Connecting Seas: Cultural and Artistic Exchange 2013/2014
Water has long been a significant means for the movement of goods and people. Sophisticated networks, at a variety of scales, were established in antiquity around the Mediterranean and the
Black Seas, and later in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Together with sporadic and accidental encounters, these networks fostered commerce in raw materials and finished objects, along with the exchange of ideas and cultural concepts. Far from being barriers, seas and oceans were vital links connecting cultures. The 2013–2014 academic year at the Getty Research Institute and Getty Villa will be devoted to exploring the art-historical impact of maritime transport.
How has the desire for specific commodities from overseas shaped social, political, and religious institutions? How has the introduction of foreign materials and ideas transformed local artistic traditions, and what novel forms and practices have developed from trade and other exchanges, both systematic and informal? What role do the objects born of these interactions have in enhancing cultural understandings or perpetuating misunderstandings? How has the rapidly accelerating pace of exchange in recent years influenced cross-cultural developments? The goal of this research theme is to explore how bodies of water have served, and continue to facilitate, a rich and complex interchange in the visual arts.
The Getty Research Institute and the Getty Villa invite proposals focusing on artistic exchange and the transmission of knowledge across bodies of water from ancient times to the present day. Scholars actively engaged in studying the role of artists, patrons, priests, merchants, and explorers in oceanic exchange are encouraged to apply, and projects focusing on the Pacific are particularly welcome.