The Getty Center
Learn about these works of art and others during Masterpiece of the Week at the Getty Center.

Take away an idea from this 15-minute gallery talk! Join an upbeat discussion with a gallery teacher to explore an exceptional work of art—a new object is featured each week. Meet the educator at the Museum Information Desk.

Most recently in the series

Is the life of a princess always a fairytale?
June 26–June 29, 2012
Participants contemplated the painted world of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, in this 15 minute talk.

Do you believe in happy accidents?
June 19–June 24, 2012
Participants excavated the story behind Jack Zajac's Big Skull and Horn in Two Parts II in this 15-minute talk.

Rise and shine in 18th-century luxury
June 12–June 17, 2012
Participants marveled at a sumptuous bed (Lit à la Polonaise) in this 15-minute talk.

How do two friends, plus a flat tire, equal fame?
June 5–June 10, 2012
Participants enjoyed Herb Ritts's photograph Richard Gere, San Bernardino.

Make love, not war
May 29–June 3, 2012
Participants discovered, The Return from War: Mars Disarmed by Venus, a collaboration between the masters Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Breughel the Elder.

What is the face of labor?
May 22–May 27, 2012
Participants explored Jean-François Millet's controversial Man with a Hoe.

Revealing or concealing?
May 15–May 20, 2012
Demure or coquettish? Participants "Met" Madame Récamier, a celebrated socialite of her day and examined Joseph Chinard's Bust of Juliette Récamier.

Let them eat pancakes!
May 8–May 13, 2012
Participants learned about Jean-Honoré Fragonard's charming drawing, which vividly portrays family life in late 18th-century France.

Paul Gauguin's Head with Horns
May 1–May 6, 2012
Paul Gauguin's Head with Horns is a mysterious sculpture. Participants explored the meaning of this perplexing image, thought by some to be a self-portrait.

Spared the Sun King's meltdown
April 24–April 29, 2012
This rare survivor lives to tell its tale. Participants inspected the marks of time and changing tastes in this 15-minute talk about Jean IV Le Roy's silver Fountain.

You can't always get what you want
April 17–April 22, 2012
Participants saw Antonio Canova's Apollo Crowning Himself.

What does a painting reveal?
March 27–April 1, 2012
What does a mask conceal? Participants went behind the scenes to view Pietro Longhi's The Painter in His Studio.

Has a painting ever made you cry?
March 20–March 25, 2012
Participants saw one of Édouard Manet's rejected commissions, the Portrait of Madame Brunet.

Ever play the lottery?
March 13–March 18, 2012
Participants saw how the game started in a talk about Dosso Dossi's Allegory of Fortune.

Once a chicken, always a chicken?
March 6–March 11, 2012
Participants cracked the riddle of László Moholy-Nagy's photomontage of women athletes and hatching chickens.

What do great collectors covet?
February 28–March 4, 2012
Participants examined an elegant cupboard which was at the top of Mr. Getty's wishlist.

How does an artist give a voice to history?
February 21–February 26, 2012
Participants saw an example in Carrie Mae Weems's photograph And I Cried.

What to do on Valentine's Day?
February 14–February 19, 2012
Participants saw John Deare's sensual image of Venus Reclining on a Sea Monster with Cupid and a Putto.

Greetings from L.A.
February 7–February 12, 2012
Participants encountered Garry Winogrand's iconic 1964 photograph of LAX.

Can an unidentified floating object be rational?
January 31–February 5, 2012
Participants responded to this question by surveying Ron Davis's Vector.

What can a face reveal?
January 24–January 29, 2012
Participants confronted an image of an artist by exploring Käthe Kolowitz's self-portrait.

Spend time in the presence of fame.
January 17–January 22, 2012
Participants came face to face with Andy Warhol in a self-portrait by the artist.

What is a tossed salad, a coat rack, and a portrait all in one?
January 10–January 15, 2012
Participants checked out the Librarian by George Herms.

Are two heads better then one?
January 3–January 8, 2012
Participants looked backwards and forward as they entered the new year by exploring Primaticcio's Double Head.

Can beauty emerge from ruins of rebellion?
December 13–December 18, 2011
Participants joined a discussion of Noah Purifoy's Untitled assemblage.

Who said it's a man's world?
December 6–December 11, 2011
Participants joined a discussion of Judy Chicago's Car Hood.

Who did you need to know to secure a top job in 18th century France?
November 29–December 4, 2011
Participants learned about Hyacinthe Regaud's portrait of Charles de Saint-Albin, Archbishop of Cambrai.

Stop, drop, roll—is LACMA on fire?
November 15–November 20, 2011
Participants joined a discussion of Ed Rusha's painting Los Angeles County Museum on Fire.

What simultaneously resides inside and outside?
November 8–November 13, 2011
From garden to granite, participants looked at Robert Irwin's recent commission for the Getty Black on White.

