March 06, 2001

Quarterly News Bulletin and Exhibition Schedule Summer 2001


Table of Contents:

In This Issue


News Around the Getty


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

New Exhibitions Opening Summer 2001

Sherrie Levine/Joost van Oss: Sculpture Prototypes
June 6-July 8, 2001
The latest work from the artistic partnership of Sherrie Levine and Joost van Oss was developed in 2000 during a residency at the Getty Research Institute. Every year scholars, artists, and other cultural figures are invited to participate in the Getty’s Scholar Year, a program of weekly seminars with an annual theme. Drawing on the theme "Reproductions and Originals" for their collaborative exhibition, Levine and van Oss present sculptures that re-examine and redefine the aesthetic concerns, methods, and materials first explored by Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964). Rietveld was a renowned Dutch architect and furniture designer, whose works were among the most important examples of the Modernist movement De Stijl (the Style) in 1920s Holland. At the Getty Research Institute Gallery.

Special Exhibition
Walker Evans & Company: Works from The Museum of Modern Art
July 10-September 16, 2001
Drawn from the collection of and organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Walker Evans and Company asks: Where can the influence of Evans or parallels to his work be seen in photographs, paintings, sculpture, and graphic arts produced in the past eighty years? Considering Evans’ favorite subjects--the old versus the new, social types, definitions of home, pictures of pictures, the movies, facades of buildings, and the image of people alone--this exhibition shows how Evans wove pieces of European modernism and second-hand-shop Americana into a unique visual tapestry. Evans was among the first photographers to break completely with the idea that a good photograph should look like a painting. Press Release

The American Tradition & Walker Evans: Photographs from the Getty Collection
July 10-October 28, 2001
The quest to visually identify the unique character of all things American began in the middle of the 19th century, not long after photography’s invention. Seventy-five years later Walker Evans continued this tradition, by defining the subject so skillfully that many other photographers and artists were influenced by his work. Evans was not the first photographer to capture the particular, sometimes peculiar, nature of American culture. This exhibition illuminates how photographers working before and around Evans captured and defined quintessentially American subjects. In addition to 35 Evans photographs, this exhibition includes approximately 75 works ranging from photographers such as the Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia, Carleton Watkins of San Francisco, and Adam Clark Vroman of Pasadena to the classic photographers of the early 1900s including Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis Hine, Paul Strand, and Dorothea Lange. Along with Evans, these photographers’ images suggest a consistency in representing American visual culture and are the foundation for the American photographic tradition. Press Release

Work and Play: Everyday Life in Drawings, 1520-1820
July 31-October 14, 2001
From the Renaissance onward, artists were encouraged not only to depict the supernatural realms of the Bible and classical mythology, but also to use everyday life as a source of inspiration. This yielded a vast new fund of subjects, drawn primarily from the major forces governing the rhythm of human existence: work and leisure. This exhibition explores these themes in drawings from the Renaissance through the early 19th century, showing how artists cast an ever more intense look at the vibrancy of the surrounding world.

Continuing Exhibitions and Installations at the Getty Center

August Sander: German Portraits, 1918-1933
March 6-June 24, 2001
During the tumultuous post-World War I period of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), many German artists were inspired by a new political freedom. Berlin became an international artistic center, and the country produced such cultural icons as the Bauhaus school, Joseph von Sternberg’s film Blue Angel, Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain, and a new realism in painting that reflected observations about contemporary government and society. In photography, the Cologne portraitist August Sander expanded upon his pre-war idea of systematically portraying all strata of German society. He had begun with the peasant farmers of his native Westerwald region, and then added portraits of tradesmen, professionals, industrialists, secretaries, artists, the unemployed, the disabled, and others. This exhibition not only surveys Sander’s relentless portraiture of the 1920s and early 1930s, but it reveals the face of Germany immediately before Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Press Release

To Create a Living Art: Nineteenth-Century Drawings
May 1-July 15, 2001
The multifaceted art of drawing in the 19th century informs the conception of drawing in our own time. This exhibition of approximately 30 drawings highlights the Getty’s numerous recent acquisitions of 19th-century drawings. Featured works include Pierre Bonnard’s design for the poster Moulin Rouge, Gustave Courbet’s Sleeping Bacchante, and Georges Seurat’s Woman Strolling. Press Release

Illuminating Color
May 22-August 26, 2001
Color, one of the most basic ways to experience the world visually, has always been an essential tool of artistic communication. In manuscript illumination, color is used for its symbolic associations, for organizing compositions, for telling stories clearly, and for sheer brilliance of effect. Over time, shades of color were also used in radically different ways to model the human figure and to construct landscape. Drawing on highlights from the permanent collection, this exhibition examines these diverse functions of color as employed by medieval and Renaissance manuscript illuminators. The exhibition includes illuminated manuscripts from throughout Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin dating from the 12th to the 16th century. Press Release

