Capers #11: Getty Center

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 11-26-2017 08:57 AM 993 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Public Art Part 11 of Capers series Part 12: #11 Continued »

In early November, RBS and the kid she married a hundred years ago were here for about eight days. I took a day off and schlepped them and my Aged Parent, Dad, to the Getty Center. This time, we had all the time in the world to soak up the eye candy, What a load of eye candy. Seriously, by the end of the day, I simply couldn’t handle any more of it, and had a pounding headache. I’ve begun wondering if, mebbees, my propensity to ogle at the works of true Masters (of whatever genre) might have something to do with the apparent loss of my own creative drive, or, “mojo,” as I call it. Be that as it may, I took lots of photos, with my actual camera, not my phone camera, to share with anyone who cares to come along. Words are in short supply. I took pictures, but I took no notes. So descriptions and dates and the names of the various artists, with few exceptions, would have to be researched through the Getty Center’s website, or, perhaps fleshed out by someone who knows more than I (someone named, perhaps, Paul, or Patrick, or Patrice). or any number of our contemporaries who, in my mind, are every bit the equals to these ancient craftsmen. On with the show, in no particular order.

First, a word about the current temporary exhibit, which involves a boatload of artifacts from mainly the Mayan culture of Central America. I was, in point of fact, rather nonplussed by it all. The reason is that, on the whole, the things I viewed in this exhibit screamed barbarism and cannibalism, and obsequious worship towards beings who would sooner slaughter you and eat your organs than even think of you as a human deserving of even the slightest bit of dignity. Art, as I see it, and, I think most reasonable people would agree, should have some uplifting quality to it. It should bear some degree of beauty and elegance. Have some ability within it to make the viewr feel, somehow improved in his outlook, rather than repulsed. I could be way off, and I’m willing to grow out of it, as the need arises. I did, after all, get over my hatred of Norm’s Restaurants, after about twenty-five years, and, now, eat there about three times a month.

I will say one thing about the one photo I will share from that exhibit that made me LOL. (LOLing is something to which I am not easily moved.)

This guy, clearly, should add prunes to his diet. Or, mebbees, cut down on his consumption of human organs.

Now, let’s move on to some of the stuff that, after a few hours, gave me a bad case of eye candy overload. A mental toothache, if you will. Again, apart form a couple of pieces that I recognize as being the works of Boulle and Roentgen, I’m mainly clueless as to provenance. Suffice it to share the wonder.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

A porcelain, I don’t know, cookie jar(?), from 18th Century France, inspired in its turn by Chinese Masters. of that medium.

A stunningly exquisite allegorical carving surrounded by tapestries made by someone (unknown), who clearly knew nothing of arthritis.

The joint is a treasure trove of breathtaking Marquetry and furniture, both practical and purely decorative.

Hidden behind those golden straps are secret drawers.

I need to cut this into two installments. It seems to be getting overloaded.

-- Mark

8 comments so far

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4526 days

#1 posted 11-26-2017 03:11 PM

For some reason, when I see these types of artifacts/art pieces my first thought is not about their “beauty” but- “I wonder how long it took to make that?”

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View leafherder's profile


1957 posts in 2723 days

#2 posted 11-26-2017 03:51 PM

Hi Mark,

More photos please.

1. Please think logically for just a moment. Were the Natives of Central America any more savage than the Europeans who sailed in with their superior weapons and slaughtered the locals for as much shiny yellow metal as their ships could carry?

2. As for the weavers who knew nothing about arthritis – that is because they rarely lived long enough to contract arthritis. The makers of those beautiful fabrics were simple laborers working under the direction of wealth factory owners.

Just some food for thought to counteract your eye candy overdose. :)

Take care,


-- Leafherder

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1755 days

#3 posted 11-26-2017 08:43 PM

For some reason, when I see these types of artifacts/art pieces my first thought is not about their “beauty” but- “I wonder how long it took to make that?”

- lew

I agree with lew, imagine trying to create that level of work with the tools they had available at the time.bogles the mind!

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 11-26-2017 08:44 PM

Hey Mark!

Happy belated Thanksgiving. Looks like a great day and a bit overwhelming? The workmanship and artistry was a sign of the times as well as people who could afford to pay the artisans? LOL! Beauty is specific to the culture of place and time? eg. Beautiful women of the past vs. present? And ornamentation of the body?

Hopefully the overload will pass and you will get excited, or inspired to explore again.

Thanks for sharing your visual candy!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 11-26-2017 10:56 PM

I have been to the Getty Museum several times. There is some inspiring craftsmanship there. I love the grounds and riding the train to the top.

-- Big Al in IN

View shipwright's profile


8554 posts in 3568 days

#6 posted 11-27-2017 02:17 AM

Thanks for the pics Mark. I would love to visit some time but it’s a bit out of my way so I will continue to enjoy the photos of those who share them.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2826 posts in 1834 days

#7 posted 11-27-2017 09:09 AM

Thanks for the comments. My Buddies are keeping me alive.
Paul, You gotta know that I drop names to docents, when I’m there.

-- Mark

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3593 days

#8 posted 11-27-2017 10:02 PM

fabulous examples of “masters at work” Mark, thanks for the compilation & pleasure in viewing
cheers Bud

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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