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Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World
March 27–September 9, 2018

Egypt, the most ancient of the Mediterranean civilizations, held a great fascination for the Greeks and Romans. This major international loan exhibition explores the artistic interplay between these cultures from the Bronze Age to Roman times. The installation includes royal Egyptian stone vessels sent to Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece, Archaic Greek pottery and sculpture inspired by Egyptian models, portraits in Egyptian and Greek style created during Greek rule in Egypt, and religious images and luxury goods made for Roman patrons in Italy.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Supported by the Director’s Council of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

REMBRANDT AND THE INSPIRATION OF INDIA
March 13–June 24, 2018

Among the most surprising aspects of Rembrandt’s prodigious output are twenty-three surviving drawings closely based on portraits made by artists working in Mughal India. These drawings mark a striking diversion for this quintessentially Dutch “Golden Age” artist, the only time he made a careful and extensive study of art from a dramatically different culture. Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India, on view March 13 – June 24, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, explores for the first time the artist’s Mughal drawings, exhibiting them alongside the Mughal paintings that inspired them to assess the impact of Indian art and culture on Rembrandt’s artistic interests and working process as a draftsman.

“Rembrandt may be one of the most famous painters in European art history, but there are still remarkable discoveries to be made about his work,” says Timothy Potts,

director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This exhibition is a case in point, demonstrating how Rembrandt turned to the art of India to produce some of his most intriguing images. This vivid example of cultural exchange reminds us how artists on different continents take inspiration from one another, a reality that of course continues to this very day.”

The exhibition pairs twenty of Rembrandt’s surviving drawings depicting Mughal emperors, princes, and courtiers with Indian paintings and drawings of similar compositions, which had been brought to Amsterdam from the Dutch trading post in Surat. Rembrandt’s portraits reveal how his contact with Mughal art inspired him to draw in a newly refined and precise style.

“The critical eye and attentive curiosity Rembrandt turned towards Mughal portrait conventions still captivates viewers today. At this late stage in his career, around 1656-1661, this meticulous rendering is exceptional,” says Stephanie Schrader, Curator of Drawings and organizer of the exhibition.

Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India also examines how global trade and cultural exchange impacted artists working for Mughal emperors in India, who were in turn inspired by Dutch and Flemish printed images of European rulers and scenes of daily life. Among the treasures found in a Dutch East India ship, which sank en route to China, was a package that contained four hundred prints by and after Dutch and Flemish artists. This astounding quantity suggests that Dutch merchants thought that art would help them gain with single-tone drawings and calligraphy. Rather than copy the European compositions exactly, Mughal artists adapted them to their own artistic purposes, as seen in Keshav Das’s Roman Hero (about 1590-95), based on prints by the Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius. The use of these prints illuminates the range of images that found a positive reception in India long before Rembrandt made his creative copies.

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1627-1658) was well known for his patronage of the arts — most notably the building of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan’s rule of Mughal India spanned the years that Rembrandt worked in Leiden and Amsterdam. In his eight drawings of Shah Jahan, more than he made of any other Mughal ruler, Rembrandt carefully studied the trappings of imperial magnificence, as seen in on Horseback (Shah Jahan) (about 1656-61). The poetic claim that Shah Jahan was “Royal Rider of the Piebald Steed of the World” was not lost on Rembrandt.

Rembrandt’s drawings after Mughal compositions constitute the largest group, by far, of his copies after other works of art. Moreover, they are his only surviving drawings on expensive Asian paper, which suggests the high value the artist himself placed on them. Shikoh (about 1656-60) is quite different from the typically known “late Rembrandt” style of drawing. His careful attention to details of clothing, jewelry, turbans, and footwear pays tribute to Mughal artists’ exceptional artifice.

On almost every level, Rembrandt and the Indian court painters operated in completely different worlds. Yet such differences did not prevent these innovative artists from appropriating foreign imagery to reflect upon and enrich their own more familiar artistic practice and culture.

Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India is curated by Stephanie Schrader, curator in the Department of Drawings. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from March 13 –June 24, 2018.

The exhibition is generously supported by City National Bank. With additional support from Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Holmes Tuttle.

Paper Promises: Early American Photography
February 27 - May 27, 2018

The early history of paper photography in the United States is a formative but rarely studied aspect of the medium’s evolution. While Americans were at first slow to adopt Europe’s negative-positive photographic practices, the country’s territorial expansion and Civil War increased demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute. The exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography, on view February 27 – May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, features rare 19th-century paper negatives and paper photographs from this important era of American experimentation, including portraits of some of the country’s most notable political and cultural figures, as well as searing images from the Civil War.

“In the mid-nineteenth century, photographs did much more than merely document the development of the nation; increasingly they became central to debates about the U.S. and its place in the world,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The photographs on view in this exhibition offer a rare insight into the forces and movements that shaped the country’s character at a formative stage of its development.”

Today, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat create a thirst for casual selfies, views of our surroundings, and documentation of the most mundane aspects of daily life. Yet reproducible photography was not initially popular in the United States. In the earliest years of the medium Europeans quickly adopted techniques that enabled multiple photographs to be printed from negatives, but Americans initially preferred singular formats intended for intimate viewing, such as those produced directly on metal or glass.

A few intrepid American photographers experimented with negative-positive techniques in the 1850s. The earliest photographs they produced used papers sensitized with silver salts that resulted in matte images well suited to register a range of textures. Paper Promises showcases dozens of rarely exhibited salted paper prints.

To secure the widest possible market for photographs that could be printed in multiple, entrepreneurial photographers made salted paper prints for a variety of purposes: scientific investigation, celebrity portraiture, tourism, historic preservation, corporate and self-promotion, and firsthand documentation of newsworthy events. Their ambition to develop a technique suited to the quickened pace of modern life is apparent in a salted paper print made around 1860 by an unknown photographer, in which a group of men and women gather excitedly aboard the front of a train. The railroad was a potent symbol of progress, and it was anticipated that photography, like locomotives, might connect Americans to places and people far away.

In the 1850s, however, alarmist reports that photographic negatives were being used to counterfeit currency caused widespread anxiety. At the time, banks printed their own money and thousands of different paper bills were in circulation. Around forty percent of the bills that passed through American hands were counterfeit, so banknotes began to be thought of as little more than flimsy “paper promises.” The exhibition features photographic counterfeits from the era, revealing a previously unstudied aspect of initial American resistance to photographic reproducibility. Though “paper promises” was originally a derisive phrase, the promise of paper photography soon swept the nation.

Also included in the exhibition are examples of other pioneering photographic techniques, including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, albumen silver prints, a pannotype, and an ivorytype.

As the use of negatives to produce photographs in multiple sizes and shapes began to catch on, photography studios rushed to secure famous sitters in the hope of gaining wide distribution for popular images. The exhibition demonstrates how celebrities of the era grew savvy about circulating carefully crafted images of themselves. For example, an 1860 portrait of abolitionist Frederick Douglass by an unknown photographer emphasizes the gravitas of the fiery orator and prolific writer. Douglass sat for portraits throughout his life, countering racialized stereotypes by circulating dignified images of himself.

Family photographs also became increasingly cherished as the medium gained in popularity. At a time when life expectancy was short and child mortality common, photographic portraits were thought of as especially precious souvenirs. The exhibition features several intimate portraits of families and children, some of which were carefully hand-tinted to further strengthen the sense of personal connection.

Universities capitalized on the ability to produce images in multiple and compiled volumes of students and staff into what is today the familiar yearbook format. An example from about 1852 by John Adams Whipple (American, 1822-1891) was commissioned by Harvard – a proto-Facebook more than 150 years before Mark Zuckerberg’s start.

