Hey, Getty, How’s It Hanging? Yup, a Lecture on Male Nudity.


What is happening to Los Angeles’ venerable cultural institutions?

Last October, LACMA presented a lecture called “Holy Sh*t: Scatology and Longing in the Art of James Ensor.”

Now, this Thursday, the Getty is welcoming UC Berkeley professor Chris Hallett to the Getty Villa in Malibu to present a lecture entitled Athletes, Warriors, Emperors and Gods: Nude Male Statuary in the Roman World.

According to the Getty, Hallett will offer a look at “the fascinating variety of nude statuary found throughout ancient Rome — fearless warriors, victorious athletes, elite emperors, and thunderbolt-wielding gods.”

What’s next? “An Evening with 2 Live Crew” at Disney Hall?

In all fairness, Hallett has written an acclaimed book on the subject, The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 B.C. – 300 A.D., so perhaps we’d better give him the benefit of the doubt.

But if the Getty were up to shenanigans, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like this type of thing hasn’t already been well documented.

Image: Statue of Hercules (Landsowne Herakles), about 125 A.D.
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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