August 14, 2007

Getty Research Institute Presents Photographs of Los Angeles Spanning Julius Shulman's 70-Year Career

Exhibition at Downtown's Central Library
Launches Getty Center's 10th Anniversary Celebration

Julius Shulman's Los Angeles
At the Los Angeles Public Library
October 6, 2007-January 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES—At the age of 96, living legend Julius Shulman is one of the few individuals to have witnessed and documented the growth of Los Angeles during the past century.  More than mere works of art or images for commercial promotion, Shulman’s captivating photographs now serve as critical visual records of this metropolis’ dramatic evolution.

Julius Shulman’s Los Angeles, at the Central Library’s Getty Gallery from October 6, 2007–January 20, 2008, kicks off the celebration of the Getty Center’s 10th anniversary and includes 150 rarely seen photographs from the Julius Shulman photography archive at the Getty Research Institute (GRI).  The Central Library is located at 630 W. Fifth St., downtown.  The exhibit is free and open during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

“The Central Library and the Getty have a long history of partnership, most notably in the days after the fire that nearly destroyed the library in 1986, when the Getty’s support helped restore the historic murals in this landmark building,” says City Librarian Fontayne Holmes.  “To have the Getty Research Institute mount this extraordinary exhibition in the Getty Gallery is a special treat for us and our visitors.”

Acquired by the Getty Research Institute in 2005, this important archive, containing over 260,000 color and black-and-white negatives, prints, and transparencies, greatly enhances the architecture-related holdings in the Getty Research Library, which has become home to one of the world’s largest collections devoted to art and architecture.

Julius Shulman’s Los Angeles is in essence an exhibition about the famous photographer’s love for his own city in all its aspects.  We are very excited to have the opportunity to share his stunning photographs in the heart of downtown at the Los Angeles Public Library,” said Wim de Wit, head of the GRI’s Special Collections and Visual Resources and curator of architecture, who curated the show with Christopher James Alexander, the GRI’s associate curator of architecture.

The compelling presentation features seven photographic narratives: the competing urban developments of Bunker Hill and Century City; the exotic architectural expressions of Los Angeles, such as Watts Towers, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre; the growth of Wilshire Boulevard; the industrial engines at the Port of Los Angeles and LAX that powered the city’s rapid growth; the city’s diverse residential fabric from Echo Park to South L.A.; and Shulman’s critical role in capturing and promoting innovative, sleek Case Study Houses, as well as cookie-cutter tract housing developments.

The exhibition will also include renderings of current urban developments underway, so that visitors can compare Shulman’s historic photographic perspectives with images of Los Angeles’ future.  In addition to the photographs themselves, the presentation will include a host of related events and educational programming.

“We believe the exhibition will provide visitors with a unique and entertaining glimpse of this city’s development,” adds Alexander.  “I hope that seeing Shulman’s images will compel people to continue to explore Los Angeles and create their own photographs of our extraordinary urban landscape.” 

The exhibition is presented by the Getty Research Institute, with support from Park Fifth. Exhibits at the Central Library are made possible in part through a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The exhibition coincides with ArchiFest II, a month-long celebration of architecture in Los Angeles, which takes place in October.

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Note to editors: Images available on request.


For the Getty:
Beth Brett
Getty Communications

For the Los Angeles Public Library:
Peter Persic
Public Relations & Marketing Director


About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. 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 Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.

The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library - housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier - is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library’s special collections include rare books, artists’ journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.

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