Woody Internship at the Getty: Week 6

Another week, another post! This past week’s major events included Museum Game Zone, a day at the Getty Villa, and the third Saturdays off the 405 concert of the summer.

Last Tuesday (I had Monday off) was more of your typical office day – I checked in on a couple programs with some colleagues, but there were no really big events happening that day. Instead, it ended up being kind of a “behind-the-scenes” day (which, if you ask me, is just as good). I started the day by checking out the new manuscripts exhibit before the museum opened to the public, then at 10, Danielle and I took a tour of the museum design studio. This is the space where the design team creates posters and logos for new exhibits, as well as puts together the exhibits themselves. This means that there was a large, foam, scale model of our exhibitions pavilion on the floor, complete with tiny versions of the paintings that will be going in that show. The design studio works with the show’s curator(s) to carefully and deliberately choose the order and placement of every single piece. It was truly amazing to see this work in progress, and especially to see how far in advance these things are planned (the exhibit from the model won’t be on display until well into 2016, and they’ve already started planning for shows all the way up to 2020). Hopefully I will be able to go back and visit when some of these are actually on display (and smugly say “I knew about this way back when…..”)!

Wednesday was another installment of Museum Game Zone, and while it was lots of fun as usual, it was also FREEZING. Turns out, the Getty can get very cold and windy, even in the summer. It didn’t help that the sun never came out that day and that we had set up in the outdoor classroom area, which essentially becomes a wind tunnel at the slightest suggestion of  a breeze. So yes…it was a good time, but definitely more challenging than the previous two have been.

Wednesday also allowed for another behind-the-scenes tour, this time of the decorative arts and sculpture conservation labs. Wow…if I thought museum design was cool, this was absolutely mind-blowing for an art history nerd like me. The highlight? Seeing an ancient Greek bronze sculpture, in a sling, being worked on by a couple of the conservationists. Something about seeing such an old work of art outside of a gallery context really got to me – Danielle actually had to nudge me to get me to stop staring with my mouth agape. I couldn’t help it; I started thinking about all the other non-gallery contexts in which this statue had been placed – perhaps a home, a palace, or a city square – and the hypotheticals overwhelmed me. It happens. Anyways, suffice it to say to that the conservation lab tour was a success.

On Thursday, I spent the day at the Getty Villa helping out with another family program. This one was really fun and unique – the general idea was that families could make a little sachet of herbs from the Villa herb garden (all of which would have been used in ancient Rome). They could even write a little poem about the use of their potpourri combination. The interactivity and pleasant location (outside in the outer peristyle) made it really popular and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Saturday was the first of July’s two Saturdays off the 405 concerts, and it was another successful event. Like the last one, there was a LOT of walking involved; however, it felt less crazy overall than the first SOT405. This was probably due to the less-rowdy crowds and slightly younger audience. The band, Waters, was a big crowd-pleaser and appealed to almost all of us who were running the event (as well as the audience itself). My main responsibilities included getting all the signage up, setting up the info table, and taking photos during the event for internal purposes. Once the concert was over, I also assisted with breakdown and loading out the artists.

Basically, it was another busy (but fun) week here at the Getty! In my next post: a museum site tour, another external event, an Outdoor Classical Theatre production meeting, and an independent “field trip” to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach (I’ll be the first of the Getty events department to visit, so I’ve been charged with scoping it out and giving some general feedback). As always, thanks for reading!