Getty Research Institute names Kathleen Bickford Berzock to Scholars Program

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) has announced Block Museum Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Kathleen Bickford Berzock among 43 scholars who were awarded residencies through the annual Scholars Program.

“These scholars, chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants, bring a range of expertise and interesting topics – from 7th-century Japanese Buddhist calligraphy to contemporary art in Argentina to colonial engagement with Zulu art,” said Alexa Sekyra, head of the Scholars Program at GRI. “The scholars are a vibrant part of the Getty Research Institute community and we eagerly anticipate their insights and ideas and look forward to sharing our resources and expertise with them.”

The theme for the 2020/2021 scholar year, is “The Fragment.” Issues regarding the fragment have been present since the beginning of art history and archaeology. Many objects of study survive in physically fragmented forms, and any object, artwork, or structure may be conceived of as a fragment of a broader cultural context. As such, fragments catalyze the investigative process of scholarship and the fundamental acts of the historian: conservation, reconstruction, and interpretation. The evolution of an object can offer insights into the ethics and technologies of restoration, tastes, politics of collection and display, and production of art historical knowledge. The work of this group of scholars addresses the creation and reception of fragments, their mutability, and mobility, and their valuation and consequence throughout history.

“The Scholars Program has always been about supporting research and giving scholars the freedom to drive their own explorations with and in Getty resources,” said Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research Institute.

In partnership with the GRI, Berzock will continue her work advanced in the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa. The groundbreaking project reclaims medieval western Africa’s invaluable fragmentary remains and uses them as the foundation upon which the image of Africa’s globally-connected history can be constructed .

Because they are simultaneously of the past and in the present, archaeological fragments bring us as close to the past as we can ever hope to be…The motivation behind Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time lies in the power of such fragments to move us from the concrete to the imaginable.

– Kathleen Bickford Berzock

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