Photographer Imogen Cunningham Gets Her Due

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Photographer Imogen Cunningham Gets Her Due
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“When Cunningham passed away, I think in part her reputation was based on her personality, the fact that she had lived so long, the fact that she was full of witty quips, and she wouldn’t let anyone boss her around. But I think in some ways that eclipsed the work.”

Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1883, photographer Imogen Cunningham joined a correspondence course for photography as a high schooler after seeing a magazine ad. Over the course of her 70-year career, Cunningham stirred controversy with a nude portrait of her husband, photographed flowers while minding her young children in her garden, captured striking portraits of famous actors and writers for Vanity Fair, and provided insight into the life of nonagenarians when she herself was in her 90s. Although photography was a male-dominated field, Cunningham made a name for herself while also supporting the work of other women artists. Her long, varied career is the subject of the new exhibition Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective at the Getty Center.

In this episode, Getty photographs curator Paul Martineau discusses Cunningham’s trajectory, focusing on key artworks made throughout her life.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-photographer-imogen-cunningham-gets-her-due/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To learn more about the exhibition Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/cunningham/index.html

To buy the catalogue for Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/imogen-cunningham-a-retrospective-978-1606066751

The Art of Anatomy from the 16th Century to Today

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The Art of Anatomy from the 16th Century to Today
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“Berengario’s books show animated cadavers and skeletons set in a landscape, often so animated that they’re displaying their own dissecting bodies to the viewer.”

For centuries, doctors and artists have relied on renderings of the human body for their training. Until the Renaissance, anatomy studies were primarily textual, but in the late 15th and early 16th centuries illustrated anatomy books began to be published in greater numbers. Macabre prints of flayed bodies painstakingly depicted muscles, veins, and nerves, and allowed for a far better understanding of the human form. In the 19th and 20th centuries, anatomy studies were also targeted to general audiences, and moralizing flap books with Christian themes, children’s toys with removable body parts, and wax models for museum exhibitions gained popularity. The Getty Research Institute exhibition Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy explores this long history of illustrating the body.

In this episode, scholar and independent curator Monique Kornell, GRI curator of prints and drawings Naoko Takahatake, and GRI research associate Thisbe Gensler survey this history. They move from the 16th century books by anatomist Andreas Vesalius to contemporary artworks by Robert Rauschenberg and Tavares Strachan, explaining the relevance of anatomy studies across time.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-art-of-anatomy-from-the-16th-century-to-today/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To learn more about the exhibition Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy, visit https://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/anatomy/

To buy Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/flesh-and-bones-the-art-of-anatomy-978-1606067697

Reflecting on Feminist Curator Marcia Tucker’s Boundary-Breaking Career

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Reflecting on Feminist Curator Marcia Tucker’s Boundary-Breaking Career
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“It’s why she started a museum, because people said, ‘You’re crazy. You can’t do that. Nobody does that without a collection, without money. You can’t.’ And if somebody said, ‘No, you can’t do something,’ that made her wanna do it a hundred times over.”

After years of facing both subtle and overt sexism as a curator at the Whitney Museum in New York, Marcia Tucker founded the New Museum of Contemporary Art in 1977 with a small volunteer staff and a budget of $15,000. Placing herself at the helm, Tucker became one of the first female museum directors in the country. The museum’s daring exhibitions—and its director’s radical approach to curating and power in the art world—soon became well known in New York and beyond.

Alongside her curatorial work, Tucker was also a prolific writer. Her wide-ranging texts include deep analyses of artists’ practices, essays for her controversial exhibitions, and critiques of power and institutions. Out of Bounds: The Collected Writings of Marcia Tucker, a collection of Tucker’s writings recently published by the Getty Research Institute, draws attention to both her rhetorical skills and great influence on museology and curatorial practice. Lisa Phillips, director of the New Museum, and Johanna Burton, the Maurice Marciano Director of MOCA, Los Angeles, and former Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum, edited the volume with Alicia Ritson.

In this episode, Phillips and Burton discuss Tucker’s immense impact on their lives and on the art world, and explore some of the texts that appear in the book.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-reflecting-on-feminist-curator-marcia-tuckers-boundary-breaking-career/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To buy Out of Bounds: The Collected Writings of Marcia Tucker, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/out-of-bounds-br-the-collected-writings-of-marcia-tucker-978-1606065969

Gala Porras-Kim Makes Art of Interrogation

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Gala Porras-Kim Makes Art of Interrogation
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“When I look at the law and also museum policy, it’s just so close to conceptual art making. You have a lot of material and you’re just trying to define how it lives in the world, except with the law, everybody agrees. With conceptual art, you have to convince people to believe in it.”

Gala Porras-Kim is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is both conceptually rigorous and visually compelling. Born in Bogotá and based in Los Angeles, Porras-Kim creates art that explores the relationship between historical objects and the institutions that collect and display them. From writing letters questioning how museums handle artifacts to creating sculptures that honor the spiritual lives of antiquities, Porras-Kim’s practice is part concept, part material manifestation.

