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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa

The Perfect Summer Picnic

Visitors sleeping on the lawn of the Getty Center's Central Garden

After a cool early summer, toasty picnic weather has finally arrived in L.A. The Getty is a great place for outdoor eats—this weekend, the Center is open Saturday and Sunday, and the Villa is open all three days, including Labor… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

An Alternative Beauty Pageant

Young Italian Woman at a Table / Cézanne

Tonight is the Miss Universe pageant, in which contestants vied for a title and a Trump Tower apartment by donning swimsuits, evening gowns, and out-there costumes. (Update—Mexico won.) But beauty queens are just so bland compared to the women that… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

What Do Jean-Léon Gérôme and Don Draper Have in Common?

Optician's Sign (Opticien), Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1902. Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 26 in. Private Collection

You might have a hard time answering that question as you first stroll through the galleries of the exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme. But as you exit the hall featuring Gérôme’s later works, the answer lies before you… More»

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Posted in Photographs, Film, and Video

Sincerity Is the New Radical: Bravo’s Work of Art

Still from Nao Bustamante's Sans Gravity

I sat down last Wednesday night with some trepidation to watch the premiere of Bravo’s new reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. For most artists and arts professionals, the show was a harrowing prospect—how can the artistic… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      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.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


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

      07/31/15

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