As disputes over state and federal sovereignty as well as American Indian rights intensified, photographers sought how best to portray the people and places most frequently in the news. Photographs of several treaty negotiations will be on view, such as images of the first Japanese delegation to the United States, and an 1858 portrait by Alexander Gardner (American, born Scotland, 1821-1882) of a delegation of Upper Sioux who traveled to Washington, D.C., for treaty talks. While most of the delegates pictured wore contemporary clothing, Gardner kept costumes on hand to outfit visitors in “traditional” attire, in keeping with East Coast ideas about Native dress. Photographs of American Indian sitters proliferated as their autonomy became a highly contested matter of public debate.

In the territorial struggles of the 1860s, families torn apart by the Civil War sought personal mementos that could be easily shared and saved, and paper photographs served that purpose well. Soldiers had their portraits made upon enlistment, and civilians clamored for images of the battlefield. Images of slaves and of Abraham Lincoln were increasingly wielded as tools for political change, and the exhibition will spotlight several examples. Freedom’s Banner. Charley, A Slave Boy from New Orleans (1864) by Charles Paxson (American, died 1880) is one of many small-scale images carefully composed and widely circulated to encourage empathy with the plight of enslaved families. The photographs were sold to support education for freed slaves and to sustain support of the abolitionist cause.

“As we struggle to adapt to today’s digital revolution, with its capacity for unchecked manipulation and proliferation of images, it’s valuable to look to an earlier era in which ideas about photography and its role in society were similarly exerting profound effects,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “Because early paper photographs became an integral part of everyday life, not many survive. So this is a unique opportunity to see rare images from a tumultuous period of American history.”

Paper Promises: Early American Photography is on view February 27, 2018 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A book of the same name and authored by Dr. Harris, with contributions from scholars of American history and photography, will be released by Getty Publications in February 2018.

Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography
February 27–May 27, 2018

Interaction with paper plays an integral role in the practice of many photographers working today. Some create paper models with images gleaned from current events, popular magazines, or the internet for the express purpose of photographing them. Others cut, layer, fold, and/or assemble representational photographs to introduce tactile or narrative elements. The exhibition features works by Thomas Demand, Christiane Feser, Daniel Gordon, Soo Kim, Matt Lipps, and Christopher Russell.

Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions
February 6 – May 6, 2018

One of the largest collections the Getty Research Institute has ever acquired has led to a major exhibition surveying the extraordinary practices of Harald Szeemann (1933-2005)– the world-renowned curator of modern and contemporary art who championed radical art and was a fascinating art-world figure. Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions will be on view at the Getty Research Institute from February 6 through May 6, 2018, before traveling internationally.

“Szeemann was the most influential curator of his generation, and his projects had a profound influence on artistic developments of the postwar era, from conceptualism and postminimalism to new forms of installation and performance art,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute. “His archive is one of the largest and most impressive collections acquired by the Getty and this exhibition is a window into the workings of one of modern art’s most fascinating minds.”

Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions explores the life and career of the quintessential exhibition maker, from his groundbreaking involvement with the avant-garde movements of the 1960s and 1970s and his global contemporary exhibitions of the 1990s and 2000s to his personal reading of early 20th-century modernism. The archive was acquired in 2011 and is massive, covering a five-decade-long curatorial career and comprising his extensive research and records, along with his creative archiving strategies. In addition to letters exchanged with artists, photographs, proposals, and ephemera, the archive includes many idiosyncratic objects that Szeemann collected. Szeemann’s work covered large areas of research, challenging traditional narratives of art history and often embracing creative fields outside the visual arts. For each of his more than 150 exhibitions he contributed extensively to his vast library and research archive, which he referred to as a “Museum of Obsessions.” “Szeemann’s Museum of Obsessions comprised not only the physical place of the archive but also a mental landscape that encompassed all moments of genius and artistic intensity in his exhibitions, both realized and unrealized, past and future,” said Glenn Phillips, lead curator of the exhibition and head of modern and contemporary art at the GRI. “Immersing oneself in the depth and peculiarities of this archive it is easy to see how he became synonymous with the advent of globalism in contemporary art and one of art history’s most distinguished advocates of conceptual and postminimal art.”