The artist’s current exhibition, Precipitation for an Arid Landscape, focuses on the Peabody Museum’s collection of thousands of artifacts originally found in a giant sinkhole: the Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The exhibition is one in a series of solo shows at the Amant Foundation in Brooklyn, Gasworks in London, and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. The work is based partly on research Porras-Kim carried out while she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard and an artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute.

In this episode, Porras-Kim muses about rummaging through museum archives, the rights of mummies, and potlucks in the Pink Palace.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-gala-porras-kim-makes-art-of-interrogation/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To learn more about Porras-Kim, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/meet-the-getty-research-institutes-newest-artist-in-residence/

To learn more about Precipitation for an Arid Landscape, visit https://www.amant.org/exhibitions/4-gala-porras-kim-precipitation-for-an-arid-landscape

Poussin and the Dance Shines New Light on French Painter

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Poussin and the Dance Shines New Light on French Painter
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“One of the hopes of this exhibition was really to try to enlist visitors’ bodily experience in their understanding of these works of art that can sometimes seem a little bit like they live entirely in our heads, a little bit intellectualized.”

Although Nicolas Poussin is widely regarded as the most influential painter of the 17th century—the father of French classicism—he is not as well-known as many of his contemporaries, such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and Caravaggio. This is due, in part, to Poussin’s austere painting style and erudite subject matter, which often came from Roman history or the Bible. As a result, his work can sometimes feel a bit cold or remote to today’s audiences.

But earlier in his career, Poussin was inspired by dance. His paintings of wild revelry, filled with dancing satyrs and nymphs, emerged as his signature genre from that time. Poussin and the Dance, organized by the Getty Museum and the National Gallery in London, is the first exhibition to explore the theme of dance in Poussin’s work. By supplementing his delightful dancing pictures with new dance films by Los Angeles–based choreographers—this unique exhibition invites viewers into the world of Poussin in a fresh, relatable way.

In this episode, Emily Beeny, curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and curator of Poussin and the Dance, joins Sarah Cooper, public programs specialist at the Getty, to delve into Poussin’s process and love of dance.

The exhibition, which received generous support from the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation and is sponsored by City National Bank, is on view at the Getty Center through May 8, 2022.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-poussin-and-the-dance-shines-new-light-on-french-painter or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To explore the exhibition Poussin and the Dance, visit
https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/poussin_dance/

To watch the contemporary dance films from Poussin and the Dance, visit
https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/poussin_dance/video.html

To buy the book Poussin and the Dance, visit
https://shop.getty.edu/products/poussin-and-the-dance-978-1606066836



Protecting Modernist Architecture for Generations to Come

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Protecting Modernist Architecture for Generations to Come
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“You look at the thinking behind the creation of the building, but then also at the material needs. And you merge the two to really build an in-depth understanding of the building, and a path forward to preserving it.”

From the sculptural curves of the Sydney Opera House to the sliding walls and windows of the Eames House, the hallmarks of modern buildings make them easy to spot. Modernist architecture—with its signature use of industrial materials and innovative, sleek designs—emerged in the early 1900s and dominated the post–World War II building boom. Unfortunately, many of the iconic buildings from this period are now in serious need of repair but lack clear conservation plans due to the use of untested building methods and materials. How do you fix concrete that’s been damaged by ocean water, or remove graffiti to preserve stainless steel? In response to such dilemmas, the Getty Foundation created the Keeping It Modern initiative, an international grant program focused on the conservation of significant 20th-century architecture. Launched in 2014, Keeping It Modern has to date supported a total of 77 projects in 40 countries.

In this episode, Antoine Wilmering, senior program officer at the Getty Foundation, discusses the importance and ongoing impact of Keeping It Modern.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-protecting-modernist-architecture-for-generations-to-come or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To learn more about Keeping It Modern, visit
https://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/keeping_it_modern or
https://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/keeping_it_modern/report_library/index.html

To read about the Patel Stadium conservation project, visit
https://www.getty.edu/news/it-is-indeed-a-holy-place

To buy the book Concrete: Case Studies in Conservation Practice, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/concrete-case-studies-in-conservation-practice-978-1606065761https://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/keeping_it_modern

To buy the book Managing Energy Use in Modern Buildings: Case Studies in Conservation Practice, visit
https://shop.getty.edu/products/managing-energy-use-in-modern-buildings-case-studies-in-conservation-practice-978-1606066973






California Leisure Sites Pioneered by African Americans

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California Leisure Sites Pioneered by African Americans
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“The reason why African Americans began these places of leisure and relaxation in the outdoors was because they were excluded from going to the white establishments.”

Around the turn of the 20th century, African Americans seeking to escape racism in the South began moving to Southern California in larger numbers. Like others who migrated to the Golden State at the time, they also came in search of new opportunities and seaside recreation. But discrimination prevailed, even out West, and Black Americans found themselves barred from accessing public pools, parks, and beaches. As a result, Black entrepreneurs and community builders created their own gathering spots, such as Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach and Ocean Park in Santa Monica, where people of color could enjoy surf and sand.