How does Modern architecture look in moonlight?
November 1–November 6, 2011
Participants examined Lyonel Feininger's photograph Bauhaus.

Name your price.
October 25–October 30, 2011
Participants explored the inner workings of LA art-world impresario Walter Hopps by looking at a work of art by Edward Kienholz titled Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps.

Did you see the giant boy?
October 18–October 23, 2011
Participants returned to the steps near the Arrival Plaza to encounter Charles Ray's Boy with Frog.

What is 12 feet tall, five thousand pounds, and looks back at you?
October 11–October 16, 2011
Participants experienced De Wain Valentine's Grey Column.

Who made the splash?
October 4–October 9, 2011
Participants dove into the good life in California by looking at David Hockney's painting A Bigger Splash.

When does private become public?
September 27–October 2, 2011
Participans explored this provocative question by looking at Toulouse-Lautrec's The Model Resting.

Freeway or waterway—which way to the Grand Canal?
September 20–25, 2011
Participans postponed their trip down the 405 freeway to look at Canaletto's The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola.

Why is she so still?
September 13–18, 2011
Participans met the Museum Entrance Hall's permanent resident, Alberto Giacometti's Standing Woman I.

So you think you can dance?
September 6–9, 2011
Participants started the day on the right foot and experienced the grace and charm of Paolo Troubetzkoy's Dancer.

How do Americans imagine Cuba?
August 30–September 2, 2011
Participants saw the island nation through Walker Evans's lens by examining Coal Stevedore, Havana / Dockworker, Havana.

Is the viewer part of a work of art?
August 23–26, 2011
Participants traveled back in time to hang out with 19th-century Parisians in Louis-Léopold Boilly's Entrance to the Jardin Turc. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

Can love last forever?
August 16–19, 2011
Participants debated this timeless question while examining Soldani Benzi's bronze sculpture Venus and Adonis.

Look up!
August 9–12, 2011
The hot-air balloon, the night sky, and a man's search for meaning in the cosmos. Participants marveled at Gérard-Jean Galle's exquisite chandelier.

August 2–5, 2011
The beloved Hindu god Ganesha was the protector and remover of obstacles. Participants took advantage of this rare opportunity to explore an exceptional bronze sculpture from Cambodia.

Woman's Dress and Petticoat (Robe à la française)
July 26–29, 2011
T-shirt and jeans were not yet en vogue, but a petticoat, over robe, and stomacher were the height of fashion in 18th-century Paris. Participants marveled at a Woman's Dress and Petticoat (Robe à la française) during this week's talk.

The more things change, the more things stay the same.
July 19–22, 2011
Participants got behind the wheel of a 1951 Plymouth in photographer Alex Harris's Sol and Cuba, Old Havana, Looking North from Alberto Roja's 1951 Plymouth, Havana during this week's talk. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

What lies between anticipation and completion?
July 12–15, 2011
Participants imagined the experience in the reunited paintings Before the Ball and After the Ball by Jean-François de Troy.

Fear Not.
July 5–8, 2011
Participants experienced the power of the gesture in the Crowned Buddha.

Do all roads lead to Rome?
June 28–July 1, 2011
Participants explored J. M. W. Turner's poetic visions of the eternal city by surveying the Museum's newest acquisition, Modern Rome—Campo Vaccino. The discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises can be explored on our blog, The Iris.

Rise and shine in 18th-century luxury.
June 21–26, 2011
Participants were made privy to an extravagant bed made for ceremony (not sleep), which is featured in the exhibition Paris: Life and Luxury.

What was on her mind?
June 14–19, 2011
Participants took a close look at Gustav Klimt's Portrait of a Young Woman Reclining, revealing the intimate relationship between the artist and the model.

Meet the wild child.
June 7–12, 2011
Participants discussed how an artist's use of color can help capture the spirit of his/her subject while looking closely at František Kupka's Girl Shading Her Eyes.

Revealing or concealing? Demure or coquettish?
May 31–June 5, 2011
Participants "met" Madame Récamier, a celebrated socialite of her day, while examining Joseph Chinard's Bust of Madame Récamier. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

Beauty: is it a gift, or a curse?
May 24–29, 2011
Participants looked in-depth at the consequences of good looks by examining Plate with Abduction of Helen by Francesco Xanto Avelli. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

What was written in the sky?
May 17–22, 2011
What miracle did Saint Francis witness? Participants saw what he saw by looking at Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's The Vision of Saint Francis of Paola. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

Warm up to a timeless love story "painted" in thread.
May 10–15, 2011
Participants learned about Mr. Getty's tapestry depicting scenes from the series The Loves of the Gods.

Need a relaxing break?
May 3–8, 2011
Participants came to this week's talk to slow down and reflect on Nicolas Poussin's Landscape with a Calm.

