The Getty Department of Photographs is the Mecca of Photography

The J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection of over one hundred thousand images is among the most comprehensive holdings of rare and important photographs in the world. It ranges from daguerreotypes to work by contemporary photographers.

For conservation purposes and, may I add, due to their sheer number, photographs cannot be kept on permanent display, but go on view during rotating exhibitions. The images below are from ”Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante” , ‘‘the most important photobook to document the devastating impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and 1980s”.

Paired here with an image from the Cactus Garden and a detail from one of the exterior walls showcasing just a few of the 1.2 million square feet of travertine stone used to cover many surfaces of the Getty Center.

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Bever Skinningrove (1987) by Chris Killip
Gelatin silver print

The Getty Center

July 18th, 2017

The Getty Villa

J. Paul Getty purchased his first work of ancient art in 1939 – a small terracotta sculpture. Almost thirty years later, inspired by his growing collection of antiquities of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art, he announced he would build a museum worthy of such treasures: a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri, a luxurious Roman residence in Herculaneum, Italy that had been buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

The Villa dei Papiri (“Villa of the Papyruses”) was rediscovered in the 1750s. The excavation recovered bronze and marble sculptures, wall paintings, colorful stone pavements, and over a thousand papyrus scrolls – hence the name. The Getty villa is a near replica of it, in scale and appearance; even some of the materials used were taken from the Villa dei Papiri. (source)

In other words, the Getty Villa should be seen as a work of art in itself and feature high on your list of ”must-see” museums next time you plan a trip to Southern California. 

In antiquity, as today, awnings served both a ceremonial and practical purpose. Roman hosts invited guests to dine on outdoor couches protected from the sun by colourful fabric. Tends and awnings throughout towns and cities marked festivals and holidays and provided shade for the audience in open-air arenas and theatres.


Pair of Altars with Aphrodite and Adonis
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy, 400-375 B.C.


Mixing Vessel with Adonis, Aphrodite and Persephone
Greek, made in Athens, 390-380 B.C.


Venus
Roman, A.D. 100-200; found in Rome


Muse
Roman, about A.D. 200


Storage Jar with Medusa
Greek, made in Athens, 530-520 B.C.


The Lansdowne Herakles
Roman, about A.D. 125

This sculpture was one of J. Paul Getty’s most prized possessions and inspired him to build this Museum in the style of an ancient Roman villa. The statue, representing the Greek hero Herakles with his lionskin and club, was discovered in 1790 near the villa of the Roman emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy.


Poet as Orpheus with Two Sirens
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy, 350-300 B.C.


Pair of Peacocks
Roman, from Syria, possibly Emesa (present-day Homs), A.D. 400-600


Sadly – and alarmingly – the Getty Villa will remain closed all weekend – Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, 2018 – due to the ongoing wildfires in order to help firefighting efforts by alleviating traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway. The Villa itself is not threatened by the fires.

Here’s hoping to see the end of this destruction, soon.

The Getty Villa

The House Stalker

Stalking the Gehry Residence, that unique structure that looks like it sprung out of a cubist painting, which Frank Gehry designed himself and built around an existing suburban Dutch Colonial house.

I only wish I could have seen the interior but then I wouldn’t have been a stalker, I would have been an acquaintance or a friend of the family. Wouldn’t that be something!

The Gehry Residence, Santa Monica

July 17, 2017

A work of art

There are many wonderful museums and art galleries in this world.

Then, there is The Getty.

Multilayered, modern design; open spaces; galleries drenched in natural light; gardens and streams; breathtaking views of the city and surrounding hills. If you can, go on a Saturday when the Getty remains open until 9 p.m. Because nothing beats watching the sunset from one of the balconies. Or the city lights as they begin to flicker.

June 15th, 2017

Westwood Village

Fox Village Theatre and the Gayley Terrace apartments. They were declared historic-cultural monuments in 1988 and not everyone was happy about that.

The Los Angeles Times wrote: ”Jean Taylor Lawrence, the owner of Gayley Terrace at the time, appeared near tears as she appealed to the council to leave her property alone. Lawrence said she was being punished for keeping her Spanish Colonial-style building in good repair.”

“Our corner looks beautiful, and it was because of my hard work,” Lawrence said after the council vote. “They have torn my heart out.” – [source]

Yet, in 2017, the complex looked more beautiful than ever.  

Westwood Village

July 15th, 2017

Warner Bros Studio Tour – I

L.A.
The city of angels, the city of stars, the city of dreams. Rather than revolving around a centre, L.A. expands in neighbourhoods, or rather cities-within-the-city, each one with its own character and levels of popularity, gentrification and cool. We will (re)visit some of these neighbourhoods in the coming days but… first things first: a behind-the-scenes tour where some of the magic happens – in Warner Bros Studios.

Scene 1 – Take 1 (exterior snapshots) Warner Bros Studio Tour
3400 W. Riverside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505

July 14th, 2017