Liquid crystal souls (detail), Ernst Haeckel, 1917. Frontispiece from Ernst Haeckel, Kristallseelen (Crystal Souls) (Leipzig, 1917). Private collection, Los Angeles
CONTINUING THIS MONTH
Liquid crystal souls, Ernst Haeckel, 1917. Frontispiece from Ernst Haeckel, Kristallseelen (Crystal Souls) (Leipzig, 1917). Private collection, Los Angeles
The Art of Alchemy
Through February 12, 2017 | The Getty Center
Liquid crystalsnow ubiquitously used in the touch-screen technology of phone and tablet displayswere seen as the link between inanimate matter and life by some scientists and alchemists around the turn of the 20th century. A crystal's growth, which appeared to initiate organically from within the crystal itself, led scientific illustrator Ernst Haeckel to believe that there is a "soul force" that unifies and animates all physical matter. Haeckel's microscopic illustrations of crystalline formations, which are now on display as part of The Art of Alchemy, became a source of inspiration for artists of the art nouveau movement.
Gallery tours are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. in January.
Alchemists "imbibing" (infusing substance with spirit), detail from the Ripley Scroll, ca. 1700. The Getty Research Institute, 950053
Art of Alchemy Lecture and Colloquium
January 1819, 2017 | The Getty Center
Complementing the exhibition The Art of Alchemy, this colloquium and its opening lecture, "Chemical Rainbows and Liquid Crystal Souls: The Spirit of Alchemy in the History of Art," explore the mysterious practices and visual impact of alchemy from antiquity through the industrial age. In the opening lecture, Associate Curator David Brafman focuses on alchemy and its lasting impact on artfrom the development of paint colors and glazing techniques to its use in metalwork and glassas well as its applications in the modern world, including photography and the liquid crystal displays of the digital age.
Lecture and Book Signing | January 25, 2017 7:00 p.m. | The Getty Center
In The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family's Art Treasures Stolen by the Nazis (2015), author Simon Goodman narrates the true story of his family's historya glimpse of Jewish life in Germany before the Holocaustwith an exposé of the Nazi looting machine during World War II through the painstaking study of provenance, much of which was performed through the Getty Provenance Index® databases and GRI archival collections. Goodman's quest led to the recovery of hundreds of his family's possessions (the first settlement of a Nazi looting case in the United States), and helped change international policy regarding art restitution. This lecture will highlight the many advantages of researching in the digital age, compared to the inaccessibility of the art world immediately following the war.
Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art
Unique in their fusion of the verbal, visual, and sonic, Russian artists' books made between 1910 and 1915 encourage readers to look at, listen to, and read the poetry within. Part of the futurist movement, these books grew out of collaborations between painters and poets who utilized a newly invented sonic language called zaum (a neologism meaning "beyond the mind"), which rejects logical meaning. GRI Curator Nancy Perloff conducts close readings of two of the most significant and experimental futurist books, Mirskontsa (Worldbackwards) and Vzorvalâ (Explodity). She also uncovers a wide-ranging legacy in the midcentury global movement of sound and concrete poetry, Western conceptual art, and the artist's book.
Three acrobatic cyclists, ca. 1890. The Getty Research Institute, 2014.R.4
Portraits of Performers
Offering a glimpse into the heyday of European music hall shows and American vaudeville and burlesque (ca. 18701930s), the 385 portraits in this collection depict performers from ventriloquists to acrobats, aerialists, riders, and strongmen and strongwomen. Many of the pictured sitters were household names in their timesuch as monologist Frank Fogerty, the "Dublin Mistrel," who won the New York Morning Telegraph's contest for most popular vaudeville actor in 1912however, their faces and acts are scarcely remembered today.