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September 17, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
When does a Jackson Pollock painting look more like a Jackson Pollock painting? Simple: When it's clean. That's the not-altogether surprising thought that came to mind when I dropped by the J. Paul Getty Museum's conservation lab the other day to check out progress on Pollock's monumental 1943 “Mural.” Star of the collection at the University of Iowa Museum of Art , the epic painting had arrived in Los Angeles a year ago for extensive treatment....
September 14, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne
It took me a few weeks to catch on, but the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents series, whose final shows come to a close Sunday and Monday, wasn't notable just as a wide-ranging reassessment of Southern California's postwar architecture. It was just as revealing - maybe even more revealing - as a collection of institutional self-portraits. Nearly every exhibition in the series said as much about the ideals, ambitions and leadership of the museum or school that organized it as it did about architecture and urbanism in Los Angeles.
September 6, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Prometheus has long been a symbol of the rebel hero, a revolutionary challenging an oppressive order. Dubbed "the patron saint of the proletariat," he is a god who sided with mankind against the immortals, bestowing on them enlightenment and the great gift of fire, crimes for which he is punished by Zeus, the universe's reigning tyrant at the time of the myth. In Travis Preston's gracefully lucid staging of Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound" at the Getty Villa's outdoor Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, Prometheus is carted out on a wagon that, were he not a deathless god, might be mistaken for a bier.
September 6, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg, This post has been corrected. See note at bottom of article for details.
The crimson-haired woman makes sure to offer snacks to each person entering the room. She's seated at the end, next to a carved marble fireplace that doesn't entirely match the rest of the neutral corporate décor. It used to be different here. "It was a very beautiful living room, with beautiful chairs and lovely couches," she says. That's when this place was hers and J. Paul Getty's. They called it their ranch; we call it the Getty Villa. Theodora Getty Gaston - Teddy - will turn 100 this month, just in time for the publication of her new memoir, "Alone Together: My Life With J. Paul Getty" (Ecco: 416 pp., $26.99)
August 31, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
At first, director Travis Preston wanted to seat the audience for "Prometheus Bound" at the Getty Villa where the actors would normally be: on the plaza in front of the museum that doubles as a stage for the Getty's annual late-summer outdoor productions of ancient plays. The drama would unfold high above the crowd, in the vacated rows and aisles of the Villa's steeply sloped Roman-style theater. The switch made sense for a play whose hero is chained to a mountainside above an ocean for having thwarted Zeus' plans.
August 28, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Elizabeth Morrison, curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum , heard on July 4 that British authorities had finally lifted the export ban on a 15th-century Flemish manuscript the museum bought at a London auction late last year. That the news arrived on Independence Day is an irony not lost on her. The "Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies," a secular romance with extraordinary illuminations by the great Belgian artist Lieven van Lathem (circa 1430-1493), was sold in December from Chatsworth, ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire and site of a fabled private art collection.
August 13, 2013 | By David Ng
The Getty is making a wide selection of art-related images in its digital database available for public use and at no cost. The announcement, which was made on Monday, is part of a Getty-wide move toward open content, according to James Cuno, the organization's president and chief executive officer. Images that fall under the new unrestricted-use guidelines either belong to the Getty or are already in the public domain. Previously, the J. Paul Getty Museum made images available upon request and for a fee, with certain restrictions.
August 8, 2013
If you happen to be at the Getty Center on Friday night or Saturday afternoon, you might bump into Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger playing a pop-up recital. (Times and places will not be announced.) Reijseger embodies the range of his country's forward musical thinking, which means a forward approach to old music as well as new. This kind of building bridges over musical canals is also what Reijseger does in the music he has also contributed to filmmaker Werner Herzog's new video installation, "Hearsay of the Soul.
August 5, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
Under a brilliant white canopy, mayors from dozens of Los Angeles County cities gathered on the back lawn at Getty House on Monday to talk about public safety, traffic congestion, job creation and how they can better work together to tackle problems. New Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti invited mayors from the 87 other cities in the county to his ceremonial residence, and 63 (including representatives of mayors) showed up. Garcetti said he planned to make such informal get-togethers a regular occurrence during his administration.
July 18, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
This post has been corrected. Please see below for details . The British government is once more trying to frustrate a major art purchase by the J. Paul Getty Museum, this time “Rembrandt Laughing,” a self-portrait from around 1628 in which the artist painted a young and atypically lighthearted vision of himself. Under British law, foreigners who buy art that's more than 50 years old and ensconced on U.K. soil can see their purchases vetoed if two conditions are met. First, cultural authorities must deem the work to be of “special significance.” Second, a British institution must step forward to match the selling price -- in this case about $25.1 million -- to acquire it from its owner in the foreign buyer's stead.
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