Medieval scholars to work at the Getty Research Institute

Two medievalists are among a group of scholars who will be part of the Getty Research this September. Heidi Gearhart, who recently earned her PhD at the University of Michigan, and Cristiana Pasqualetti, Assistant Professor at the Università degli Studi dell’Aquila in Italy, join 46 other scholars who received Getty residential scholar grants during the 2011–2012 academic year.

The Getty Research Institute will delve into questions bearing upon the theme Artistic Practice, and will feature two research projects; Los Angeles Architecture, 1940–1990, and The Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550–1750.

At the Getty Research Institute, scholars will pay particular attention to the material manifestations of memory and imagination in the form of sketchbooks, notebooks, pattern books, and model books. They will look closely at how notes, comments, written and drawn observations reveal the creative process. Additionally, the scholars will conduct art historical research into times and places where such media were not in use to discover what practices were developed to give ideas material form.

At the Getty Villa, scholars will study the ways in which artists in antiquity left traces of their creative process in a variety of media, and investigate the role of prototypes such as casts and models and their relationship to finished works. They will also look at the ways in which artists trained and how their techniques and styles traveled.

“This year’s research theme looks at the ways in which artists receive, work with, and transmit ideas and images in various cultural traditions, with an emphasis on trying to find new ways of understanding those transactions,” explains Alexa Sekyra, Head of the Getty Research Institute’s Scholars Program. “With the exceptional group of scholars who will come to the Getty to study this theme, we hope to stimulate an interdisciplinary investigation among art historians and other specialists in the humanities that will lead to a richer understanding of artistic practice.”

Additionally, the Research Institute’s digital programs are actively developing and applying digital technology to create innovative Web-based approaches to scholarly communication. Engaging with partners in the international digital library community, work will focus on digital imaging, capture of texts, non-traditional modes of knowledge capturing and interfaces to support scholarly collaborations.

Over the course of their residencies at the Getty, scholars will have opportunities to collaborate with curatorial and conservation staff, give presentations, and participate in seminars. Throughout the course of the scholar year, a variety of theme-related lectures and conferences will bring the scholars’ research to the attention of local and international communities and the broader public.

Cristiana Pasqualetti will be working on Italian Recipe Books from the Late Middle Ages: The Transmission of Craftsmanship among Manuscript Illuminators, while Heidi Gearhart delves into Theophilus’ On Diverse Arts: Artists and Art-Making in the High Middle Ages.

Since 1985 the Research Institute has invited scholars, artists, and other cultural figures from around the world to work at the Institute on projects that bear upon its annual research theme. While in residence, they pursue their own research projects, make use of Getty collections, and participate in the intellectual life of the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. This year, the Getty Research Institute received over 417 applications from established researchers and pre- and postdoctoral scholars interested in questions bearing upon the scholar year theme Artistic Practice.

Source: Getty Trust

Sign up to get a Weekly Email from

* indicates required

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter!