Tag Archives: Getty Museum

Interview: English Author Daisy Dunn – “Legacies Of Pliny The Elder, Younger”

In the year 79 CE, Pliny the Elder set out to investigate a large cloud of ash rising in the sky above the Bay of Naples. It was the eruption of Vesuvius, and Pliny did not survive. 

“I think we can all empathize with someone who’s like a son, or in this case, an adopted son, trying to kind of make his own mark and escape the shadow of his father, and leave something on the world of his own.”

A trailblazing naturalist, he is best remembered today for his multivolume encyclopedia of Natural History,and we are able to retrace his final hours thanks to a vivid account by his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Inspired by his beloved uncle, the young Pliny became a lawyer, senator, poet, and representative of the emperor. His published letters are fascinating reflections on life and politics in the Roman Empire.

In this episode, Daisy Dunn, classicist and author of The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny,and Kenneth Lapatin, curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum, discuss the two Plinys and their profound impact on our understanding of ancient Rome.

Top Art History Podcasts: “Michelangelo’s Drawings – Mind Of The Master”

Michelangelo is among the most influential and impressive artists of the Italian High Renaissance. His lifelike sculptures and powerful paintings are some of the most recognizable works in Western art history. He also drew prolifically, making sketch after sketch of figures in slightly varying poses, focusing on form and gesture.

However, remarkably few of these drawings remain today, many of them burned by the artist himself, others lost or damaged over the centuries.

A recent exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master, brought together more than two dozen of Michelangelo’s surviving drawings—including designs for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment—to shed light on the artist’s creativity and working method. In this episode, co-curators of this exhibition, Julian Brooks and Edina Adam, discuss the master and what we can learn from his works on paper.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit getty.edu/podcasts.

New History Books: “The Year 1000” By Valerie Hansen (Getty Podcast)

Getty Arts+IdeasValerie Hansen explores these early economic and cultural exchanges and their long-term impact in her new book “The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World―and Globalization Began”, which originated as a college course co-taught with Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research Institute. In this episode, Hansen and Miller discuss the state of the world around the year 1000.

The Year 1000 - When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began - Valerie HansenFrom celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world’s great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium.

People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire?

Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.

For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s SapiensThe Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

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Travel & Arts Video: “The Getty Villa”, Malibu (2020)

The Getty Villa is devoted to the study and display of art from the ancient world. Housed in a spectacular recreation of an ancient Roman villa, its collection celebrates the culture and artistry of ancient peoples and draws connections to our world today.

Located near the Pacific shore in Malibu, California, the Getty Villa serves a varied audience through exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research, and public programs. The Villa houses approximately 44,000 works of art from the Museum’s extensive collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities, of which over 1,200 are on view.

New Art History Books: “Finding Dora Maar – An Artist, An Address Book, A Life” – Brigitte Benkemoun

Finding Doram MaarIn search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.

After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.

Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.

Brigitte Benkemoun is a journalist and writer. She is the author of La petite fille sur la photo (2012) and Albert le Magnifique (2016). Jody Gladding is a poet and translator. She has translated some thirty books from French, including, most recently, Roland Barthes’s Album: Unpublished Correspondence and Texts (2018), Michel Pastoureau’s Yellow: The History of a Color (2019), and Jean Giono’s Occupation Journal (2020).

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Art History: “The Lives of Caravaggio” (The Getty)

Art + Ideas - Getty PodcastsMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is one of the most admired painters of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Known for his powerful, dramatically lit compositions, Caravaggio depicted violence and the human form with a degree of realism unprecedented at the time. He was among the most famous painters in Rome—but not only because of his skill as an artist.

Michelangelo Merisi da CaravaggiCaravaggio was also notorious for his wild life and shocking temper. After being sentenced to death for murder, he fled Rome and died in exile at age 38 . Three biographies written in the decades after his death constitute nearly all that is known about the enigmatic artist.

In this episode, Getty curator and expert on Italian painting Davide Gasparatto discusses Caravaggio and the role these early biographies, by Giulio Mancini, Giovanni Baglione, and Giovanni Pietro Bellori, played in defining Caravaggio’s legacy.

Art Podcasts: Six Top U.S. Museum Directors Discuss Closures, Reopening & Role In Society (The Getty)

Art + Ideas - Getty PodcastsIn this two-part series, six US museum directors discuss the pandemic and its repercussions for their institutions. These candid, insightful conversations address wide-ranging topics, from the logistical challenges of when to close and how to reopen to philosophical exchanges about the role of museums in society.

This first episode features Max Hollein of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Kaywin Feldman of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and James Rondeau of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This second episode features Matthew Teitelbaum of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Ann Philbin of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and Timothy Potts of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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Art Curator: “Why Did Michelangelo Use Red Chalk?” (Getty Museum)

From The Iris (Getty Museum – April 17, 2020):

gm_374970EX1_1300To work out the details of all the figures in pen and ink would have been extremely labor-intensive, and sharpening quills and mixing inks would’ve added an additional distraction. Drawing in chalk necessitated great skill, but it also allowed Michelangelo a flexibility. He could create subtle tonal variations by applying more or less pressure onto the chalk or by wetting it. The red chalk also provided an immediate mid-tone on the paper and could be easily blended when modeling and shading forms. Being a naturally occurring material that was available to artists in sticks that could be sharpened as desired, it was also convenient and portable.

The Iris - Behind The Scenes at the Getty MuseumDuring his lifetime, Michelangelo likely produced tens of thousands of drawings. But being protective of his ideas, and to give an impression of effortless genius, he destroyed many of them. Today only about 600 drawings by the Renaissance artist survive. A Getty exhibition highlighted 28 of them, giving viewers a window into Michelangelo’s artistic process. “He used drawings to record his observations, to explore certain ideas, to further develop these ideas, to reconsider them entirely,” said Assistant Curator Edina Adam.

The exhibition included a relatively high number of drawings in red chalk, which prompted the question: Why did Michelangelo use this particular drawing material?

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Art History Videos: “Michelangelo – Mind Of The Master” (The Getty)

Take a visual journey into the mind of Michelangelo, a painter, sculptor, architect, draftsman, and one of the most creative and influential artists in the history of Western art. See how he used drawings to create, explore, and prepare for some of his most famous works of art. Produced for the J. Paul Getty Museum’s exhibition, “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master.” https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions…

Art History Podcasts: “Understanding the Medieval World through Books” (Getty Museum)

Getty Museum PodcastsWhat was the world like from 500 to 1500 CE? This period, often called medieval or the Middle Ages in European history, saw the rise and fall of empires and the expansion of cross-cultural exchange.

Getty curator Bryan C. Keene argues that illuminated manuscripts and decorated texts from Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Americas, and Europe are windows through which we can view the interconnected history of humanity. In this episode, he discusses his recent book Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts, highlighting the challenges and opportunities of the emerging discipline known as the Global Middle Ages.