Paul Martineau is associate curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Before joining a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” panel discussion entitled “What Did Robert Mapplethorpe Teach Us?,” he talked in the Zócalo green room about Joan Crawford, the TV show Cops, and his next book project.
Like many Angelenos, you’re an East Coast transplant. What do you miss most?
I definitely miss the seasons. November is my favorite month, when all the leaves come off the trees and it’s very crisp and cool.
What’s your favorite novel?
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
You’re the author or co-author of eight books. What’s your next book project?
It’s on the history of fashion photography. It will span from 1910 to 2010.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a curator I’d be a ...
What camera do you use to take pictures?
I haven’t used a camera in quite a long time.
What’s your guilty TV-watching pleasure?
What’s hanging on your living room walls?
I have a photogram of a fern in cyanotype. It’s a blueprinting process. You use the fern as the negative.
What’s your most prized possession?
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Hmm ... the dead part really opens up the possibilities ...
Betty [Davis] or Joan [Crawford]?