A Royal Menagerie: Porcelain Animals from Dresden

As part of an ongoing and mutually beneficial partnership between the Getty and the State Art Collections of Dresden, Germany, the Dresden Porcelain Collection is lending fourteen large Meissen porcelain animals that were executed between 1730 and 1735 for Frederick-Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, known as "Augustus the Strong" (1679-1733). The commission for these large porcelain sculptures was highly important for the young Meissen porcelain manufactory. The size of the figures presented great difficulties in making and firing the porcelain, and their mere completion in most cases was extraordinary. These were the creations of two men with remarkably distinct artistic personalities, the court sculptor Johann Gottlieb Kirchner and Johann Joachim Kaendler. Rarely has such a large group of these figures been loaned outside Germany.

Also on loan are three paintings from Dresden’s New Master’s Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister) by German Romantic artists Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, Carl Gustav Caru and Caspar David Friedrich. These haunting landscapes join the Getty’s own painting by Friedrich, A Walk at Dusk, and enrich the Museum’s representation of the German Romantic spirit. The Friedrich is on view through May 13, 2001; the Oehme and Carus through January 2002.
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 2500 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, early Cycladic harpist dating to 2500 B.C; 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 June 2002

The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor
September 11-December 2, 2001
This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see more than 60 pages of the Gladzor Gospels, one of the masterpieces of Armenian illumination of the 14th century. It also introduces the manuscript’s illuminators, and its place within Western European, Byzantine, and Islamic artistic traditions. The exhibition focuses on the particularly Armenian view of Christ’s life expressed in the manuscript’s miniatures. The manuscript is on loan from the Department of Special Collections, Young Research Library, UCLA, especially for the installation, which celebrates the 1700th anniversary of the Christianization of Armenia. Press Release

Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection
October 30, 2001-January 20, 2002
This exhibition showcases the breadth of the Museum’s drawings collection with 30 portraits spanning the Renaissance through the 19th century throughout Europe. The installation includes preparatory drawings for large-scale portraits, like Ingres’ Study for Madame Moitessier, and features finished portrait drawings meant as independent works of art. Valued since the 16th century for their intimacy and portability, these portraits demonstrate the continuous challenge of and fascination with the presentation of the self, for both artist and subject.

Special Exhibition

Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen
November 13, 2001-February 3, 2002
Devices of Wonder explores the fascinating world of visual illusion, with the Getty Research Institute’s collection of 18th- to 20th-century optical games, toys, prints, and ephemera forming the core of the exhibition. Additional materials include scientific instruments, rare natural history books, trompe l’oeil paintings, trick furniture, a Wunderschrank (cabinet of wonders), and Lucas Samaras’ Mirrored Room. Imaginative, interactive installations reveal engaging and compelling apparatus that produce visual information on the stage, at the studio or laboratory, and in the home. Magic lanterns, miniature peepshows, panoramas, moving dioramas, stereoscopes, Jeff Wall’s cibachrome light boxes, and computers display how the "natural" eye has been transformed through sensory technology throughout time. The exhibition reveals how these optical devices brought about new forms of consciousness at different historical moments.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables
November 13, 2001-February 17, 2002
Long hailed as one of the great masters of 20th-century photography, Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo (b. 1902) blends an acute social consciousness with a poetic and often enigmatically modern sensibility. His work came into its own during the 1930s, following the social and political turmoil of Mexico’s 10-year Revolution. It contains both Surrealist undertones and a magical documentary reality. In the eight decades since the end of the Revolution, Alvarez Bravo has continued to make photographs that lend artistic and social insight to the complexities of modern Mexican culture. Selected from the Museum’s own holdings of rare photographs and from the collection of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, this exhibition traces Alvarez Bravo’s evolution as an artist, from his early Pictorialist-inspired beginnings to his refined formalist style, and on to his later, emotion-driven imagery. This exhibition coincides with Alvarez Bravo’s 100th birthday on February 4, 2002.

Artful Reading in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
December 18, 2001-March 10, 2002
In the Middle Ages, as now, reading opened worlds of information, entertainment, and inspiration. The concept of books, the texts that were read, and the conditions for reading them, however, were vastly different. This exhibition turns to 15 Western European manuscripts from the Museum’s collection that date from the 11th to the 16th century, as well as a papyrus roll, two early printed books, and a photograph by Walker Evans, to explore the importance of the written word, learning and literacy, and the practice of reading aloud before religious communities and princely courts. In addition to examining both the symbolism of books and reading in the Middle Ages, this exhibition charts the major technological changes that have influenced the way the written word has been communicated over time.

