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Cyrus Cylinder last days, exploration across the seas, Canterbury treasures, Herzog films, more
December 2013
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Illuminate your holidays with art! Saturday evenings are magical this holiday season at the Getty Center. Play in star-filled lights, sip free mulled cider, enjoy the radiant glow of stained glass in Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister, and savor special cuisine complementing the exhibition in the Restaurant. Lights begin at 5:30 p.m.

O P E N I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Connecting Seas: A Visual History of Discoveries and Encounters
December 7, 2013–April 13, 2014 | The Getty Center

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Discover Europe's first encounters with Africa, Asia, and the Americas through ocean travel—the primary means for exploration, commerce, and the circulation of knowledge. See how different lands and cultures were perceived and represented in this diverse collection of rare books, maps, maritime instruments, photographs, prints, and panoramic vues d'optique—all revealing the roots of today's globalization. Connecting Seas is the first exhibition in the Getty Research Institute's newly expanded galleries.

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Connecting Seas - opens December 7
Batavia, City, Fortress and Residence of the Governor General of Holland (detail), about 1750, Johann Baptist Bergmüller
C O N T I N U I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister
Through February 2, 2014 | The Getty Center

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Celebrate the season by viewing the radiant jewel-toned stained glass windows of Canterbury Cathedral. Removed for the first time from high in the legendary church, the monumental Ancestors of Christ windows are exhibited with leaves from the St. Albans Psalter, a richly illuminated book of psalms. See these two exceptionally rare masterpieces of English medieval artistry in this major exhibition.

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Canterbury and St. Albans - through February 2, 2014
Jared (detail), 1178–80, from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England. Photo: © Robert Greshoff Photography, Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury
C L O S I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning
Extended through December 8 | The Getty Villa

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Don't miss this rare opportunity to see one of the most iconic documents of the ancient world, the Cyrus Cylinder, as its U.S. tour concludes. Inscribed with cuneiform script, this clay cylinder records the conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. by the Persian king Cyrus the Great. It bears witness to the multiethnic nature of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus, whose reign introduced innovative forms of writing, freedom of religion, and luxury goods to the Near East.

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Partners in the presentation of the Cyrus Cylinder

The Cyrus Cylinder Ancient Persia - extended through December 8
The Cyrus Cylinder, after 539 B.C., Achaemenid. The British Museum
F I L M   S E R I E S
Into the Mystic: Documentaries by Werner Herzog
Saturday, December 7, 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 8, 3:00 p.m. | The Getty Center

Performances and Films

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Three fascinating films by Werner Herzog explore the ways in which humankind interacts with the majesty of nature. In The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner, Herzog focuses on champion ski-jumper Walter Steiner who faces death at every jump. Cave of Forgotten Dreams brings to life the incredible ancient cave paintings of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc. The third film, Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World, weaves interviews of the temporary inhabitants of Antarctica with breathtaking worlds beneath the ice. Free; tickets required.

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Herzog films explore humanity and nature - December 7, 8
Werner Herzog (at right) and W. Hein in Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 2010, directed by Werner Herzog. Photo: Marc Valesella
L E C T U R E S   &   C O N V E R S A T I O N S
Beauties Sleeping and Beauties Awake: Fairy Tale, Myth, and Visual Culture
Wednesday, December 4, 7:00 p.m. | The Getty Center

Lectures and Conversations

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Explore how myths and fairy tales have provided rich source materials for artists through the ages, and how generations of artists have, in turn, inflected the stories. Join folklorist Maria Tatar of Harvard University as she examines these centuries-old tales in this fascinating discussion. Free; reservations required.

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Myths and fairy tales as inspiration for art - December 4
Head of a Sleeping Bacchante, 1847, Gustave Courbet
Everyday Modernism in the California Landscape
Tuesday, December 10, 6:30 p.m. | The Getty Center

The architectural style of California Modernism was influenced by the landscape and regional climate. Join the Getty Conservation Institute for an evening of lectures and a panel discussion on conservation strategies for icons of California Modernism, including works by Richard Neutra, Gregory Ain, Lawrence Halprin, Garret Eckbo and Moore, and Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker Partnership. Presented in conjunction with the GCI's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative. Free; reservations required.

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Conserving California Modernism - December 10
Sea Ranch house (2010) Photo: Saikofish, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Before Art Was a Commodity: Artistic Exchange in 12th-Century Europe
Wednesday, December 11, 7:00 p.m. | The Getty Center

Without planes, trains, or automobiles, how could works of art and precious materials move through a network of exchanges all over Europe during the 12th century? Art historian Madeline Caviness of Tufts University reveals how reliquaries, portable altars, relics of the true cross, stained glass, manuscripts, and other prized goods traveled across the continent before the modern era of transportation. Free; reservations required.

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Transporting precious art in medieval times - December 11
Reliquary Casket with Scenes from the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, about 1173–1180. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.520). Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY
Manuscript Illumination Workshop: Color and Meaning
Wednesday, December 11, 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | The Getty Center

Courses and Demonstrations

Information and Tickets:
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Explore the materials and techniques used to create the vibrant manuscript illuminations on view in the Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister exhibition in this daylong medieval painting workshop with artist Sylvana Barrett. Participants discover early pigment sources and investigate the commercial as well as symbolic value of period colors. Open to 22 participants. Tickets $125 (includes materials and lunch). Complimentary parking.

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How to paint medieval manuscripts - December 11
The Journey of the Magi, from St. Albans Psalter, about 1130, Alexis Master. Dombibliothek Hildesheim
G E T   I N V O L V E D
Volunteer at the Getty Center or the Getty Villa


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Become a docent or volunteer at the Getty Center or the Getty Villa!

Volunteers greet and assist visitors, provide directions and information, and help our guests get the most out of their visit.

Docents provide tours for visitors of all ages and facilitate in the Sketching Gallery, Family Room, and the Family Forum.

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Highlights at a Glance—December 2013
At the Getty Center this month

O P E N I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Connecting Seas (Dec. 7–Apr. 13)

C O N T I N U I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door (Through Jan. 5)
At the Window: The Photographer's View (Through Jan. 5)
Werner Herzog: Hearsay of the Soul (Through Jan. 19)
Canterbury and St. Albans (Through Feb. 2)
Gods and Heroes (Through Feb. 9)
In Focus: Architecture (Through Mar. 2)
Miracles and Martyrs (Through Mar. 2)

H O T   T I C K E T S
Talk: Fairy Tale, Myth, and Visual Culture (Dec. 4)
Film Series: Into the Mystic: Werner Herzog (Dec. 7, 8)
Talk: Everyday Modernism in the California Landscape (Dec. 10)
Talk: Artistic Exchange in 12th-Century Europe (Dec. 11)
Course: Manuscript Illumination Workshop (Dec. 11)

At the Getty Villa this Month

C L O S I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia (Through Dec. 8)

C O N T I N U I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Tiberius: Portrait of an Emperor (Through Mar. 3)

H O T   T I C K E T S
Course: Death and Humor in the Ancient World (Dec. 7)

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