Monday, August 3, 2009


The Plans

Tuesday - Lacma
Wednesday - Getty center
Thursday - Getty villa
Lacma is noon to eight
Gettys are 10 to 5:00pm
Monday Getty Center is CLOSED
Tuesday and Wednesday Getty Villa is CLOSED
Wednesday LACMA is closed

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"It Begins"

It begins. I am groggy. The cab came early and I wasn't ready. A scramble for shoes, wallet and so forth. I don't feel all here. (Maybe I'm not all there, either?) Half and half?

But we are at the airport in plenty of time.


We've arrived! Happily, the hotel had a room for us, even though we were early. Breakfast at 'Swinger's", the nearby restaurant, was delicious. Julia opted for just a fruit plate, while I got Huevos Rancheros, two eggs on a tortilla, black beans, cheese sauce and guacomole. I feel well proteinated.

And it's good, for we opted to walk to Lacma. A mile seems longer than it used to. But we arrived an hour before the museum opens its gates. They wouldn't let us in, so we found a perch across the street. We had some trouble finding Julia a place to 'let out some used tea'. The stony faced young woman at LA Fitness would not let us use their toilets, so Julia walked a half a block away before she found someone merciful.

I'm hoping to last until museum opening. A crowd grows on the other side of the ribbon gate, waiting in the sun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 A

"Most Remarkable"

Oh, the amazing restorative powers of sleep! We saw a great deal of things at Lacma, except for the modern art things, which we passed on. The Pompeii show is extraordinary. I'm so glad we opted for the lecture headphones. I could just enjoy observing each piece while knowledgeable people explained them. Many of the 'who's who' in Roman history had homes there. They were able to be as extravagant as they liked without being under the censure of the observing public in the large cities.

And so they had a lot of beautiful things. Amazing workmanship on these things, they took inspiration from Greek (and even Egyptian) themes. They didn't always understand the earlier cultures. A lovely obsidian bowl was inlaid with an assortment of Egyptian motifs. Beautiful details and colors, but the artist featured a man holding the menat necklace (which they never did). Also someone was seated oddly on a chair featuring something like the 'sem-tawy' scene, not understanding it was for pharoahs and 'the unification of the two lands'.

But the silliest of things was the bronze sculptures of Grecian deities, designed to hold trays of food at parties!
(No photos, for they weren't allowed at a travelling exhibition. We did get a DVD which will be a nice keepsake, however.)

Still, all of the collection was beautiful. Two talkative ladies in the restaurant said this is nothing compared to what we will see at the Getty Villa. (That's on the schedule for Thursday.)

After being refreshed from lunch, we saw the small gathering of Egyptian items, more items from the Ptolemic times than any other, but they did have a nice New Kingdom relief, which was quite undamaged:

Round-topped Stela of Iuf-er-bak
Egypt, Thebes, Mid-18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, circa 1391 - 1353 BCE Limestone with traces of pigment, 26 3/4 x 17 1/4 in. (67.95 x 43.82 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by Phil Berg, LACMA AC1999.2.1

(From the info card)
"Iuf-er-bak, a noble from the Egyptian capital city of Thebes, stands at the right accompanied by his wife and two sons. The men carry floral funerary offerings, while in the register below, seven relatives are seated at a funerary banquet. Iuf-er-back is identified by his name and titles inscribed above his head as the 'guardian of the storehouse of the Temple of Amun,' while his wife is described as 'Nebut-iunet, mistress of the house.'

"The stela is carved in the extremely delicate, refined style of the Mid-eighteenth Dynasty, specifically that of the reign of Amenhotep III, considered to mark the apex of Egyptian artistic production. Hallmarks of this tradition can be seen in the finely detailed facial featured, the elongated proportions of the figures, and the careful rendering of the transparent garments."

After catching up with the Egyptian items, it was onto Old Iranian (Persian) and newer Iranian pieces. Some of those I remember from 2005:

Horse bit piece, Iran, Luristan, Iron Age II-III (c. 1000-650 BCE) Bronze

I'm glad I got to see the Asian art this time. They have a really nice collection. Two gold Buddha figures were most remarkable:

Buddha Shakyamuni
India, Uttar Pradesh, late 6th century
Copper alloy with traces of paint
Gift of the Michael J. Connell Foundation (M.70.17)

"one of the finest metal sculptures produced in India during the fifth and sixth centuries..."

Buddha Shakyamuni
Sri Lanka, Kandy period, 18th century
Gilt copper alloy with partial black coating
Purchased with funds provided by Murray and Virginia Ward (M.2004.1a-b)
(More info available

We spent a long time resting in this room, while my feet healed. A sleepy looking cross legged meditating man posed for the centuries seemed to match my mood (serene, contemplative, but sleepy):

Jina Rishabhanatha
India, Gujarat, Vadodara, dated 1612(?)
White marble with traces of pigment
Gift of Drs. Peter and Caroline Koblenzer (AC1998.256.2)

(From a distance, he looked sleepier. I photographed him while seated, using the 'zoom' feature.)

By the time we finished resting, it was 5:30pm, so we exited and spent more time resting on the seats just outside the museum. The breeze was lovely, and I enjoyed seeing the new (2007) arrangement of street lamps. When I walked through them at the center, it felt as though I was walking through a small forest of street lamps, a pleasent sensation. It's good they were able to be preserved and I imagine the light display at night is delightful.

Today it will be Getty Center, 'European Bronzes' and nice European paintings in their permanent collection.

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