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections: “Avant-Gardes,” which addresses Szeemann’s early exhibitions and his engagements with the artistic vanguards of the 1960s and early 1970s; “Utopias and Visionaries,” which explores a trilogy of exhibitions Szeemann organized in the 1970s and 1980s that rewrote the narrative of early 20th-century modernism as a story of alternative political movements, mystical worldviews, and utopian ideologies; and “Geographies,” which examines Szeemann’s own Swiss identity, his penchant for travel, and his focus on broad international exhibitions and regional presentations later in his career.

A satellite of the exhibition recreates Szeemann’s extraordinary but little-known 1974 exhibition Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us in downtown Los Angeles at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles from February 4 to April 22, 2018. Grandfather examined the intriguing life of Szeemann’s grandfather, Étienne Szeemann, an inventive hairdresser and wigmaker who had developed his own permanent wave machine. The exhibition of more than 1,200 objects used the elder Szeemann’s possessions to produce a series of dynamic and surprising juxtapositions.

In 1961, at age 28, Szeemann was appointed director of the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland, becoming one of the youngest museum directors in the world. During his eight and a half years there, Szeemann transformed the Kunsthalle into an international showcase, focusing on the most current developments in contemporary art while developing innovative historical and thematic exhibitions. Among these projects were surveys of kinetic art, art of the mentally ill, religious folk art, and science fiction as visual culture. Szeemann built close relationships with artists, and the exhibition will feature artists’ letters, proposals, and drawings from this period as well as posters from the more than 50 exhibitions that were held at the Kunsthalle Bern during his tenure.

When Attitudes Become Form was perhaps Szeemann’s most famous project, indeed one the most infamous exhibitions in contemporary art. In 1968, Szeemann was approached by the public relations firm Ruder Finn and tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris to produce a major exhibition of recent art. Szeemann embarked on a whirlwind of travel in search of new talent and the resulting exhibition was a sprawling display of mostly younger artists on the verge of fame. The project surveyed movements across the United States and Europe, focusing on conceptual and process-based art. Many of the artists made their works directly on site, damaging the Kunsthalle Bern in the process: Richard Serra splashed 460 pounds of molten lead against the walls; Joseph Beuys smeared the corners with margarine; Lawrence Weiner removed a section of permanent wall; and Michael Heizer used a wrecking ball to smash up the plaza in front of the Kunsthalle. The exhibition sparked international controversy that ultimately led to Szeemann’s resignation from the Kunsthalle, simultaneously propelling his career to new heights of fame.

After resigning from the Kunsthalle, Szeemann became an independent curator, a profession he virtually invented. His first major commission was the exhibition Happening & Fluxus, 1970 for the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, Germany. The extensive survey included small galleries devoted to individual artists, and a line of bulletin-board style displays documenting performance art. The more than 600 photographs and ephemera in the exhibition drew less attention, however, than the opening performances, many of which offended the public and titillated the press. Particularly scandalous were the Vienna Actionists, whose sexually suggestive and violent performances were deemed to cross a moral line.

In 1972 Szeemann acted as the secretary general of documenta 5, the fifth iteration of the major international art exposition held every five years in Kassel, Germany. Szeemann revitalized and radicalized documenta’s program with Questioning Reality – Image Worlds Today, which is widely regarded as the most significant and ambitious exhibition of the 1970s. Conceived as a “100-day Event,” the expansive exhibition featured dozens of time- and performance-based works by contemporary European and US artists while also devoting smaller sections to socialist realism, political propaganda, art of the mentally ill, advertising, and science fiction. Most prominent among these thematic sections was Individual Mythologies, Szeemann’s category for those artists creating highly subjective alternate realities in the form of large-scale installations.

