim a question, his thread will be open for business starting Sunday, and Jim will be at keyboard Monday morning. In the meantime, you can check out Reddit’s AMA page to see who’s answering questions today!

Reddit thread can be found here!

James Cuno with Reddit mascot

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  1. Annelisa Stephan
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    As the person pretending to be Snoo in these photos, I feel it might be necessary to comment on why, exactly, the Getty has a giant Reddit alien head on the premises. Much as I would like to say we did so, we actually did not build it specifically for this post. It was an old Halloween costume, but a darn good one. It’s fun to have a giant head for a few moments, even though you have to walk sideways into elevators and your hair kinda smells like styrofoam. -Annelisa/Iris editor

  2. Linda Theung
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    These photos are so delightful. I can’t wait to read and partake in the discussion on Monday!

  3. Mary Ellen Goddard
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I was glad to read your comments on “Why arts and humanities matter” in the Los Angeles Times, and agree with what you have said. I am going to quote you for an article I write (in the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa) about our Costa Mesa libraries. But since my goal is to get our city council to realize that public libraries are just as important (or more important) as the sports fields they are planning to put on any empty space, I am hoping you might tell me your opinions on the importance of public libraries. How do they fit into your promotion of arts and humanities? Thank you for any comments you might have.

  4. Jim Cuno
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Hi Mary Ellen,

    Thanks for your comment and reading my piece.

    Public libraries are the new town square of American cities. They provide resources for the young and old—both to stir the imagination and provide employment and education assistance, in print and online—and safe and healthy spaces for groups to meet and exchange thoughts about their lives and communities. Ever since Andrew Carnegie, American public libraries have been the model for the world. And they have been emulated around the world. They are a bedrock of democracy.


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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.

      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 


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