Rome on the Grand Tour
January 8, 2002-June 31, 2002
In the 18th century the Grand Tour--a journey across Northern Europe to Italy and the center of the classical past--formed an important way for eminent, young British travelers to acquire a canon of taste, noble ideas, and moral virtue. Featuring new acquisitions by the Getty Museum and Research Institute, Rome on the Grand Tour presents the Eternal City as a preeminent destination for the British aristocrat. Gathering together paintings, pastels, drawings, sculpture, artists’ sketchbooks, antiquities, books, and prints, this exhibition captures the diversity of the Grand Tour experience and portrays the preparation, engagement, and memory intrinsic to the journey. The installation presents both the high art and cultural memorabilia generated by the Tour, including the printed materials that promoted and guided the journey, portraits, and souvenir city views and sculptural reproductions. It also features objects reflecting the serious study of the antique, which ultimately transcended the age of the Grand Tour and gave birth to Neoclassicism.

Viewing Italy in the 18th Century
February 5-May 12, 2002
The veduta, or expansive view, reached its peak as a genre in Italy during the 18th century. Throughout the 1700s, during a period known as the age of the Grand Tour, travelers flocked to the Italian provinces in search of inspiration, enlightenment, discovery and adventure. Aristocratic visitors and connoisseurs encouraged the production of landscapes and cityscapes, visual records and souvenirs of the sites encountered on their travels. Ancestors of the modern-day postcard and topographical in conception, vedute were vehicles for the artist’s creative and illusionistic vision of nature and architecture. An exploration of 18th-century taste, this exhibition encompasses a range of images by the most sought-after view painters, or vedutisti. The visitor is guided through the vast and varied territories of Italy, from a Venetian backstreet by Giovanni Antonio Canaletto, and a theatrical performance by Francesco Guardi, to an imaginary antique port by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Railroads in Photography

March 5, 2002-June 23, 2002
By the 1830s, a revolutionary mode of transportation--the railroad--was spreading throughout Britain, Europe, and North America; and photography was revealed as a revolutionary way to make pictures. Through the talents and desires of key individuals, photography and the railroads together embarked on a journey that would span the world’s continents. From the beginning, the art and industry seemed bound together, and into the 20th century railroads remained a popular subject for photographers. From Édouard Baldus’ images of the new French lines in the 1850s to O. Winston Link’s nighttime views of the last steam-powered trains in 1950s America, the exhibition will explore the relationship of photography and railroads through a diverse and engaging selection of photographs.

Images of Violence in the Middle Ages
March 26-July 7, 2002
Violence seemed to surround those living in the Middle Ages on all sides--from land-ravaging wars and fierce tournaments designed for spectators to graphic depictions of the tortures endured by Christ. In the Middle Ages, violence was viewed as an integral, indeed necessary, aspect of life. Images of Violence in the Middle Ages features 20 European manuscripts and leaves dating from the 13th to the 16th century drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition explores not only the widespread presence of violence in medieval society, but also shows how images of violence could be used to influence medieval viewers through didactic lessons or by appealing to the emotions.

Special Exhibition
The Sacred Spaces of Pieter Saenredam
April 16-July 7, 2002
Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665) was one of the magical painters of 17th-century Holland, a time known as the "Golden Age" of Dutch Art. He spent his career immortalizing the churches of Holland in drawings and paintings. Working through a series of perspective drawings to the finished painting, he made innumerable fine adjustments to architectural details to create what may be justly called spaces of wondrous perfection of proportion and luminosity. The Getty hosts the only American venue of the most comprehensive exhibition of Saenredam’s work of the past forty years. It brings together over forty preparatory drawings and a collection of paintings depicting the beautiful and historically venerable churches of the ancient Dutch city of Utrecht.

Exploding Landscape: Naples and Vesuvius on the Grand Tour
December 21, 2001-March 24, 2002
The Exploding Landscape explores Naples as tourist destination during the period that Sir William Hamilton was the British ambassador to Naples, 1764 to 1799. A passionate collector of art and antiquities, Hamilton was equally drawn to natural wonders and archaeological discoveries. He played a distinctive role as a knowledgeable guide and genteel host to visitors on the Grand Tour. For eighteenth-century travelers, Naples was a mythic place dominated by the powerful presence of Mount Vesuvius. The volcano and ruins made Naples a different exotic locale, after visits to Rome, typically the main destination. Hamiltons writings and commissions to artists contributed to a group of innovative publications designed for travelers and collectors. He also commissioned prints and maps, and published illustrated volumes on vase collections and the volcanic landscape of Naples, all of which are owned by the Getty. A number of rare books and prints on Naples, Herculaneum, and Pompeii will also be in the exhibition. At the Getty Research Institute Gallery.

