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Contributor Bios

Curators, conservators, historians, designers, artists, philosophers, and more will contribute to this blog over the course of the exhibition Oudry's Painted Menagerie, on view at the Getty Center through September 2, 2007.

Sarah Benson
Sarah Benson
Sarah Benson (pictured with her dog Hogarth) is a vegan and a specialist in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, which she has taught at Cornell and Princeton Universities. She has published on the history of Renaissance souvenirs and on the politics of collecting in early modern Rome. She is opposed to animal experimentation and so became interested in how it had been justified in the Renaissance. In March she presented her research on the "Spectacle of Animals in Renaissance Science" to the Renaissance Society of America. This year she is Visiting Fellow in the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University where she is writing about cultural exchanges between Europe and Siam in the 17th century.

Charissa Bremer-David
Charissa Bremer-David is associate curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She is an expert on French decorative arts, especially tapestries, and is the author of French Tapestries and Textiles in the J. Paul Getty Museum. She curated the "Rhino-mania" portion of the exhibition Oudry's Painted Menagerie and is co-author of the exhibition catalogue. Join Bremer-David for an exploration of the artistic and scientific impact of Clara, the 18th-century celebrity rhinoceros, in a free lecture on Thursday, June 21, 2007, and tour the exhibition galleries with her in a free curator's gallery talk on Thursday, June 28, 2007.

Sue Ann Chui
Sue Ann Chui is assistant conservator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she specializes in the structural conservation of panel paintings. After she met an objects conservator who was treating a Noah's Ark in the toy department of the Museum of the City of New York, she knew that conservation was for her. She once considered a career in veterinary medicine and did a summer internship at the Bronx Zoo, where she cared for camels in Wild Asia, as well as other animals in the Children's Zoo. The Lion is the first painting of a feline she has treated. Other animals that Sue Ann has restored include an 18th-century canvas of a flamingo attributed to Philip Reinagle, which resides in the UK.

Sarah Cohen
Sarah Cohen is associate professor of art history at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She lectured at the Getty Research Institute's Mellon Seminar in July 2007 and is currently finishing a book entitled Picturing Animals in Early Modern Europe: Art, Science, and Soul .

Michael Dee
Michael Dee
Michael Dee has served as General Curator at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens since 1998, but has spent his entire professional life at the Zoo. He started as an animal keeper in 1967 working with a variety of birds and hoofstock (hoofed animals), including black and white rhinos. In 1970 he started working with tapirs and Indian rhinos. In 1976 he became a senior keeper and 11 years later became a curator of mammals. From 1982 through 2002 he served as coordinator of the Indian rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), one of many conservation programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the accreditation organization for zoological parks and aquariums. Among the many highlights of his career at the L.A. Zoo, he is especially honored to have been present for the birth of the first Indian rhino at the Zoo in 1982. "One of the most appealing aspects of working with this species is their personalities," Dee says. "All the ones I've worked with, and I've worked with plenty, were docile and attentive. There's nothing like calling their name and seeing them respond to your voice."

Christine Giviskos
Christine Giviskos is assistant curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she works primarily on the French collection. She curated the drawings portion of the exhibition Oudry's Painted Menagerie and is co-author of the exhibition catalogue. She is also the curator of the exhibition Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800–1900, on view June 5–September 9, 2007, at the Getty Center. Tour the Oudry exhibition galleries with her in a free curator's gallery talk on Thursday, July 12, 2007.

Jay Gundzik and Craig Ghiglione
Jay Gundzik and Craig Ghiglione work for the advertising agency M&C Saatchi Los Angeles, the Getty's advertising agency. Jay is Senior Art Director and Craig is Senior Copywriter.

Bryan Keene
Bryan Keene
Bryan Keene is a gallery teacher in the Education Department of the J. Paul Getty Museum. He studied art history (focusing on the Renaissance) and Romance linguistics (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese) at Pepperdine University. Later this year Keene and his colleague William Zaluski will teach an adult gallery course entitled Experiencing the Getty Collection. They will focus on genres of painting and sculpture established by the Academy, including history, portraiture, still life, and landscape.

Lindsey Kocincki
Lindsey Kocincki has been an animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens for 23 years. She holds a B.S. in zoology from California State University Long Beach and started out at the Zoo working with New World primates. She has worked with the Indian rhinoceros and the hippopotamuses for the past seven years. Her daily interactions with these animals have been a constant joy, and Lindsey is particularly pleased when she can help dispel common misconceptions about rhinos being spooky, mean, or prone to charging people by showing visitors how mellow and sweet Randa, the Zoo's Indian rhino, is.

Clare Kunny
Clare Kunny
Clare Kunny is manager of public education and teaching at the Getty Museum. Last year she coordinated the two-phase renovation of the East Art Information Room, which involved the three-week installation and public viewing of Mark Leonard working on Jean-Baptiste Oudry's Rhinoceros. Phase II was recently completed, with the opening of The Sketching Gallery in April 2007.

David Luce
David Luce is associate professor, Foundation Studies, at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where is teaches painting and drawing. His current painting work is titled Celebrity Extinctions and is a series of large-scale oil portraits of recently extinct animals. 

