April 14, 2011

Eliot Porter: In The Realm of Nature (Press Release)

Table of Contents:

In This Issue

Exhibitions through November 2003

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All exhibitions located in the J. Paul Getty Museum unless otherwise indicated.

NOTE: As noted in the listings below, some exhibition information has been revised to reflect schedule changes. All information presented here is accurate at time of printing, but subject to change. Please contact the Getty Communications Department (telephone 310-440-7360; fax 310-440-7722; e-mail to confirm before publishing.

New Exhibitions Opening Fall 2002

Special Exhibition
Greuze the Draftsman
September 10-December 1, 2002
Dedicated exclusively to the drawings of Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), this exhibition demonstrates his undisputed status as one of France’s greatest draftsmen and presents drawings in all media that explore a range of subjects. The exhibition highlights two of Greuze’s favorite subjects: human expression and the drama of family life. The Museum’s Head of an Old Man and The Father’s Curse: The Ungrateful Son are joined by 68 other Greuze drawings borrowed from both U.S. and European collections, including 10 drawings from the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, that were purchased directly from the artist in 1769. Organized by The Frick Collection in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum, this exhibition comes to Los Angeles after first being shown at The Frick Collection, New York, May 14-August 4, 2002. Press Release

Greuze the Painter: Los Angeles Works in Context
September 10-December 1, 2002
Complementing Greuze the Draftsman, this exhibition gathers all the paintings by Greuze in Los Angeles museum collections and presents them with national and international loans. The works on view span Greuze’s career and illustrate main developments in his approach to painting. Highlights of the exhibition include: Greuze’s genre subjects such as the Huntington Art Collection’s delightful Knitter Asleep and its pendant, the Young Schoolboy Asleep (Musée Fabre); dramatic oil sketches like the Getty Museum’s Cimon and Pero (Roman Charity) and the study of the Head of a Woman (Metropolitan Museum of Art); and the flamboyant Portrait of a Lady in Turkish Fancy Dress from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

French Drawings in the Age of Greuze
September 10-December 1, 2002
The 18th century was France’s golden age of draftsmanship, with many artists attaining great technical ability and some even achieving fame on the basis of their drawings alone. This exhibition presents a survey of eighteenth-century French drawings from the Getty Museum’s collection. In addition to featuring drawings by some of the century’s greatest painters such as François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, the exhibition introduces drawings by some of the petit maîtres—18th-century French artists who concentrated on drawing rather than painting. The installation surveys the entire century that opened with the Rococo fêtes galantes of Antoine Watteau and closed with the dramatic Neoclassical subjects of Jacques-Louis David.

Orazio Gentileschi in Genoa: Paintings for the Palazzo Sauli
October 1, 2002-January 12, 2003
Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639) was the most gifted and individual of Caravaggio’s followers. Between 1621 and 1623, he established his fame with three extraordinary paintings for a Genoese nobleman, Giovan Antonio Sauli. This small exhibition will reunite the Getty’s Lot and His Daughters with its original hanging companions, Danaë and the Shower of Gold and Saint Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy, both on loan from private collections. The ensemble will demonstrate how Gentileschi tempered Caravaggio’s revolutionary realism with a refined sense of beauty that is especially revealed in elegant, stylized compositions and a poetic use of light and color.

About Life: The Photographs of Dorothea Lange
October 15, 2002-February 9, 2003
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) grew up in New York, but established herself as a photographer in California in 1919. She was first a studio portraitist in San Francisco. During the Great Depression, when the unemployed were on the streets and the migrant workers were on the road, she left her studio to document the new realities of American life. The photographs she made for the state and federal government during the 1930s have become universally recognized symbols of that difficult era. This exhibition will not only present some of the best of her work for the Farm Security Administration, but will include earlier work made on the pueblos of New Mexico, post-World War II pictures made in Utah’s Mormon communities for Life magazine, images from her later travels in Egypt and the Far East, and photographs of her family made at home in Berkeley. This show of more than 80 prints, ranging across Lange’s career from the 1920s to the 1960s, is selected primarily from the Getty’s permanent collection.

The Grapes of Wrath: Horace Bristol’s California Photographs
October 15, 2002-February 9, 2003
Born and raised in California, Horace Bristol (1908-1997) began his career as a freelance photographer in San Francisco in the late 1920s. By the mid-1940s, he had established himself as a leading documentary photographer for magazines such as Life, Fortune, and Time. Influenced by the social documentary work of Dorothea Lange, Bristol proposed a picture story for Life in 1937 on Dust Bowl migrants and their daily struggles in California’s Central Valley. This exhibition features the series he later called The Grapes of Wrath. Drawn mainly from the Getty’s holdings, the show will include approximately 35 pictures.

