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Getty Art + Ideas

By The Getty

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Join Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, as he talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work. Listen in as he engages these important thinkers in reflective and critical conversations about architecture, archaeology, art history, and museum exhibitions.

Customer Reviews

A Mixed Bag

Like most interview based podcasts the quality of this podcast relies upon the people interviewed. The museum director who hosts the podcast is no journalist, but he and his team at The Getty have selected very interesting people to talk to. Sometimes the episodes are too long and too similar to lectures. The Gettys first attempt at making a podcast is not great but it's a good start. Perhaps for their next attempt they should make something with more vision and production. They could talk to more than one person each episode and edit the episode so that it tells a story. The podcast is called Art + Ideas, but there aren't really any big ideas and it is mostly a conversation with an artist about personal stories. Overall the biggest problem is that the podcast has no focus.

Art + Ideas + Solid Interviews + Interesting Guests

After listening now to all the episodes of the Art + Ideas podcasts through the current one (12/14/2016), I felt like it was a good time to reflect on its strengths and weaknesses, focusing particularly on the interviewer (Jim Cuno), the interviewees, the format, and the topics.

Jim Cuno asks intelligent, educated questions. He is clearly well-versed in a number of topics and does his "homework" prior to every interview. Sometimes, his questions are a bit detailed, assuming knowledge that the listeners of the podcast might not have; at other times, though, he does a good job of leading the interviewees to explain very specialized topics in their respective fields. He is also very excited by every topic, which sometimes does lead him to interrupt his conversant, but enthusiasm is not necessarily a bad thing for a podcast host.

The interviewees have been quite varied, and I would consider that a strength of the podcast. The Getty (and Jim Cuno's) pull is tremendous: having the chance to hear Frank Gehry tell his life story, for instance, or to catch up with one the Rothschild's on her new novel is something that really separates this podcast from others. The podcast really is a dialogue between Jim Cuno and his guests, and this works best, I feel, when he knows the interviewees personally, able to pick up on cues of when to speak and when to let his conversant continue.

The most interesting episodes were either ones that involved one interviewee who really got a chance to deliver his or her perspective about a topic or ones that had a panel of speakers who interacted with each other (e.g., the Getty Bronze). I felt that episodes that had one-on-one conversations with multiple people were a bit truncated, breaking the flow of the podcast by suddenly switching the narrative and causing the listeners to readjust to something which was sometimes quite different in tone or topic. (After all, most people don't just listen to podcasts, but do so while doing something else, which means you might zone out for a bit, causing you to miss the transition to something new.)

About half of the topics I knew very little about before listening to the podcast, but I still felt it wasn't too specialized or overly detailed that I couldn't follow along and learn something new. (That is a credit to Jim Cuno, as well as the people editing the episodes.) Even when I was more familiar with a topic, the perspectives presented still had elements that I hadn't come across before. At times, however, I do feel like the interviews focus on the details rather than the bigger picture. This is a great opportunity to discuss important topics in art and art history with leaders in the field, and it would be great to see Jim Cuno catch an interviewee a bit off guard sometimes with a question that he or she has to really think deeply about.

As a suggestion, I think it would be a good idea if the podcast's devotees would have the chance to ask the questions. The Getty could put the podcast topics up in advance and solicit questions from the podcast's listeners before the interview. Maybe one question per episode or something like that. (I'd definitely listen to 40 or so minutes to see if my question came up.)

Overall, I think this is a worthwhile initiative on the part of the Getty, and I'm excited to see what it becomes in 2017!

A world revealed

I had no idea what a rich and interesting subject art history could be. From time to time, one discovers a field of learning that is fascinating, and this podcast has done that for me. The knowledge and love shown by the interviewer, curators, and artists is infectious. The podcast also illustrates how the combination of technologies that constitute podcasting has made it this kind of presentation available to everyone worldwide. Thanks to the Getty for doing this. I look forward to many more episodes.

Getty Art + Ideas
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  • Free
  • Category: Arts
  • Language: English

Customer Ratings