J. Paul Getty Museum

Last-Minute Michelangelo

J. Paul Getty Museum: Last-Minute Michelangelo
Julian Brooks
J. Paul Getty Museum

Think of the fragility and vulnerability of a piece of paper, and how it can survive hundreds of years. What piece of paper from your own life would you want preserved?

Curator’s Note 

“It was March 2020. As one of the curators, I’d been meaning to record a tour of the major Michelangelo drawings exhibition the Getty had just opened, but being a little camera-shy, I’d put it off. Suddenly we were told that we might not be allowed on-site the next day because of a mysterious virus—Covid-19—that was emerging, and that it might be several weeks before we could return. So, I asked a colleague to film on a phone as I quickly went through some of the objects in the exhibition. These are two of the resulting videos.

“Many people at the Getty worked on the exhibition for so long, but in the end, it was open for only three weeks. When I watch these videos now, they seem like a distant memory of a time long gone, fortunate debris from the cataclysm that engulfed us all.”

– Julian Brooks

About the Curator

Julian Brooks is Senior Curator and Head of the Drawings Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Learn more here.

About the Contributors and Organization

Louise Henry Bryson, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is Chair Emerita of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

James Cuno, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Maria Hummer-Tuttle, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is Chair Emerita of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles houses European paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography from its beginnings to the present, gathered internationally. Learn more here

Louise Henry Bryson

Public Media Group of Southern California
Academy Member
Commission Member

James Cuno

The J. Paul Getty Trust
Academy Member
Commission Member

Maria D. Hummer-Tuttle

Academy Member
Commission Member

Additional Notes

Christopher Sprinkle of Getty Digital Content shot, edited, and produced these videos. Many teams at Getty worked on the Michelangelo drawings exhibition, creating an extraordinary experience intended for thousands and thousands of visitors.  Julian Brooks curated the exhibition with Emily Peters and Edina Adam. Learn more here.

Commission on the Arts

The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.