What is Art?

Figure 1.1 | Blind Homer with Guide, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau / Milwaukee Art Museum, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Pamela J. Sachant and Jeffrey A. LeMieux Sachant: Professor of Visual Arts, University of North Georgia LeMieux: Professor of Art, University of Madison-Wisconsin Introduction We live in a rapidly changing world in which images play an important,[…]

Harvard Professor’s PULSUS – Sound as Art

The installation outside Gund Hall responds to real-time data, ranging from emojis used on social media to police radio dispatches. By Travis Dagenais / 12.06.2017 Photos by Justin Knight GSD professor’s sculpture translates real-time data into soundscapes As visitors to the Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Gund Hall approach the puzzling blanket of concrete installed[…]

Time and Place: Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)

Wilmington Giant (1939) by Eric Ravilious / The Mainstone Press Eric Ravilious died when his aircraft went missing off Iceland while he was making war paintings. An artist in multiple disciplines, his greater legacy dwells in water-colours. Frank Delaney re-visits the work of this understated, yet significant figure. By Frank Delaney / 11.27.2013 Former Writer and Broadcaster[…]

Artist Zeke Peña on Illustrating the Life of Photographer Graciela Iturbide

Photographer Graciela Iturbide Artist and illustrator Zeke Peña talks about making comic books and bringing photographer Graciela Iturbide’s work to life in a new graphic biography. By Sarah Waldorf / 11.21.2017 Media Producer Getty Web Group The new book Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, Getty Publications’ first graphic biography, tells the story of Mexican photographer Graciela[…]

The Art of Photographing Architecture with Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards photographs the interior of the Berlin Philharmonic, 2017. Photos: Emily Pugh Why photographing buildings is very different from photographing people By Marissa Clifford / 11.22.2017 Research Assistant, Digital Art History Group Getty Research Institute Chris Edwards is good with people but hates photographing them. Instead, he shoots buildings. For nearly a decade, he[…]

It’s Not Easy to Make Landscape a Place: You Have to Feel It

View over Buttermere in Wordsworth’s favoured Lake District, England. Paul Albertella/Flickr By Dr. Fiona Stafford / 11.07.2016 Professor of English Language and Literature University of Oxford There is a big difference between ‘place’ and ‘landscape’, even though the words are often used interchangeably. The original meaning of ‘landscape’ came from 17th-century artistic discourse. It referred to[…]

The Science of Life as Art and Dissent

By Christopher Martiniano / 06.16.2017 PhD Candidate in English and Art History University of Indiana, Bloomington “For some time now,” Friedrich Nietzsche opened Will To Power, “our whole European culture has been moving with a tortured tension that is growing.”  Nietzsche worried that it had been moving “toward a catastrophe: relentlessly, violently, headlong, like a river[…]

‘Topographic Memory’ and Landscape Photography

Bruce Lindsey, “Paradise Valley, MT. July 28, 2013.” Lindsey explores the inherent tensions of landscape photography. By Liam Otten / 09.27.2017 Senior News Director, Arts and Humanities Washington University in St. Louis Storm clouds gather above Rocky Mountain peaks, summer rains sweeping amber fields below. Skeletal trees overlook muddy flood waters, bark shining silver in[…]

Introduction to Dada

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain (original), photographed by Alfred Stieglitz in 1917 after its rejection by the Society of Independent Artists By Dr. Stephanie Chadwick / 09.04.2017 Assistant Professor of Art History Lamar University Art as provocation When you look at Marcel Duchamp’s  Fountain, a factory-produced urinal he submitted as a sculpture to the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independent[…]

How Subversive Artists Made Thrift Shopping Cool

Customers shop during at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Out of the Closet thrift store in Columbus, Ohio. Jay LaPrete/AP By Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte / 08.15.2017 Assistant Professor of Material Culture and History University of North Carolina Wilmington National Thrift Shop Day (August 17) exists alongside other quirky holidays like Play Your Ukulele Day (February 2)[…]

Chris Killip as Photographer and Teacher

Angelic Upstarts at a Miners’ Benefit Dance at the Barbary Coast Club, Sunderland, Wearside (detail), 1984, Chris Killip. Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, purchased in part with funds provided by Alison Bryan Crowell, Trish and Jan de Bont, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, Manfred Heiting, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, and Lyle and[…]

West African Ashanti Kente Cloth Art

Asante kente cloth, 20th century, silk and cotton (Vatican Museums) By Dr. Courtnay Micots / 07.17.2017 Assistant Professor of Art History Florida A&M University Inspired by a spider’s web Among the Asante (or Ashanti) people of Ghana, West Africa, a popular legend relates how two young men—Ota Karaban and his friend Kwaku Ameyaw—learned the art[…]