Following documenta 5 and Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us, Szeemann settled in Ticino in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. The trilogy of exhibitions he curated over the next decade was less engaged in contemporary artists and more focused on outsider artists and notions of utopia. The Bachelor Machines (1975) explored the erotics of the machine aesthetic in modern art and literature, featuring works by Marcel Duchamp and Robert Müller and commissioning sculptural visualizations based on the writings of Franz Kafka and Alfred Jarry for the exhibition. Szeemann grew deeply interested in the cultural history of the region surrounding his new home, collecting extensive research materials about local visionary artists as well as the political refugees, life-reformers, vegetarians, dancers and other artists who established a commune on the nearby hill known as Monte Verità (the mountain of truth) at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1978 he devoted an entire exhibition to these forgotten figures titled Monte Verità: The Breasts of Truth, which was installed in one of the original buildings belonging to the commune. Rounding out this trilogy of exhibitions recasting the modernist tradition was Tendency toward the Gesamtkunstwerk: European Utopias since 1800 (1983). This show addressed European utopias taking the form of what German opera composer Richard Wagner termed the “total work of art,” which sought to combine all of the arts (poetry, music, dance and the visual) to free audience members from the doldrums of the technological age through heightened sensory awareness. Szeemann’s ambitious exhibition brought together works by John Cage, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky and commissioned new sculptural models of monuments by Kurt Schwitters and Richard Wagner’s Bayreuth Festival Theater. Across all three of these exhibitions featured works by visionary and often autodidactic figures such as the healer Emma Kunz, the artist and early gay-rights advocate Elisar von Kupffer, the recluse Armand Schulthess, and the schizophrenic artist Adolf Wölfli.

In the last fifteen years of his career, Szeemann broadened the focus of his exhibitions to encompass global surveys and explorations of national and regional identity, which dovetailed with his lifelong interest in travel and geography. He organized biennials in Lyon (1997), Gwangju (1997), Seville (2004) and Venice on two separate occasions (1999 and 2001). In exhibitions like Visionary Switzerland (1991), Austria in a Net of Roses (1996), Beware of Exiting Your Dreams: You May Find Yourself in Somebody Else’s (2000), Blood & Honey: The Future Lies in the Balkans (2003) and Visionary Belgium (2005), Szeemann took a singular approach to the representation of single nations and cultural regions, bringing together a remarkable range and number of cultural artifacts that often featured graphic wallpapers, salon-hung walls, and impressive large-scale installations.

Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions will be accompanied by two books from Getty Publications: Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions by Glenn Phillips and Philipp Kaiser with Doris Chon and Pietro Rigolo, which features essays on Szeemann’s practice, interviews with his collaborators and more than 350 illustrations and Harald Szeemann: Selected Writings edited by Doris Chon, Glenn Phillips, and Pietro Rigolo and translated by Jonathan Blower and Elizabeth Tucker.

The exhibition is curated by Glenn Phillips and Philipp Kaiser, with Doris Chon and Pietro Rigolo.

The exhibition is generously supported by Warren Lichtenstein, in honor of Tommy Lasorda, with additional support from Sotheby’s. Also supported by the Danielson Foundation. The exhibition tour is substantially supported by a grant from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

Museum of Obsessions and Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us will travel internationally. Both exhibitions will be presented in Bern, Switzerland from June 9 through September 2, 2018 with Museum of Obsessions on view at the Kunsthalle Bern and Grandfather on view at Gerechtigkeitsgasse 74. The exhibitions will be presented together at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf from October 10, 2018 through January 20, 2019 and the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin from February 26 through May 26, 2019. Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us will also travel to Swiss Institute, New York, in 2019.

OUTCASTS: PREJUDICE & PERSECUTION IN THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
January 30–April 18, 2018

Medieval manuscripts preserve stories of faith, romance, and knowledge, but their luxurious illuminations can sometimes reveal hidden prejudices as well.

Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World, on view January 30—April 8, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, presents individual case studies that examine the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion. Whether for reasons of race, class, gender, religious identity or sexual difference, medieval society was far more diverse than is commonly understood, but diversity did not necessarily ensure tolerance. Drawn from the Getty’s permanent collection of illuminated manuscripts, this exhibition explores the obstacles faced by those who were perceived as “others.” For today’s viewer, the vivid images and pervasive subtexts in illuminated manuscripts can serve as stark reminders of the power of rhetoric and the danger of prejudice.

“With their focus on religious subjects and tales of chivalry, it’s easy to forget that the pages of illuminated manuscripts frequently depicted social biases,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Frequently, these works were a reflection of social norms and reinforced prejudices that were prevalent in society. In some cases these references may be subtle, in other cases not. In either case it is important to understand these works of art as also being social and historical documents that illuminate both the medieval past and the biases and prejudices that we still grapple with today.”

The exhibition begins with an illumination of the Crucifixion in the Getty’s Stammheim Missal, a masterpiece of Romanesque painting. The image is usually understood as a celebration of Christian belief, in which the sacrifice of Christ paved the way for the salvation of humanity, but this exhibition highlights the institutionalized anti-Semitism underlying Christian rhetoric about the old law and the new. Ecclesia, the personification of the Christian Church, is seen at Christ’s right, while the Jewish Synagoga appears on his left. Synagoga points at Christ, glaring, while holding a banderole (representing Old Testament law) that proclaims “cursed be he who hangs on the tree.” Below, two personifications echo and amplify the antithetical positions of these figures. In a roundel below Ecclesia, the fair-skinned Life gazes calmly across the composition at Death, who resembles contemporary (twelfth-century) caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and swarthy complexions.

“As repositories of history and memory, museums reveal much about our shared past, but all too often the stories told from luxury art objects focus on the elite,” explains Kristen Collins, curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition. “Typically created for the privileged classes, manuscripts can nevertheless provide glimpses of the marginalized and powerless and reflect their tenuous places in society.”

Some medieval writers and artists altered historical content to align with the prevailing morals of the day. Among Alexander the Great’s lovers was the young man Hephaiston and the eunuch Bagoas, but in one medieval manuscript Bagoas was recast as a beautiful woman called Bagoe in order (as the text says) to “avoid a bad example.” Even as a woman, however, Bagoe is still transgressive. In a fifteenth-century Flemish illumination, Bagoe wears luxurious flowing garments like those of the spear-carrying Amazon women in the background, who were renowned for their military prowess and heightened sexual drive. The literary and artistic interpretation of Bagoas/ Bagoe reveals the predominant prejudice against same-sex attraction and, by aligning her with the Amazons, the pervasive wariness toward powerful women.

Cis-gender women and Muslims often fared no better in the medieval world. The Merovingian queen Brunhilde, a powerful heroic figure who led armies and ruled over kingdoms, fell victim to the misogyny of later medieval authors who cast her as the archetypal “nasty woman.” In Giovanni Boccaccio’s story of The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France (1413-15) he described Brunhilde as ruthless and vengeful, characterizations that were also applied to Saracens, a pejorative medieval term for Muslims. This parallel may explain the turbaned figures in the margins of this manuscript. In medieval art, the “Saracen” became a catch-all category of people to be feared.

Color conveyed a range of meanings in medieval art. Blackness not only signified race and ethnicity, but also symbolized the absence of light, and thus, God. Demons were often rendered in shades of black or dark browns and grays. In Initial Q: David Before Saul (after 1205), color appears to have been used in both ways. In a jealous rage, King Saul draws a sword on the young David. King Saul’s melancholic temperament is conveyed not only through his actions but also by the dark-skinned demon who resembles caricatured representations of Africans, Jews, and Muslims found elsewhere in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, a period of extreme intolerance and violence.

