Qui puer bonus est?

Statuette of a dog, Roman, 2nd–3rd century A.D. Bronze; H. 8.6 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art 62.10.3 (Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1962). Public domain image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Review of the reinstalled Getty Villa

I highly recommend Elizabeth Marlowe’s review of the reinstalled Getty Villa, which was just published in the American Journal of Archaeology. You may recall that before 2016 the galleries at the Villa were arranged thematically. Now, at the initiative of Tim Potts and Jeffrey Spiers, they are organized chronologically. Marlowe’s review, I think, considers the ramifications of this quite nicely, and generally articulates the strengths and weaknesses of the new galleries. She is especially critical of the lack of attention to provenance information on labels. Given the Getty’s track record, it is easy to see why this seems suspicious — what do they have to hide? But I can also say from experience that there is constant pressure to reduce verbiage on labels, and while provenance is certainly important, it is often the first victim of space considerations. At any rate, the review is a stimulating read, and I commend it to you all.

Lecture cancellation

COVID-19 has claimed another victim: my talk scheduled for this Friday entitled ‘How to Get a Persian Rock Relief into a Museum.’ No word yet on whether or not it has been rescheduled, but given that a) coronavirus will most likely stay with us into the summer, and b) at least two of the fellows in the session will have left by then, it does not seem likely. I’m not disappointed; these fellows talks, including my own, can be pretty hit or miss.