Getty Museum


Above: John Divola - N34°11.115'W116°08.399' , 1995-98

Below: Image from Google Street View

Today I’ve paired a photograph by John Divola belonging to the Getty Museum with an image from almost the exact same location on Google Street View.  What have we learned?  In about 13 years, not much has changed in Twentynine Palms, California.

In the 90s, American photographer Divola took a series of photos called “Isolated Houses” in the Southwest.

Lots of hi-res images free to own and use - like this hungry crocodile

Yesterday the Getty Museum announced the start of its Open Content Program, which provides 4600 high-resolution images for all to browse and use, including almost 1900 medieval images (read the announcement here). With the help of a clear search engine you can track down what you are looking for very easily and quickly (check it out here). When you click on “view record” you are presented with large images of 20 MB or even more, which you can download without registering. The best thing? You can do with them what you want. You can crop them, change them, print them on your office mug, include them in your Christmas cards, and even use them for commercial purposes (check out the rules of the game here). So why are you still reading this Tumblr? Take a big crocodile-bite out of Getty’s offering!

Pic: Crocodile eating a man, Getty Museum MS 100 (2007.16.49v) (England, 1250-60).

French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923)
Félix Nadar
around 1864 (8 5/16 x 6 3/8 in)

The extraordinary actress Sarah Bernhardt was about twenty when she posed for Nadar and had barely begun her long and phenomenally successful career. Nadar’s photograph was probably the first of innumerable images by painters, photographers, sculptors, and graphic artists. At a time when Nadar was preoccupied with ballooning and willing to leave most of the portrait work to studio assistants, Bernhardt drew him back into the studio to make touching images of her delicate face. Here he wrapped her with a great sweep of velvet that bared one shoulder but showed no more of her slender body, centering all attention on her head, which is seen nearly in profile. 

The young woman with the supple shoulders and the golden voice became an incomparable and indomitable actress, famous first in France and then throughout the world for playing heroines-and heroes-in a wide variety of plays. Bernhardt’s celebrity and the enormous attention she attracted everywhere she went anticipated the phenomenon of late twentieth-century media stars. 


Magnificent Ancient Roman Silver Treasure Revealed

Accidentally discovered by a French farmer plowing his field near the village of Berthouville in rural Normandy in 1830, the spectacular hoard of gilt-silver statuettes and vessels known as the Berthouville Treasure was an ancient offering to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury. Following four years of meticulous conservation and research in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Antiquities Conservation Department, the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, on view at the Getty Villa November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015, will present this unique collection of ancient silver in its full splendor and offer new insights about ancient art, technology, religion, and cultural interaction. The opulent cache – in the collection of the Cabinet des médailles (now the Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques) at the Bibliothèque nationale de France – is displayed in its entirety for the first time outside of Paris, together with precious gems, jewelry, and other Roman luxury objects from the Cabinet’s royal collections.

More here.


Pompeian red became a popular shade to paint the trendiest of 18th-century European dining rooms.

Named after the famous (and then brand-new) excavations at Pompeii, Italy, the color came into popularity after it was seen in frescoes inside excavated homes.

However, this red is actually a dehydrated form of yellow ocher. That is to say, these frescoes were most likely yellow during their creation, and only after extreme heat application (perhaps from a volcanic eruption) did the yellow become the ever-so-popular “Pompeian red.” Check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art for more.

Wall Fragment with a Woman on a Balcony, about 9 B.C.–A.D. 14, Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum