Every year since 1985 the Research Institute has invited scholars, artists, and other cultural figures from around the world to work in residence at the Institute on projects that bear upon its annual research theme. While in residence, they pursue their own research projects, make use of Getty collections, and participate in the intellectual life of the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.

Iconoclasm and Vandalism (Research Institute)
2017/2018


Iconoclasm raises contentious questions that transcend cultural and temporal boundaries. It can be understood as vandalism, destruction, or a means of repression, all of which fundamentally put culture at risk.

However, iconoclasm can also be a form of protest or a vehicle for creative expression. Iconoclasm is transformative, creating entirely new objects or meanings through alterations to existing artworks. Charged with symbolism, these remains testify to a history of reception, offering clues about the life and afterlife of an object. To a certain extent, all radical changes in cultural production can be described as iconoclastic.

Applicants are encouraged to adopt a broad approach to the theme by addressing topics such as religious and political iconoclasm, protection of cultural heritage, use of spolia, damnatio memoriae, street art, graffiti, performance art, or activism.

Getty Scholars


Alka Patel (Consortium Scholar) is Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on South Asian architecture and Islamic architecture.
India, Iran and Empire: The Shansabānīs of Ghūr, c. 1150–1215
(September–June)

Zoë Strother is Professor of African Art at Columbia University, New York. She specializes in African Art History.
Iconoclasms in Africa
(January–June)

Michael Diers is Professor of Art History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. His research centers on modern and contemporary art, photography, visual arts, and film.
Symbolic Threats: Art, Dissent and the Aesthetic of Provocation
(September–March)

Dario Gamboni is Professor of History of Art at Université de Genève, Switzerland. His research concerns modern and contemporary art.
Modernism, Aniconism, and Religion
(April–June)

Richard Wrigley is Professor of History of Art at University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. His research focuses on the history of French visual culture.
Iconoclasm's Aftermath: Traces and Vestiges of the French Revolution in the Architectural Fabric, Monuments and Visual Culture of Early Nineteenth-Century Paris
(September–December)

Lisa Sousa is Professor of History and Chair in Latin American Studies at Occidental College, Los Angeles, California. Her research focuses on Pre-Columbian and Colonial Mexican History.
"So That the Indians Would Forget Their Superstitions": The Desecration of Sacred Sites and Objects in Colonial Mexico
(January–June)

Tatiana Flores is Associate Professor of History of Art at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Her research centers on Latin American and contemporary art.
Art and Visual Culture under Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution
(January–June)

Patrick Michel is Professor of History of Art at Université Lille 3 - Charles de Gaulle, France. His research focuses on investigating iconoclasm in modern art.
The (Fatal) Effects of Prudery on Art in France in the XVII and XVIII Centuries: An Episode of the Difficult Relations Between Art and Iconoclasm
(April–June)

Faya Causey is the former Head of Academic Programs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Her research focuses on the destruction and afterlife of certain magical, talismanic, or apotropaic Greek and early Roman sculptures.
The Afterlife of Antiquity into the Contemporary Period
(September–December)

Predoctoral Fellows


Patricia Yu is a PhD candidate in the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Translating the Yuanming Yuan from Past to Present
(September–June)

Niels Henriksen is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Archaeology Department at Princeton University, New Jersey.
Asger Jorn and the Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism
(September–June)

Postdoctoral Fellows


Francesca Borgo received her PhD in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Battle and Representation in the Cinquecento
(September–June)

Michelle Maydanchik is Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From the Cobblestones to the Blogosphere: Spectacles of Iconoclasm in Putin's Russia
(September–June)

Jaya Remond is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, Germany.
New Flowerings: Nature and the Business of Early Modern Picture-Making in Post-Iconoclasm Northern Europe
(September–June)

Guest Scholars


Josip Belamarić is Head of Cvito Fisković Centre at the Institute of Art History, Split, Croatia.
The Metamorphosis of the Diocletian's Palace into Medieval Town
(September–March)

James Coleman (Artist in Residence) is an independent visual artist based in Dublin and Paris. Since the early 1970s, Coleman has been internationally renowned for his installations incorporating film, video, theater, and slide-projected images with recorded narration.
Art Project. Archives. Conservation.
(January–June)

Deborah Dorotinsky is Professor of Historiography of Art at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Coyoacán, Mexico.
Craft, Folk Art, Handcrafts or Artesanías? Directions of the Concept of Popular Arts in the 1960s
(April–June)

Hubertus Gassner is former Director of Hamburg Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany.
Edward James and Mexican Surrealism/Vandalism in the Russian Revolution, 1917–1930
(January–March)

Tim Murray is Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on building archaeological theory.
The Poverty of Archaeological Theory
(September–December)

Karl Schlögel is Professor Emeritus of Eastern European History at the Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. He specializes in Russian and Soviet history.
Vandalism and Iconoclasm: The Case of 20th-Century Russia
(January–June)

Iván Szántó is Associate Professor at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.
Ottoman Art and Its Baroque Afterlife in Central Europe
(January–March)

Tian Wei (Artist in Residence) is a Chinese-born independent artist based in Beijing and Los Angeles. Influenced by Chinese calligraphy, his work grapples with finding common ground between an inherited sense of a rigorously defined line and the abstract idiom of the contemporary West. It constructs a bridge between things that appear to be polar opposites or complementary pairs (e.g., yin and yang), a concept deeply embedded in Chinese thinking.
Interpretation of "Iconoclasm and Vandalism"
(September–March)

