Join Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, as he talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work. Listen in as he engages these important thinkers in reflective and critical conversations about architecture, archaeology, art history, and museum exhibitions.
Reflecting on 25 Years of the Getty Center
“I was there for the groundbreaking of the Getty Center. I was there for opening day of the Getty Center. I think for a lot of people, it said LA has arrived.”
After nearly 15 years in the making, the Getty Center opened to much fanfare on December 16, 1997. Perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of the surrounding city and coastline, the new campus quickly became an architectural and cultural landmark in Los Angeles. This year marks the Center’s 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, we asked our community to share their Getty memories.
In this episode, Jim Cuno’s last as host and Getty president, he reflects on his time there. We also hear from staff, docents, and members of our community about the opening of the Getty Center and other favorite memories of the site.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-reflecting-on-25-years-of-the-getty-center/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
Black Photographers Represent Their World
“There was a lotta negativity because there was just pictures of Black people. That was one of the critiques, that we just photographed Black people. Said, ‘Yeah. You photograph just white people.’ That was the argument.”
In New York City in 1963, a group of Black photographers came together, naming themselves the Kamoinge Workshop. Translated from the Kikuyu language, kamoinge means a group of people acting together. The artists indeed worked closely together, focusing on reflecting Black life through photographs and increasing Black representation in professional organizations like the American Society of Magazine Photographers (now American Society of Media Photographers). The exhibition Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop showcases members’ work from the 1960s and ’70s.
In this episode, artist Adger Cowans and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) curator Sarah Eckhardt discusses Kamoinge’s history and future as well as the exhibition Working Together. The exhibition is organized by the VFMA and is on view at the Getty Center through October 9, 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-black-photographers-represent-their-world/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To learn more about the exhibition Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/kamoinge/index.html
Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles
"You know, everything is not just red, yellow, blue, and coming from a tube. It can be anything out there in the world. Grab it and use it."
In 1956, artist Ed Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma and drove with his childhood friend to Los Angeles. Drawn to the city by its palm trees and apparent lack of an established art scene, Ruscha stayed to attend Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), where he aspired to be a sign painter. In the decades since, Ruscha has become a world-renowned artist, but much of his art continues to be informed by LA.
In this episode, Ruscha discusses how he became an artist, his thoughts on his career today, and his decades-long project documenting Sunset Boulevard.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-ed-ruschas-los-angeles/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To learn more about Ruscha's photographs of Sunset Boulevard, visit https://12sunsets.getty.edu/map/narrative
Uta Barth’s Atmospheric Photographs
“The camera sort of teaches you to see in a really different way and to experience your environment in a different way, and to pay attention to the act of looking.”
Photographer Uta Barth’s photographs focus on the act of looking. She has long been interested in creating images in which there is no discernable subject, but rather the image or light itself is the subject. Barth’s conceptual photographs examine how we see and how we define foreground and background. Her series are often long-term engagements; she photographs the same place over many months, or even years, to understand how light changes a space over time. She recently completed a series at the Getty Center taken over the course of a year and comprising over 60,000 images. Barth has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
In this episode, Barth discusses her approach to making images through several of her bodies of work including Ground, Figure, and her new Getty series. Her career will be the subject of a retrospective at the Getty Center in fall 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-uta-barths-atmospheric-photographs/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To learn more about Uta Barth, visit https://utabarth.net/
Imagining the Afterlife through Ancient Vases
“The underworld, the afterlife, is fairly dank, dark, shadowy; quite frankly, it’s a bit boring. Somewhat like waiting at a bus depot.”
Homer’s Odyssey depicts an afterlife that is relatively dull, with heroic actions and glory reserved for the living. Nonetheless, people in Southern Italy in the fourth century BCE were captivated by the underworld and decorated large funerary vases with scenes of the afterlife—the domain of Hades and Persephone, where sinners like Sisyphus are tortured for eternity and heroes like Herakles and Orpheus performed daring feats. Little is known about precisely how these vases were used and seen in death rituals. A new book by Getty Publications, Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife in Ancient South Italian Vase Painting, brings together 40 such vases and explores new research on them.
In this episode, Getty Museum curator of antiquities David Saunders discusses these enormous and often elaborate vases, explaining the myths they depict and what is known about the ways in which they were used. Saunders is editor of Underworld.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-imagining-the-afterlife-through-ancient-vases/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To buy the book Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife in Ancient South Italian Vase Painting, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/underworld-imagining-the-afterlife-in-ancient-south-italian-vase-painting-978-1606067345
To learn more about the exhibition, visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_underworld/
Damaged de Kooning on Display at Last
“I had heard the tale and knew what to expect, but it was by far the most damaged painting I had seen. When it arrived, it came into the studio and the damage was almost all that you could see.”
In 2017 Willem de Kooning’s painting Woman-Ochre returned to the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) more than 30 years after it had been stolen off the gallery walls. Because the theft and subsequent treatment of the work had caused significant damage, the UAMA enlisted the Getty Museum and Getty Conservation Institute to help repair the painting. When the work arrived at the Getty in 2019, the damage was so extreme that it was all paintings conservator Laura Rivers could see; prominent cracks and flaking paint obscured the artwork itself. Rivers worked alongside her colleague Douglas MacLennan, a conservation scientist who used advanced analytic methods like X-ray fluorescence and microfade testing to inform their conservation work. The results of their multi-year collaboration are finally on view in the exhibition Conserving de Kooning: Theft and Recovery.
In this episode, Getty Museum conservator Laura Rivers and Getty Conservation Institute scientist Douglas MacLennan discuss their work conserving Woman-Ochre, which is on display at the Getty Center through August 28, 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-damaged-de-kooning-on-display-at-last/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To hear more about the theft and conservation process for Woman-Ochre, visit http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-recovery-and-conservation-of-a-stolen-de-kooning/
To learn more about the exhibition, visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/de_kooning/index.html
Fast becoming my favorite
Great show. Love the format and varied guests and topics. Episode 125 on Plunder of Chinese artifacts was just superb. Keep up the good work!
It was disappointing that the house that Paul Williams designed and built in 1952 for Fred Roberts in solstice Canyon, Malibu was not mentioned. Ruins of the house are still there. Curious as to why this house was not mentioned
10/10 as an artTeacher THANK YOU
This is awesome. I’m so grateful to have such an interesting, beautifully thoughtful podcast to expand my knowledge for myself and for my students. Thank you!