These successful leisure sites weren’t embraced by everyone—it wasn’t long before white residents, local developers, and members of the KKK launched campaigns of harassment. In 1922, African Americans were forced to give up plans for a beachfront project in Santa Monica. A few years later, the oceanfront property owned by the Bruce family was seized by the city through eminent domain and the resort was shut down. Today, many of these stories of Black resourcefulness and self-determination—thwarted by racist policies—have been forgotten, if not intentionally obscured. But there have been some attempts to make amends, including California’s Governor Gavin Newsom recently signing into law a new bill that will return the oceanfront property taken from the Bruce family almost a century ago to their descendants.

In this episode, historian Alison Rose Jefferson discusses these stories as documented in her book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era, and the need for a more inclusive look at America’s past.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-california-leisure-sites-pioneered-by-african-americans or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To buy the book Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era, visit
https://alisonrosejefferson.com/about/publications

The Extraordinary Career of Artemisia Gentileschi

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The Extraordinary Career of Artemisia Gentileschi
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“If anything, a sense of self, a sense of destiny, the fact that she belonged among the greats, was a defining mark of Artemisia’s personality.”

Artemisia Gentileschi was an acclaimed Baroque painter whose life was as compelling as her art. Born in Rome in 1593 to Prudenzia di Montone and the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi, Artemesia lost her mother when she was 12, leaving her to help raise her three brothers. Her father took the unusual step of training her as a painter, though there were few opportunities for women artists at the time. But Artemisia proved to be a prodigy, producing the masterpiece Susanna and the Elders (1610) and receiving a commission for a portrait while still a teenager.

When Artemisia was 17, she was raped by Agostino Tassi, a painter her father knew. Tassi was ultimately found guilty, but the trial damaged Artemisia’s reputation. Nonetheless, she earned the respect of her peers and won royal commissions across Europe, becoming a much sought-after painter who worked in Venice, Florence, Rome, London, and Naples. She produced several renowned masterpieces, including the painting Lucretia (ca. 1635–45), which was recently rediscovered and acquired by the Getty. This work is a stunning example of Artemisia’s dramatic, naturalist style and her powerful portrayals of women.

In this episode, Sheila Barker, founding director of the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists at the Medici Archive Project, discusses Artemisia’s extraordinary art and enduring legacy.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-extraordinary-career-of-artemisia-gentileschi or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts

To buy the book Lives of Artemisia Gentileschi, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/lives-of-artemisia-gentileschi-978-1606066638

To buy the book Artemisia Gentileschi, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/artemisia-gentileschi-978-1606067338

The Life and Afterlife of an Ancient Maya Carving

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The Life and Afterlife of an Ancient Maya Carving
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“Lamb’s objective was essentially to do Kon-Tiki in the Chiapan Rainforest. And he needed a lost city as a selling point.”

In 1950, American adventurers Dana and Ginger Lamb traveled to the jungles of northern Guatemala looking for Maya ruins and a story they could turn into a movie. There they encountered a rich cache of decorated structures made in the first millennium CE, including a particularly elaborate limestone lintel (a horizontal support above a doorway) carved by an artisan named Mayuy. Such objects had and continue to hold great historical, aesthetic, and spiritual significance for Maya people and descendants. Unfortunately, like many Maya ruins, the site has since been looted, and retracing the original locations of the displaced works is challenging.

In this episode, Stephen Houston, editor of A Maya Universe in Stone, explores the production and complex afterlives of these Maya objects. Houston contextualizes carved lintels within ancient Maya history and visual and spiritual practices, and discusses the fraught nature of their re-emergence in the twentieth century. 

For images, transcripts, and more, visit
https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-life-and-afterlife-of-an-ancient-maya-carving

More to explore:
Buy the book A Maya Universe in Stone here:
https://shop.getty.edu/products/a-maya-universe-in-stone-978-1606067444

Peter Paul Rubens and the Arts of Antiquity

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Peter Paul Rubens and the Arts of Antiquity
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“I think it just shows very well how Rubens worked, how he got the inspiration from antiquity, but he transforms it into something completely new and very alive.”

The Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens is most famous for his dynamic, colorful renderings of religious scenes and mythological stories. Yet Rubens’s work was also deeply inspired by the art of the past. He was a keen student of classical antiquity, engaging with ancient sculptures, coins, gems, and cameos both at home and in his travels through Italy. His friendships with antiquarians, patrons, and scholars provided a network for vibrant intellectual exchanges that informed the artist’s work.

In this episode, Getty curators Anne T. Woollett, Davide Gasparotto, and Jeffrey Spier discuss their exhibition Rubens: Picturing Antiquity, which explores how Rubens was affected by and, in turn, transformed the classical past in his paintings, drawings, and designs. The exhibition, which received major support from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and generous support from the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation, is on view at the Getty Villa through January 24, 2022.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-peter-paul-rubens-and-the-arts-of-antiquity or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts/

More to explore:

Explore the exhibition Rubens: Picturing Antiquity here: https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/rubens_antiquity/explore.html

Buy the book Rubens: Picturing Antiquity here: https://shop.getty.edu/products/rubens-picturing-antiquity-978-1606066706