The Medieval Bestseller: Illuminated Books of Hours
October 29, 2002-January 26, 2003 [new closing date]
Manuscript books of hours, private devotional books containing prayers addressed to the Virgin Mary, were the “bestsellers” of the late Middle Ages, and their pages were illuminated by some of the most accomplished artists of the period. This exhibition explores the illuminated book of hours and its precursors through 21 manuscripts from France, Italy, Flanders, and Holland dating from the 12th to the 16th century, all drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. Among the artists represented are Jean Fouquet, Jean Bourdichon, and Taddeo Crivelli.

Landscapes of Myth
November 5, 2002-February 2, 2003
Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery
This exhibition focuses on 15th- to 19th-century illustrations of sites that are legendary settings in Greek mythology. Travelers often used classical literature as a guide to rediscovering the remains of ancient Greece. Others set out to observe the actual place—its geography, climate, and customs—in order to experience more immediately the poetry of the ancient texts. Through paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, maps, and photographs from the Getty collections, the exhibition pairs familiar stories of Greek deities and mortals with lesser known images of the places where they were believed to have occurred, including Athens, Ithaka, Eleusis, Argos, Mycenae, Sparta, Delphi, and other landscapes of myth.

Continuing Exhibitions and Installations

Gustave Le Gray, Photographer
July 9-September 29, 2002

Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884) is widely acknowledged as the most important French photographer of the 19th century because of his technical innovations in the medium, his role as the teacher of other noted photographers, and the extraordinary imagination he brought to picture-making. The scope of his subject material ranged from early architectural studies of French Romanesque architecture to portraiture of the imperial family, from landscapes closely related to the work of the Barbizon school of painters to the stunning seascapes and cloud studies that made him famous. As well as photographing French troops on summer field maneuvers and making views of the city of Paris, he created images of the monuments of Egypt, where he spent the last 24 years of his colorful life. This exhibition, which will cover the full range of his work, was selected from an exhaustive survey of his work created by and presented at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris in the spring of 2002. Press Release

Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River
August 17-September 29, 2002

At the Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery and Lecture Hall
In The Danube Exodus, Hungarian artist Péter Forgács creates an interactive video installation designed to involve museum visitors in historical narratives about the “displacement” of ethnic minorities and the possible connections between them. The exhibition incorporates the amateur film footage of Captain Nándor Andrásovits, who ferried Eastern European Jewish refugees along the Danube River from Slovakia to the Black Sea (and eventually Palestine) in 1939. This narrative is paralleled by a “reverse” exodus that took place one year later, when Bessarabian Germans fled to the Third Reich because of the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia. Through sound, moving images, large-scale projections, touch-screen maps, and archival materials that include postcards, photo albums, and a three-volume illustrated survey of the Danube published in 1726, visitors will be immersed in stories of displacement narrated from a range of perspectives. This collaboration between Forgács and the Labyrinth creative team was launched during the filmmaker’s residency at the Getty Research Institute in 2000-2001 in response to the theme “Reproductions and Originals.” Press Release

Songs of Praise: Illuminated Choir Books
July 23-October 13, 2002

Christian choir books number among the most impressive illuminated manuscripts of the high Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Because they were often displayed on a lectern in the sanctuary, where they served as part of the adornment of the church, they were embellished with large painted initials and often extensive border decoration. This exhibition presents the various types of choir books and their characteristic illumination and also includes a section on historical music notation. It features 21 illuminated manuscripts and leaves and cuttings from choir books, all from the Museum’s permanent collection. The objects date from the 12th to the 16th century and come from throughout Western Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany, France). Press Release

Statue of an Emperor: A Conservation Partnership
This exhibition features the conservation of a statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled the Roman Empire from A.D. 161 to 180. The statue belongs to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and the conservation was a collaboration between the Pergamon and the Getty Museum. Composed of approximately 40 fragments of four different types of marble, some original, others carved during different restoration campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries, the statue was in danger of collapsing because the joints between the fragments had loosened over time. The conservators took the statue completely apart and reassembled it. Video segments show this process as it took place in the conservation laboratories of the Getty Museum. The exhibition highlights changes in restoration and conservation practices that have occurred between the 18th and 21st centuries. Press Release

Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection
Featuring works dating from 1500 B.C. to the 6th century A.D., this installation highlights Greek and Roman antiquities from the Museum’s collection. Included are a 5th-century B.C. limestone-and-marble statue of a goddess believed to be Aphrodite; a rare, recently acquired Roman gold beaker; and the Lansdowne Herakles, which was one of J. Paul Getty’s favorite works. The exhibition also features numerous works from the Fleischman collection acquired by the Museum in 1996, including a magnificent bronze cauldron with a grinning satyr and a spectacular ensemble of jewelry worn by a Greek woman more than 2,000 years ago.