Sandy Masuo
Sandy Masuo
Sandy Masuo is the associate editor in the Publications Division of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, a post she took four years ago. Prior to that she was a music critic and freelance journalist. Among the many publications that have featured her writing are the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Rolling Stone. She earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University and later completed her master's degree in education from Harvard. She lives in Burbank with her cats Henry (pictured) and Spot, plus a burgeoning collection of succulents.

Emily Morishita
Emily Morishita
Emily Morishita (at right in this photo, taken with Nicole Trudeau) is an exhibition designer at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She requested to work on Oudry's Painted Menagerie after she learned that the paintings were so large, door hinges had to be removed to allow them to pass through. Current and previous exhibitions she has designed at the Getty Center include Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970, From Caspar David Friedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden, The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination, and Eliot Porter: In the Realm of Nature. She has been at the Getty Museum for over a year and earned her MFA in Graphic Design at the California Institute of the Arts.

Tom Moritz
Thomas Daniel Moritz
Tom Moritz is associate director for administration and chief of knowledge management at the Getty Research Institute. He has been a leading participant in international efforts to provide for open access and responsible use of knowledge resources in biodiversity conservation and in the natural and biological sciences. He has more recently shifted focus to the arts and humanities. Moritz co-chairs the Information Management Task Force of IUCN, the World Conservation Union, and is a member of its World Commission on Protected Areas. He also serves as a member of the Interim Steering Committee for the Conservation Commons, the Science Advisory Board for the U.S. National Biological Information Infrastructure, the National Visiting Committee for the U.S. National Science Digital Library, and numerous other advisory bodies, visiting committees, and peer review panels.

Elizabeth Morrison
Elizabeth Morrison
Elizabeth Morrison is associate curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum and a specialist in secular manuscript illumination. She curated the manuscripts exhibition Medieval Beasts, which provides a medieval counterpoint to Oudry's Painted Menagerie. She has also curated many other manuscripts exhibitions at the Getty Center, including The Medieval Bookshelf: From Romance to Astronomy and Images of Violence in the Medieval World, and is the author of the newly published Medieval Beasts: Factual and Fantastic, the first in the new "Medieval Imagination" series from Getty Publications. She spoke about medieval beasts in a free lecture on Thursday, May 17, 2007.

Mary Morton
Mary Morton is associate curator of painting at the J. Paul Getty Museum, a specialist in French painting, and lead curator of Oudry's Painted Menagerie. A native of Los Angeles, she was a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, before joining the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2004. She has contributed to numerous exhibitions and publications on European art.

Glynis Ridley
Glynis Ridley
Glynis Ridley is a historian who began specializing in the study of the 18th century as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh. Her graduate work at the University of Oxford deepened her interest in the Enlightenment, and she now teaches 18th-century studies in both the departments of English and Humanities at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Until she began working on her book Clara's Grand Tour (available in the Museum Store at the Getty Center), she knew very little about rhinoceroses. Now she follows conservation and management issues related to the species and contemplates her ever-growing collection of rhinocerotica, all while trying to explain to people how she ever got interested in an 18th-century rhino.

Annelisa Stephan
Annelisa Stephan
Annelisa Stephan (at left in this photo) is a web writer/editor at the J. Paul Getty Trust and the editor of this blog.



Dr. Ronald Swaisgood
Dr. Ronald R. (Ron) Swaisgood serves the Zoological Society of San Diego as Head of the Division of Applied Animal Ecology at the center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Species. He supervises several recovery programs for species such as California condors, Caribbean rock iguanas, mountain yellow-legged frogs, giant pandas, rhinoceros, and Pacific pocket mice. Swaisgood has focused on behavioral and ecological research to tackle conservation problems related to captive breeding, reintroduction, and translocation. His work on the ecology, behavior, and conservation of rhinoceros has taken him throughout southern Africa. He has worked with several organizations to resolve captive breeding problems in white rhinoceros and participated in a large-scale program to translocate black rhinoceros into new reserves where rhinos are absent or rare.

Swaisgood actively mentors students and participates in many service-oriented academic conservation circles. He has received numerous grants and awards, authored articles for both scientific and popular magazines, and makes regular appearances to speak to professional and lay audiences.

Nicole Trudeau
Nicole Trudeau
Nicole Trudeau (at left in this photo) joined the Exhibition Design Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1999. Over more than seven years, she has designed numerous exhibitions and ephemera with varied subject matter, including The Sacred Spaces of Pieter Saenredam, Photographers of Genius at the Getty, Courbet and the Modern Landscape, The Cult of Saints, Scene of the Crime: Photo by Weegee, Photographs of Artists by Alexander Liberman, Agitated Images: John Heartfield and German Photomontage, 1920–1938...to name just a few! The Getty Center environment is a perfect marriage of her two loves: graphic design and art history. She lives in L.A. with her family and beloved pup, Ruby.

Peter Zokosky
Peter Zokosky
Peter Zokosky is a Los Angeles-based artist whose works explore themes of art and science. He will teach a two-session gallery and studio course on drawing animals at the Getty Center and the L.A. Zoo on July 24 and 31, 2007, repeating on August 14 and 21, 2007, and a daylong studio course on portraiture in clay on May 25, repeating on May 26 and June 7, 8, 13, and 16. Zokosky has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and is represented in many private and public collections. Growing up he had two rhesus monkeys as pets.