Bill Viola: Works from The Passions Series
September 10, 2002-January 12, 2003
In this exhibition, the celebrated video artist Bill Viola uses flat-screen monitors of various sizes—some in a format resembling portable altarpieces of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance—to explore how changing facial expression and body language express emotional states. After filming the actors at very high speeds, Viola replays the action in extreme slow motion, with riveting results. The artist participated in a yearlong study program at the Getty Research Institute in 1997-1998 focusing on representation of the human passions. His discoveries in the library and in the galleries helped inspire these new pieces.

Viola lives and works in Long Beach. His work was seen in a two-year international touring retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art that opened at LACMA in 1997. Most recently his work has been shown at the National Gallery in London, the church of St.-Eustache in Paris, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Unless otherwise noted, events take place in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. Advance reservations for parking and seating are required; call 310-440-7300 (notice of cancellation is appreciated). Seating is general admission and reservations for free events are honored until 15 minutes before the performance time. Doors open 45 minutes before the start of the program. Parking at the Getty Center is $5.

Gordon Getty Concerts - This series features music complementing current Museum exhibitions.

The Musician’s Palette: Color in Music from the 12th to the 16th Century - This concert presents Musica Angelica, directed by Michael Eagan, exploring the many facets of color in early music. Complements the exhibition Illuminating Color. Tickets ($18; seniors/students $15) are available at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300.
Saturday, June 2 at 3 p.m.

Sound Perspective: Sander’s Germany
- This concert presents the Los Angeles-based Rossetti String Quartet - Nina Bodnar, violin; Henry Gronnier, violin; Thomas Diener, viola; and Eric Gaenslen, cello - in a program featuring the music of Beethoven, Hindermit, and Humperdink. Complements the August Sander exhibition. Tickets ($15; seniors/students $12) available at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300.
Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m.

Friday Nights at the Getty - This free series of insight and imagination features eclectic Los Angeles artists. The Museum’s galleries are open on Fridays until 9 p.m. Tickets may be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit of four seats per reservation.

Nesting Dolls - Cid Pearlman’s punk-lyric contemporary dance company presents exhilarating dances that layer intricate formal structures with dynamic motion and a refreshing dose of irony. Limit of four seats per reservation.
Friday, June 15, 7:30 p.m.

Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story - Performance readings of classic and new fiction by some of the finest actors of screen and stage.

Billy Campbell, Mariette Hartley, Leonard Nimoy, and other acclaimed actors of screen and stage read classic and new short fiction in Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, presented by New York’s Symphony Space, KPCC (89.3 FM) and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Tickets ($20) are available at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300. Children’s tickets ($10) are available for the Saturday matinee only.

"An Evening with DoubleTake Magazine: Telling Stories in Fiction and Photographs" - A program of stories inspired by photographs.
Friday, June 22, 8 p.m.

"Fairy Tales - With a Twist: A Program for Children 7 to 11 and their Adult Friends."
Saturday, June 23, 3 p.m.

"Love & Longing in L.A." - Including a classic tale by the Los Angeles noir master John Fante.
Saturday, June 23, 8 p.m.

"Landscapes and Women: Three Tales by de Maupassant" - A program of 19th-century French tales.
Sunday, June 24, 3 p.m.

"Notions of Devotion" - Including readings by Leonard Nimoy and James Cromwell.
Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m.

Later this year, the Getty readings will be presented as part of the Selected Shorts radio series aired by more than 130 National Public Radio stations, including KPCC.

Film Screenings

Join Getty Scholar and filmmaker Péter Forgács for the last in a series of screenings of his work. The Danube Exodus (1998) draws from amateur footage of two voyages along the Danube River: one in 1939 by Jews escaping from Slovakia and the other by Bessarabian Germans a year later fleeing Soviet annexation of Bessarabia. Forgács will be present to discuss the film. Running time: 60 minutes. Wednesday, June 27, 7 p.m.

Fact + Fiction: Through the Camera of the 20th Century - In celebration of the Walker Evans exhibitions, the Getty Museum and the UCLA Film and Television Archive present a series of short and feature films exploring the interaction between photography and film from 1900 to the present. All screenings take pl

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