Stirrup-Spout Vessel with Wrinkle Face Fighting Opponents, Moche,100-800 CE. Terracotta. Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Lucas Jr. Photo: Donald Cordy. Background: Rollout drawing of the Stirrup-Spout Vessel. Drawing by Donna McClelland. Moche Archive, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.

Graphic Tales: The Art of Visual Storytelling


Sunday, June 9, 2024, from 1 pm - 4 pm

The Getty Villa and Online

Free | Advance ticket required

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Throughout human history, images have provided a dynamic means of sharing and preserving a culture’s stories. But how do viewers comprehend pictorial narratives, and how do artists convey meaning? Beginning with the painted ceramic vessels displayed in the exhibition Picture Worlds: Greek, Maya, and Moche Pottery, speakers consider what it means to be visually literate, how the mind processes imagery, and the ways in which, even today, narrative art shapes—and is shaped by—society.


David Saunders, associate curator, Getty Villa Museum

Greek Pots and Storytelling across the Mediterranean
Mark Stansbury O’Donnell, professor of Archaeology and Art History, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

Message in a Bottle: The Moche Hero’s Journey to the Ancestral World
Ulla Holmquist, director, Museo Larco, Lima, Peru

Clay that Talks: Narrative on Classic Maya Pottery
Stephen Houston, Dupee Family Professor of Social Science, Brown University, Providence, RI

Deciphering Visual Languages: From Ancient Pots to Comic Books
Neil Cohn, associate professor, Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

Narrative Murals: Visualizing Societal Histories at the Lucas Museum
Pilar Tompkins Rivas, chief curator, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, CA

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