FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 13, 2019

Getty Museum Presents In Focus: The Camera

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Alexandria Sivak
asivak@getty.edu
(310) 440-6473
Getty Communications

GETTY MUSEUM PRESENTS IN FOCUS: THE CAMERA

Exhibition includes a selection of rare cameras from the 19th century to present

 

At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center

July 30 –January 5, 2020

 

LEFT: Self-Portrait with Camera, 1932, Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976). Gelatin silver print. Image: 29.2 × 22.9 cm (11 1/2 × 9 in.). 84.XM.1000.14. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP CENTER: Polaroid Land Camera Model 95, about 1948 – 1949, Polaroid Corporation (American, founded 1937). Leather and steel. Object (Closed): L: 24.1 × W: 11.4 × D: 5.7 cm (9 1/2 × 4 1/2 × 2 ¼ in.). 2007.46.5. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Gloria and Stanley Fishfader RIGHT: Camera on 12-foot Tripod, 1920s, George Watson (American, 1892 - 1977). Gelatin silver print. Image: 11.7 × 9.1 cm (4 5/8 × 3 9/16 in.). 2001.71.6. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © The Watson Family Photo Collection

 

LOS ANGELES – The camera, once a simple wooden box with a primitive lens and cap for controlling light, has undergone enormous changes since its invention, eventually becoming a tool that is in most people’s back pockets. In Focus: The Camera, on view July 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, explores the evolution of this ingenious device through a selection of historic cameras and photographs.

          During the early 19th century, the three essential components of photography—a dark chamber, a light-sensitive substrate, and a method of fixing the image—were used in different ways in the experiments of Nicéphore Niépce (French, 1765-1833), Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre  (French, 1787-1851), and William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800-1877). In subsequent decades, advancements such as flexible film stocks, built-in light meters, motor drives, and megapixels transformed the way the camera captures and preserves a moment in time.

          On view in the exhibition will be a number of cameras manufactured in the 19th century to present day, including the simple camera obscura, a daguerreotype camera, a stereo camera, an early roll-film camera, a large portable camera, a miniature spy camera, an early color camera, and the first digital camera marketed to the general public. The exhibition will include text that explains how photographs are created using each of these cameras and techniques. Cameras produced by well-known brands such as Kodak, Leica, Nikon, Hasselblad, and Canon will be displayed.

          The gallery will also include a number of portraits, self-portraits, and images of artists at work by famed photographers such as Imogen Cunningham (American, 1883-1976), Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965), Lisette Model (American, born Austria, 1901-1983), Helmut Newton (German-Australian, 1920-2004), Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973), Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), and Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958). These images remind the viewer of the inextricable relationship between the camera and the artist.

          In Focus: The Camera is curated by Paul Martineau, associate curator of photographs for the J. Paul Getty Museum. Related events to come.

 

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

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