Future Exhibitions through July 2003

Mise en Page: The Art of Composing on Paper
December 17, 2002-March 2, 2003 [new closing date]
Mise en page, French for “placement on the page,” designates one of the most highly prized aesthetic qualities of old master drawings. Draftsmen developed a keen eye for leaving evocative areas of blank space around the forms. They also exploited the tantalizing, ambiguous spatiality of the paper as both a two-dimensional surface and a medium used to suggest indeterminate depth. This exhibition explores the nature of draftsmanship from an aesthetic point of view and in works from the Getty collections, and highlights some of the essential and unique traits of Western drawing as it developed over four centuries.

Special Exhibition
Bill Viola: The Passions
January 28-April 27, 2003
Note: new opening date

In The Passions, celebrated video artist Bill Viola explores how changing facial expression and body language express emotional states using flat-screen monitors of various sizes, some resembling portable altarpieces of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. After filming the actors at very high speeds, Viola replays the action in extreme slow motion, with riveting results. The artist participated in the 1997-1998 Scholar Year at the Getty Research Institute focusing on representation of the human passions. Also included in the exhibition is Five Angels for the Millennium, a recent video/sound installation of the kind that made Viola famous; it has tremendous symbolic and emotional power.

Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (working title)
February 11-June 1, 2003 [new exhibition dates]
This exhibition of 23 illuminated manuscripts introduces the different sorts of manuscript books that received lavish embellishment in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through outstanding examples from the Museum’s permanent collection. It presents a variety of styles and types of manuscript painting produced over the course of about 500 years. Included are private devotional books, religious service books, and books of literature and law from throughout Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin dating from the 11th to the 15th century. T’oros Roslin, the Master of the Ingeborg Psalter, Taddeo Crivelli, and Jean Bourdichon are among the illuminators represented.

Surrealist Muse: Lee Miller, Roland Penrose, and Man Ray, 1925-1945
February 25-June 15, 2003
This exhibition focuses on Lee Miller (American, 1907-1977) in her role as model, source of inspiration for other artists, and as a creative artist working in photography. The show traces Miller’s life in photographs, paintings, and mixed-media works, from her career as a fashion model in New York in the 1920s to her bohemian life in Europe in the 1930s. During the late 1920s Miller was the subject of photographs by Edward Steichen, George Hyningen-Huene, and others in the New York fashion scene. She became the studio assistant and subject of photographs by Man Ray in Paris between 1929 and 1932, and with him she collaborated in the rediscovery of the solarization process. She also inspired paintings, drawings, mixed-media works, and photographs by Man Ray and Roland Penrose, and paintings by Pablo Picasso. Miller also created a significant body of photographs that incorporated surrealism even when she was working in portraiture, fashion, and journalism.

The Making of a Medieval Book
May 20-September 7, 2003
This installation explains how illuminated manuscripts were made in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The process begins with the preparation of animal skin to make parchment (or vellum), continues through the writing and painting stages, and ends with the binding of the volume. Several manuscripts in the Museum’s collection are on view, illustrating the materials and techniques of medieval manuscript production.

Special Exhibition
Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe
June 17-September 7, 2003
This exhibition of over 130 works of art focuses on the finest and most ambitiously illuminated books produced in Flanders (southern Netherlands and northern France) between 1467 and 1561, beginning with the reign of the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold, continuing through the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and ending with the death of the artist Simon Bening. As the first comprehensive view of this great epoch in Flemish illumination, the exhibition—which includes illuminated manuscripts and leaves from manuscripts, panel paintings, and drawings—centers on the art and careers of the most important artists, such as Simon Marmion, the Master of Mary of Burgundy, Gerard Horenbout, and Simon Bening. The show examines the degree to which the innovative style of these remarkable books’ decoration, the naturalism of their miniatures, and the illusion created by their floral-pattern borders came to be identified with Flemish glory and Hapsburg power. Organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and The British Library, Illuminating the Renaissance will be on view at the Royal Academy of Arts from November 25, 2003 to February 22, 2004.