Three Buildings, Two Architects, Common Spaces

Installation view of Berlin/LA: Space for Music at the Getty Research Institute. Photo: John Kiffe An architect finds commonalities in spaces for music in Berlin and LA—both highbrow and low. By Peter Greuneisen / 07.11.2017 Founder nonzero\architecture, studio bau:ton There are surprising parallels between the sister cities of Berlin and Los Angeles, as is convincingly shown in[…]

Leonardo, Rapunzel, and the Mathematics of Hair

Lecture by Dr. Raymond E. Goldstein at the Museum of London / 11.09.2016 Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems University of Cambridge Introduction How do physicists and mathematicians think about hair?  Everyone, especially those with their own hair, has surely been fascinated since their youth with the magical properties of bundles of hair: its “body”[…]

Joseph Cornell’s Mail Art

Card collaged by Joseph Cornell, enclosed with his letter to Susanna De Maria Wilson dated February 17, 1963. The Getty Research Institute, 2014.M.30 A look inside newly catalogued letters and collages by the American pioneer of collage and assemblage art. By Isabella Zuralski-Yeager / 06.27.2017 Special Collections Cataloger Getty Research Institute Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) is[…]

The Eccentric, Democratic Architecture of Hans Scharoun

Philharmonie exterior. Photo by Chris Edwards The German architect created unique designs blending Expressionism and the International Style. By Dr. Kathleen James-Chakraborty / 05.09.2017 Professor of Art History University College Dublin The exhibition Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music (April 25–July 30, 2017, at the Getty Research Institute) explores two iconic buildings, Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic[…]

Does Technological Analysis Destroy the Romance of Art History?

Detail from Extracting the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch / Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid By Dr. Noah Charney / 08.09.2016 Adjunct Professor of Art History, American University of Rome Founder, Association for Research into Crimes Against Art In 2012, a linguist at the University of Southern California decoded a famous medieval manuscript written in a[…]

Feel-Good Fractals: From Ocean Waves to Jackson Pollock’s Art

Photo by NCinDC/Flickr By Florence Williams / 01.26.2017 Visiting Scholar George Washington University When Richard Taylor was 10 years old in the early 1970s in England, he chanced upon a catalogue of Jackson Pollock paintings. He was mesmerised, or perhaps a better word is Pollockised. Franz Mesmer, the crackpot 18th-century physician, posited the existence of[…]

The History of Art and Literature in Urban Contexts

The Roman Forum, by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, 1755 / The Louvre Museum, Paris   By Dr. Markian Prokopovych and Dr. Roey Sweet / 05.13.2015 Prokopovych: Leverhulme Research Fellow, University of Birgmingham Sweet: Professor of Urban History, University of Leicester Abstract Artistic and literary production are not inherently urban processes in themselves but they have always[…]

‘América Tropical’s’ Powerful Message

Chris Espinosa, standing in front of América Tropical. Photo: Evan Guston © J. Paul Getty Trust. Mural: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SOMAAP, Mexico City Among the treasures of El Pueblo Historical Monument is this masterpiece by David Alfaro Siqueiros. Since its re-unveiling in 2012, thousand of visitors have viewed the conserved mural.[…]

How Google Street View Became Fertile Ground for Artists

A scene in the Bronx curated from Google Street View. Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Google    By Dr. Allison L. Rowland and Dr. Chris Ingraham / 05.24.2017 Rowland: Assistant Professor of Performance and Communication Arts, St. Lawrence University Ingraham: Assistant Professor of Communication, North Carolina State University On May 25, Google Street View celebrates its 10th birthday.[…]

Fixing the Ephemeral: An Ongoing Conversation with Artist Donald Blumberg

Untitled from the series Television Political Mosaics 1968–1969, 1968–69, Donald Blumberg. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Donald R. and Grace Blumberg. © Donald Blumberg The Los Angeles-based artist speaks about photography, time, and the desire to remember. By Laura Hubber / 04.28.2017 Content Producer, Interpretive Media Department J. Paul Getty Museum For more than five[…]

Did Artists Lead the Way in Mathematics?

Is there a geometry lesson hidden in ‘The Last Supper’? Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Henry Adams / 04.27.2017 Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History Case Western Reserve University Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different disciplines – one devoted to abstract thought, the other to feeling. But sometimes the parallels between the[…]