Angela Vanhaelen is Professor of Art History and Communication Studies Department at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She specializes in 17th-century Dutch visual culture.
Reanimating the Graven Image in Early Modern Amsterdam
(April–June)

Henri Zerner is Professor Emeritus of Art History and Architecture at Harvard University. His research focuses on the French Renaissance and modern art.
Ingres's Virgil Reading the Aeneid, A Life Long Obsession
(September–March)

President's International Council Scholar


Peter Frankopan is Director of Classical and Byzantine Studies at the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. He specializes in the history of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century and the relations between Christianity and Islam.
Host Department: Office of the President
(October)

Getty Rothschild Fellow


Thomas Campbell is the ninth director of the Museum of Metropolitan Art (2009–2017). He is the second recipient of the Getty Rothschild Fellowship. His research focuses on the changing environment in which museums are operating and the ways art and cultural heritage can be used to promote mutual understanding.
(November–February)

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows


Nadja Millner-Larsen is Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London, United Kingdom.
Up Against the Real: Black Mask from Art to Action
(September–April)

Sara Ryu is Honorary Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Art of Making Again in Early Modern Mexico and Europe
(September–April)

Museum Guest Scholars


Joan Aruz is Curator in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Host Department: Antiquities
(January–March)

Linda Borean is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Udine, Italy.
Host Department: Paintings
(September–December)

John Falconer is Lead Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the British Library, United Kingdom.
Host Department: Photographs
(September–December)

Helen Jacobsen is Senior Curator of French Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection, London.
Host Department: Sculpture and Decorative Arts
(January–March)

Richard Leson is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Host Department: Manuscripts
(April–June)

Anne Maheux is Head Conservator of Prints, Drawings, Maps, and Manuscripts at the Library and Archives Canada, Ontario.
Host Department: Paper Conservation
(April–June)

Marc-André Paulin is Head of the Conservation Department at the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France.
Host Department: Decorative Arts Conservation
(January–March)

Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò is Professor at Università di Roma "Tor Vergata," Italy.
Host Department: Drawings
(April–June)

Norman Yoffee is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the anthropology and history of ancient Mesopotamia.
Host Department: Director's Office
(September–December)



The Classical World in Context: Persia (Villa)
2017/2018


The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 terms will address the political, intellectual, religious, and artistic relations between Persia, Greece, and Rome from the ninth century BC to AD 651. The Greeks regarded Media in western Iran as one of the great kingdoms of the East, but it was the Persian Empire, forged by the Achaemenid Dynasty (sixth to fourth century BC), that became their principal adversary. Reaching from the borders of Greece to India, the Persian Empire was viewed by the Greeks as a vastly wealthy and powerful rival and often as an existential threat. When the Macedonian king Alexander the Great finally defeated the Persians in 331 BC, Greek culture spread throughout the Near East, but native dynasties—first the Parthian (247 BC–AD 224) and then the Sasanian (AD 224–651)—soon reestablished themselves.

The rise of the Roman Empire as a world power quickly brought it, too, into conflict with Persia, despite the common trade that flowed through their territories. The 2017/2018 scholar year is the first of two that will be devoted to this theme. Priority will be given to research projects that are cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, and that utilize a wide range of archaeological, textual, and other evidence.

Getty Scholars


Maria Brosius (Villa) is Associate Professor of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her key field of research is the Achaemenid Empire and the cultural contacts between the ancient Near East and the classical world.
The Persian Empires – Multilingual and Multiscriptual Centres for the Transmission of Knowledge
(September–October)

Albert de Jong (Villa) is Professor of Comparative Religion and Religions of Antiquity at Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands. His research focuses on Sasanian history, Iranian religions, and the study of religion.
East of the Euphrates: The Contribution of Sasanian History to Theorizing Late Antiquity
(April–June)

Vito Messina (Villa) is Assistant Professor of Iranian Archaeology at Università di Torino, Italy. His research focuses on archaeology of Mesopotamia and Iran.
Lost Hellenistic Sculptures 'Rediscovered' in Mesopotamia and Iran
(April–June)

Margaret Miller (Villa) is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is a scholar of archaeology, art history, and classics.
Selective Persianization of Greek Myth
(April–June)

Kathryn Morgan (Villa) is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on Ancient Greek culture.
Persia and Historical Process in Aeschylus' Persians
(September–December)

Alessandro Poggio (Villa) is Research Fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy. His research focuses on the history of art, and ancient Near Eastern and Greek archaeology.
Beyond 'Greco-Persian': Glyptic as an Index of Artistic Processes in the Eastern Mediterranean
(January–March)

Rolf Strootman (Villa) is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is a scholar of history and culture of the ancient world.
Iranians in the Hellenistic East: Imperial Culture and Local Identity from the Persians to the Parthians (4th to 2nd Century BCE)
(September–March)

Miguel John Versluys (Villa) is Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology at Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands. He specializes in Hellenistic and Roman Eurasian archaeology.
Innovating Objects: The Impact of Global Connections and the Formation of the Roman Empire (ca. 200–30 BC)
(April–June)

Postdoctoral Fellow


Jake Nabel (Villa) received his PhD in the Department of Classics at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Made on the Margins: Ancient Persia, the Classical Mediterranean, and their Intermediaries
(September–June)