Special Exhibition
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828): Sculptor to the Enlightenment
November 4, 2003-January 25, 2004
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) was one of the most prominent and versatile sculptors in 18th-century France, and his accomplishments as a portraitist were almost unparalleled. He represented most of the famous figures of his day, capturing their essential spirit as well as their physical appearance. Houdon created the iconic images of such early American statesmen as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, and established the authoritative portraits of leading personalities of the French Enlightenment, including François Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his depictions of close friends and family, and particularly in his busts of children, Houdon achieved a sense of spontaneous, unguarded naturalism that was one of the most original expressions of 18th-century sensibility. The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Musée national du château de Versailles, Versailles/Réunion des musées nationaux, France. It will include Houdon’s early works, garden statues, and over 40 portraits in terracotta, plaster, bronze, and marble. A scholarly catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

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China Principles team to return to China
In September, team members from the China Principles project—designed to develop and promote national guidelines for the conservation and management of cultural heritage sites in China—will convene at the Mogao grottoes near Dunhuang, to further develop the visitor carrying capacity study and management plan for the site. The project is a collaboration of the Australian Heritage Commission, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the State Administration for Cultural Heritage, China. At Mogao, team members will focus on lighting in the caves and microenvironmental factors in wall painting deterioration. The project team will then travel to the Qing Dynasty Imperial Summer Resort at Chengde to work further on conservation plans for the Wenjinge Library and Shuxiang Temple using the methodology set forth in the Principles.

Wall painting conservation to continue at Mogao grottoes
The conservation of wall paintings at the Mogao grottoes near Dunhuang in northwestern China—a collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute with the Dunhuang Academy, under the State Administration for Cultural Heritage in China—continues with a six-week campaign beginning in September. The focus will be the continuation of grouting and poulticing in Cave 85 to reattach the painted clay plaster to the rock of the cave and to remove soluble salts. In addition, analytical work to map the spatial distribution of salts in the cave will be completed, and microenvironmental data within the cave will be further assessed and compared with data from caves in the visitor carrying capacity research study, to provide an understanding of deterioration processes.

Conservation of Maya stairway to enter new phase
The development of a conservation plan for the hieroglyphic stairway at the Maya site of Copán, Honduras—a collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute and the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia—continues with a three-week campaign in September. During this campaign, team members will begin in situ mortar treatment trials while continuing to work on treatment for the stairway’s stone blocks. To evaluate potential causes of decay, a comparative analysis of the stairway condition will also be completed using historical photographs of selected stones. Additionally, to assist with maintenance and upkeep, a partial netting system will be installed and evaluated for its effectiveness in protecting the stairway from debris and in preventing animals from nesting among the stones.

Campus Heritage Preservation Initiative funds architectural preservation needs
The Getty Grant Program awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to support the architectural preservation needs of historic buildings, sites, and landscapes on college and university campuses across the United States as part of its Campus Heritage Preservation Initiative. Newly launched, the initiative provides funds for activities that help colleges and universities identify, assess, and plan for the preservation of their significant historic resources. This year’s nine grantees represent a broad range of institutions, from small liberal arts colleges to major research universities. Their projects, which include a preservation plan for Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, a landscape conservation plan of the University of California, Berkeley, a conservation plan for a group of historic buildings on the campus of Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island, and preservation guidelines for Modernist buildings at the University of Chicago, are all dedicated to protecting the irreplaceable history and heritage of their individual campuses. A list of the grant recipients and additional information will be available online at

First grant to support Antarctic heritage preservation
New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust has received a Getty grant of $238,000 NZD (approximately $114,000 USD) to support the development of detailed conservation plans for historic exploration sites in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. The grant will enable the Trust to analyze and prepare conservation plans for the Discovery and Terra Nova huts constructed by Robert Falcon Scott’s 1902 and 1911 expeditions, as well as for structures built by Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink during his groundbreaking 1899 journey. The Trust’s analysis and protection of these sites will complement research currently underway or in development on other highly significant sites in the region, including those of the Shackleton and Amundsen expeditions. Preservation work is particularly challenging in Antarctica due to the remoteness of the sites, difficultly in transportation and logistics, extreme climate, and the abbreviated season in which work can be accomplished. The long-term goal of the Antarctic Heritage Trust is to stabilize the structures and their contents on behalf of the international community and to develop preservation strategies to protect unique artifacts of the “Heroic Age” of Antarctic exploration.

Endowment grants announced for conservation training
Buffalo State University, New York University, and the University of Delaware were each awarded $500,000, a total of $1.5 million, by the Getty Grant Program to strengthen their respective training programs for the conservation of works of art. Collectively, these three institutions have played a leading role in the

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