Judith out and about: Los Angeles

11 May

I waited too long to write about seeing Judith in Europe, so I am now driven to write about my most recent encounters with Judith before the memories fade.  Therefore, before I unpack and pack again, I will share my day in Los Angeles.

It starts with a trip to the Getty Museum.  As with many of my trips, there was not enough time because I was not prepared for the magnitude of the museum.  The site and architecture is breath-taking in ways I can’t describe. I did follow a guide through the special exhibit, Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV.  And I would have followed guides throughout the day but had to move quickly because “LA traffic, you know.”  Of particular interest was Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts, because I was after Hans Schilling’s Barlaam and Josaphat (1469) that contains a page about Judith.  The book is on display, but sadly the pages are open to Josaphat Meeting a Blind Man and a Beggar.  <sigh> I wonder how often they turn the pages and how long it takes to get back to Judith?

I did see something NOT about Judith but one degree removed from Judith: a painting of Danaë” by Orazio Gentileschi, newly acquired by the museum and prominently displayed. The painting depicts Danaë in her locked room recieving Zeus in the guise of a shower of gold – which results in the birth of Perseus, an event his grandfather tried to prevent because it was foretold his grandson would kill him (Which he did in a freak accident with a discus, go figure). Next to murderous biblical heroines, mythical allergories are a favorite subject, especially when trickery and unforeseen consequences are involved.


Orazio Gentileschi, “Danaë”, 1621, oil on canvas, 161.3 x 226.7 cm, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California


Even though the Schilling manuscript was open to the wrong page, I did get to see another item from my catalog:  a stage prop from Martha Graham’s 1950 production Judith, representing The Tent of Holofernes.  It does not appear to provide protection from sun or rain but it is a substantial garden structure. Plus the guard had to shoo away several school children because it would also make a nice jungle gym.


Isamu Noguchi, “Tent of Holofernes,” 1950, bronze, 108 x 109 x 54 in, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California


Isamu Noguchi, “Tent of Holofernes,” 1950, bronze, 108 x 109 x 54 in, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California


From the Sculpture Garden, I headed back to Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Once again, there was not enough time because I was not prepared for the magnitude of the museum complex.  I did take a guided tour of their Modern Art collection which was an excellent choice for me given my limited understanding of that period. Learned A Lot about appreciating modern styles in a short amount of time.

The Baroque Collection was my actual destination in order to find the Doccia porcelain of “Judith and Holofernes” (1746-50).  Apparently made after a bronze by Agostina Cornacchini, this piece is both delicate and strong with intricate features considering the relatively small size.  And I am still a little obsessed with the headboard of the bed.


After Agostino Cornacchini, “Judith and Holofernes,” 1746-50, Doccia porcelain with original wood base, 17 in.without base, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California






And then I took a risk.  A Huge Risk.  Because one of my favorite portrayers of Judith lives and works in LA, I mapped out a plan to go to the gallery where he exhibits.  Only, I found he no longer exhibits at that gallery. So I sent an email asking if there was another exhibit space … and his partner invited me to the studio.

That is an invitation I am not going to pass up no mater what the traffic is like.

Thus I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Emil Kazaz and his muse, Monet. I cannot say enough nice things about the hospitality and generosity of this couple. They spent at least an hour with a stranger discussing our mutual obsession with Judith, their passion for Emil’s art, and his upcoming exhibits in Russia and Dubai.


Judith, Judith IV and Emil in the studio


Emil Kazaz, “Judith IV,” 2016, Bronze, 21 x 15 x 12 in,


The visit was electrifying. Not only did I have the opportunity to see his latest Judith IV along with several works in progress but … Emil sketched my portrait! I’m immortal!! Thanks so much again to Monet and Emil.


Judith and Emil Kazaz


Emil Kazaz, “Judith” 2016, ink on paper



Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Exploring



2 responses to “Judith out and about: Los Angeles

  1. Marvin

    May 11, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Wow – lucky you. And what a great sketch!

  2. Judy

    May 12, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Agh!!!!! I’m sooooo jealous. Judith, Portarlington Australia


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