Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Current Press Releases


Scholars for the 2008–2009 Academic Year to arrive from England, Germany, Hungary, and India, as well as New York, Texas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts

July 31, 2008

LOS ANGELES—The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the names of the guest scholars for the 2008–2009 academic year. The Museum’s Guest Scholar Program provides an opportunity for colleagues from around the world—including curators, conservators, art historians, and researchers—to engage in scholarly research, particularly on aspects of the Getty’s collections, while in residence at the Getty Museum.

Since its inception, the Guest Scholar Program has made numerous projects possible by giving scholars access to the extensive resources and facilities of the Museum as well as the library and collections of the Getty Research Institute. The resulting projects advance the scholar’s individual research, while also benefitting the art community as a whole. The program complements the numerous other research grants awarded by the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Foundation.

“Our Guest Scholar Program brings people from around the world to Los Angeles and allows them to make significant contributions to the field, while at the same time engaging with colleagues across the Getty, contributing to a dynamic work environment, stimulating our intellectual growth, and enlivening the institution,” says J. Paul Getty Museum Director Michael Brand.  “In the past, we have hosted a wide range of brilliant scholars who have made lasting contributions to the Getty, and we look forward to welcoming an equally outstanding group this year.”

The 2008-09 Guest Scholars and their professional backgrounds are varied: Dr. Melanie Holcombe, associate curator in the department of medieval art and the Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); Sylvie Penichon, conservator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of Art (Texas); Dr. Asok Kumar Das, former director of the Sawai Man Singh II Museum and now independent scholar (India); Dr. Bodo von Dewitz, senior chief curator of the photographic collections at the Museum Ludwig (Germany); Dr. Szilvia Bodnár, curator of prints and drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts (Hungary); Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, independent landscape architect and historian (England); Sarah Schultz, director of the education and community program at the Walker Art Center (Minnesota); and Dr. George Shackelford, curator of modern art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Massachusetts). Descriptions of their individual research projects follow.

SUMMER 2008 (June 30–September 19)

Dr. Melanie Holcombe (associate curator, department of medieval art and the Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) will conduct research and complete the catalogue for a major international loan exhibition on medieval drawing entitled Pen and Parchment: The Art of Drawing in the Middle Ages (to be held at the Metropolitan Museum in 2009).  The first exhibition to examine the achievements of the medieval draftsman, it aims to explore the aesthetics, uses, and techniques of medieval drawings.

Sylvie Penichon (conservator of photographs, Amon Carter Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas) will prepare a publication on the care and identification of 20th-century color photographic prints. Topics to be addressed include history of the processes, characteristics of materials, common deterioration mechanisms, identification, and storage and care guidelines.

FALL 2008 (September 29–December 12)

Dr. Asok Kumar Das (independent scholar in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India) will be working on a book and exhibition project on the Mughal natural history painter Ustad Mansur, who worked in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Dr. Bodo von Dewitz (senior chief curator of the photographic collections, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany) will work on a project called “Bohemians.” The project will explore the construction of the image of the artist in photographic portraiture from the 19th century forward, with emphasis on the evolution of the artist’s image from the notion of the Bohemian as described in literature of the period.

Dr. Szilvia Bodnár (curator of prints and drawings and head of the department,  Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary) will continue her research and writing of a complete, critical catalogue of the 15th–16th-century German drawings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. This catalogue will study around 450 drawings, including important groups of drawings by Augustin Hirschvogel and Hans Hoffmann.
WINTER 2009 (January 5–March 27)

Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan (independent landscape architect and historian in London, England) will be conducting research for his forthcoming book on the evolution of the London square.  His project explores an important and sustained cross-cultural exchange in the visual arts between Britain and the Continent––namely the development of an urban planning device which has at its center a garden area reserved for the tenants of the surrounding houses.

Sarah Schultz (director, education and eommunity program, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota) will conduct research to create an expanded paradigm for experience/interpretation as a holistic practice and function across the art museum.  Her research will explore new ways to articulate an integrated experience and interpretive plan for the Walker Art Center.

SPRING 2009 (April 6–June 19)

Dr. George Shackelford (chair, art of Europe and Solomon Curator of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) will prepare the catalogue for the forthcoming exhibition exploring Edgar Degas’s transformation of an archetypal subject in the history of art––the female nude––into a thoroughly modern idiom, offering a broader reappraisal of one of the central motifs in late-19th-century French painting.

# # #

Rebecca Taylor

Getty Communications

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, and European and American photographs. The Museum's mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.