How did it all begin?
April 26–May 1, 2011
Participants discussed how 17th-century artists imagined the start of life in The Creation of the World, a decorated text page from an Armenian Bible.

"Going once, going twice . . . SOLD to J. Paul Getty!"
April 5–10, 2011
Participants learned about the movers and shakers of the art market by looking at Thomas Gainsborough's Portrait of James Christie (1730–1803), which depicts the founder of Christie's auction house.

Why is Ellsworth Kelly's sculpture located in the Museum Courtyard?
March 29–April 3, 2011
Participants found out how the artist carefully identified the perfect location for his monument bronze, Untitled.

Can hope come from sorrow?
March 22–27, 2011
Participants explored Peter Paul Rubens's The Entombment, a work in which the artist demonstrates his extraordinary ability to render feelings and flesh through painting.

What makes a painting a masterwork?
March 15–20, 2011
Participants took part in this historic debate about the elements of line and color, as personified by a wise, old man and a sensuous young woman, in Guercino's Disegno and Colore. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

Seeing is believing. Touching is confirming.
March 8–13, 2011
Participants gathered to witness stories in the Vita Christi, a book without words.

Why has history forgotten his name?
March 1–6, 2011
Participants discussed why Francis Harwood's Bust of a Man—one of the earliest European sculptures depicting a black man—remains unidentified.

Oh, what a tangled web they weave!
February 22–27, 2011
Participants encountered the mysterious spiderwomen in Liu Zheng's The Web Cave, a piece that sparked controversy in China.

Freeway or waterway—which way to the Grand Canal?
February 8–13, 2011
Postponing their trip down the 405 freeway, participants took a 15-minute look at Canaletto's The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola in this week's talk.

How have traditional ideas changed in China?
February 1–6, 2011
This week's talk addressed questions raised by Wang Qingsong's photograph New Women regarding gender in 21st-century China.

Heroes or hitmen?
January 18–23, 2011
Participants learned about monstrous tales of jealousy, vengeance, and fury in the Ginori Porcelain Factory's figures of Mercury, Argus, Perseus, and Medusa in this week's talk.

It's alive!
January 11–16, 2011
This week's participants inspected the Getty Museum's 506-year-old insect, the Stag Beetle, as captured by Albrecht Dürer in his monumental drawing.

Ever think, "I want that!" on vacation?
December 14–19, 2010
Participants traveled with us and discovered what some people in the 18th century took back as souvenirs in this week's talk, featuring Pietro Cipriani's Venus de’ Medici.

What is big, bronze, and covered in snails?
December 7–12, 2010
One of the Museum's recent acquisitions, of course. Participants discovered Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach's Vase, which is crawling with intricate details, in this week's talk.

Does art have to be serious?
November 30–December 5, 2010
Joseph Ducreux's Self Portrait spurred this week's discussion and "Question of the Week" blog post. Learn more and share your thoughts on The Iris.

Is a picture worth a thousand words?
November 16–21, 2010
Participants connected with the two sisters as they read an important letter in Jacques-Louis David's The Sisters Zénaïde and Charlotte Bonaparte.

Should a ruler be loved or feared?
November 9–14, 2010
Participants discussed this topic while examining Bartolomeo Cavaceppi's Bust of Emperor Caracalla. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

How did the elite relax in the 19th century?
November 2–7, 2010
This gallery talk offered an in-depth look at Filippo Pelagio Palagi's Daybed.

Is it a fake, or is it a work of fine art?
October 26–31, 2010
Participants explored this question and the wonders of Renaissance carving by looking at a French cabinet from the 16th century. Further your discussion of this work of art and the questions it raises on our blog, The Iris.

How does a photograph capture the human side of war?
October 19–24, 2010
Participants examined this topic by looking in depth at Vietnam by Philip Jones Griffiths from the exhibition Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties.

Think you can resist temptation?
October 12–17, 2010
This gallery talk offered an in-depth look at Balthasar Griessmann's elaborate drinking vessel Ivory Goblet.

Wonder what it's like to be chased by a lustful pig?
October 5–10, 2010
Participants learned about courtship rituals in the Renaissance by looking at the stained-glass piece Heraldic Panel with the Arms of the Eberler Family.

Look inside the box and think outside it.
September 28–October 3, 2010
This gallery talk offered an in-depth look at the curious Display Cabinet, which features three wood carvings by Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck.

Does mass transit solve the problems of large cities?
September 21–26, 2010
This gallery talk offered an in-depth look at Church Gate Station, Western Railroad Line, Bombay, India, by Sebastião Salgado.

Can hands speak louder than words?
September 7–12, 2010
Participants experienced the power of medieval hand gestures while looking at Christ in Majesty by the Limoges School.

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