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Cultural Cocktail Hour’s Interview with Timothy Potts, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum


Timothy PottsPhoto Credit- Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Cultural Cocktail Hour interviewed Timothy Potts, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, in advance of two openings at the Getty Villa on April 18th:

The Reinstallation of the Antiquities Collection at the Getty Villa

  • Plato in LA: Contemporary Artists’ Visions



Cultural Cocktail Hour: Plato in LA explores the influence of the classical world on the Contemporary World. What do you think are the most profound influences of antiquity on contemporary art and society today?

Timothy Potts, Director of the J Paul Getty Museum:

“It depends on what you mean by contemporary art and what is contemporary to us today. You only have to go back to the late 18th and 19th century when the height of fashion all over Europe was classical styles in sculpture and architecture and just about everything else.  There have been huge revivals of the classical tastes in modern times.

In the particular decade we are living in, it’s much more selective. Classical style is not pervasive the way it was in 1850 or in 1780.But it pervades our thinking about politics, government, philosophy, not just the visual arts- the visual arts are highly selective now. People appropriate classical motifs, tropes, and approaches- sometimes in admiration, sometimes in contradiction to what they are doing or opposition to what they are doing. It’s still a clear reference point that artists go to even if in opposition to it.

But within our general thinking about politics, how societies function or disfunction, our understanding of philosophical issues today, all of that is fundamentally grounded in Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek and Roman thinkers.”

Posted by on April 18th, 2018

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