Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Trust

The Museum of Hidden Talents

Stiltwalking at the Getty Underground opening

Jasby Williams stiltwalks in an outfit inspired by this year’s theme: steampunk

One of the coolest parts about working at the Getty is discovering the many artistic talents of your coworkers—the curator who bakes professional-quality wedding cakes, the project manager who hulas, the software engineer who writes environmental poetry. Everyone is just so ridiculously interesting.

Every two years we Getty employees, docents, and volunteers let our talents—however questionable—loose for Getty Underground, our staff art extravaganza-slash-talent show. Last night at the opening, all kinds of art broke out, from the baroque (classical guitar) to the bonkers (stiltwalking). Also on tap were live rock, a photo booth with handmade steampunk-inspired props, and of course the art show, nestled deep underground in one of the Getty Center’s many byzantine corridors.

There were oil paintings, drawings, and photographs from professional artists who work here, but also sculptures (a pegagus of recycled produce twist ties), collages (George Washington’s head on Johnny Ramone’s body, atop sandpaper), videos (a chimpanzee and a woman enacting the same apelike behaviors). Upstairs, staff and their friends and families painted-by-numbers on a giant van Gogh’s Irises while a flash mob did the macarena and the electric slide.

Bake table and paint-by-numbers at the Getty Underground opening reception

Complementing the festivities was a menu of popcorn, hot dogs, ice cream, and beer, plus a ginormous table of baked goodies from our foodie colleagues. People who work at a museum can’t bake a boring cookie—whether crow-shaped black crisps encased in lace or bacon-topped cupcakes, there was something for everyone.

Sugar cookies shaped and decorated with icing to look like artists' palettes

Just like any other day at the museum.

Getty Underground isn’t open to the public, but we wanted to share it with you anyway. Below are just a few of the many creative projects we’ll be talking about in the corridors through the end of summer.

Clean Travel by Kathy Dunlop

Clean Travel by Kathy Dunlop, mixed media (travel soaps and wood)

<em>Emily Brontë Quote</em>, Hilary Walter, needlework and collage

Emily Brontë Quote by Hilary Walter, needlework and collage

<em>Dr. Mack</em> by Zhenya Gershman, oil on canvas

Dr. Mack by Zhenya Gershman, oil on canvas and plexiglas

<em>Ninox Oculi</em> (<em>Eye of the Owl</em>), Cristian Grunca, copper and mixed media. A functional night-vision device using infrared light and sensors, as worn by the artist

Ninox Oculi (Eye of the Owl) by Cristian Grunca, copper and mixed media. A functional night-vision device using infrared light and sensors, as worn by the artist

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2 Comments

  1. Gina Lee
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed reading this entry.
    Your staff is very talented!

  2. freida
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Amazing collage. I wish I could have been there in person to enjoy the event !!!!!

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      thegetty:

      GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 6, EPISODE 2

      Winter is coming. All men must die. And Game of Thrones is back! Stay tuned each week as we unpack Sunday’s episodes through masterpieces.

      Winter is coming indeed! A snowy forecast has just been resurrected thanks to a please-touch-me-and-cut-my-hair lady in red. The epic line “I drink and I know things” provides especially good wisdom for how to tame two dragons

      Several characters went at it this week: a soldier and a friar exchanged heated remarks in the presence of an armed peace mob, a girl with no name and another not-so-kind girl went stick to stick, a crow and a giant went crossbow to stone wall, a first-born son stabbed his father, starving hounds and a new mother went canines to flesh, and two brothers duked it out on a swinging bridge (one fell). Plus, the three-eyed raven (who sits in a tree) taught a forgotten character how to look into the past.


      To make our Game of Thrones posts more international, we’ll feature an image from our Global Middle Ages exhibition and pick “wildcard” images from other collections around the world.

      This week’s pick from the Getty’s Traversing the Globe exhibition comes from @lacma (because we love dragons). The wildcard images were selected from the British Museum (more dragons), the Morgan Library (giants!), and the Museo del Prado (hounds).

      Dive deeper with featurettes connecting the making of medieval manuscripts to the making of fantasy TV. 

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      #DesigningGoT - Live Stream May 4 at 7 PM PST

      Michele Clapton, costume designer for the first five seasons of Game of Thrones, joins Deborah Landis, director of the Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA, and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty, to discuss the series’ medieval aesthetic and the visual sources for her designs.

      Tune in to the live stream here.

      05/04/16

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