According to Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition, “This exhibition strives to make connections between the Middle Ages and the contemporary world, specifically in the way rhetoric is used to construct society’s ‘out groups.’ Attitudes toward Jews and Muslims, the poor, those perceived as sexual or gender deviants, and the foreign peoples beyond European borders can be discerned through caricature and polemical imagery, as well as through marks of erasure and censorship.”

In an attempt to respond to possible concerns from audiences, the exhibition curators also reached out through the Getty blog and Tumblr, inviting members of the public to comment on the exhibition text as it was being drafted. That ongoing conversation can be found on the Getty Iris.

Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from January 30 –April 8, 2018. Related programming includes “Sexuality, Sanctity, and Censorship: A Conversation with Artist Ron Athey,” a discussion about sexuality, gender identity, and censorship in relation to the exhibition and, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Middle Ages and Today” a panel discussion featuring Sara Lipton, Hussein Fancy, and Jihad Turk.

A Queen’s Treasure from Versailles: Marie-Antoinette’s Japanese Lacquer
Through January 6, 2019
South Pavilion, Plaza Level

Free | No ticket required

A Queen’s Treasure brings to the Getty precious examples of Japanese lacquer from the personal collection of the French queen Marie-Antoinette (1755–1793). Her collection of small lacquer boxes was one of the finest assembled in Europe, and she considered them to be among her most cherished possessions. The elaborate and costly works reveal a fascinating example of the queen’s sophisticated taste and demonstrate the consistent level of achievement attained by Japanese lacquer artists during the mid-Edo period (about 1681–1764) when these pieces were created.

PASTELS IN PIECES
January 16–July 29, 2018

In the eighteenth century, paper was made by hand, pulled in sheets that were no wider than the span of a paper maker’s arms. Artists who worked in pastels at first worked on a small scale, but as they began to compete with oil painters for major portrait commissions, some started piecing together multiple sheets of paper to create large, continuous surfaces for their work. Pastels in Pieces, on view January 16–July 29, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, explores the practice and purpose of “piecing,” inviting visitors to take a closer look at how eighteenth-century pastels were made.

“The piecing together of multiple sheets of paper began as a way to enlarge the artist’s canvas and to accommodate ever grander compositions,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The Museum owns the largest pastel made in the eighteenth century, a portrait of the magistrate Gabriel Bernard de Rieux by Maurice-Quentin de la Tour. One of the highlights of our collection, it stands over six feet tall and is pieced together from twelve sheets of paper. Quentin de la Tour lavished many hours on the details of the sitter’s costume and luxurious surroundings, producing a portrait that
rivals those executed in oil on canvas by his contemporaries. It forms the centerpiece of the exhibition that will explain how these splendid objects were made.”

This piecing technique quickly came to serve purposes other than scale, as artists recognized the opportunity to work up various elements of their compositions separately and then paste them together à la Photoshop. Quentin de la Tour’s, Portrait of Louis XV in Armor before Tournai (1745), offers a striking example of the artist’s tendency to draw his subject’s head separately from the rest of the portrait, generally posed by a model. In this case, the procedure likely helped him reduce his demand on the monarch’s time while still capturing a lively likeness.

Since pastel cannot be erased and is less forgiving than oil paint, layering sheets also offered artists a way to make corrections or changes, papering over early versions and mistakes. For his Portrait of a Woman Sewing (1746), Charles-Antoine Coypel pieced together four large sheets, with additional strips added along the edges. Perhaps the most interesting use of piecing in this work occurs in the sitter’s bracelet, adorned with an image of her husband. This tiny portrait-within-a-portrait occupies its own sheet. It is possible that the artist, unhappy with an earlier treatment of this detail, covered it up with a new one.

“In preparation for this installation, drawings conservator Michelle Sullivan and I created maps to help us keep track of the various sheets,” explains Emily Beeny, associate curator of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and curator of the installation. “The joins between the sheets are often cleverly concealed under thickly applied pigment or through camouflaging elements in the design, and so our maps, reproduced on object labels, will help visitors identify the various constituent sheets.”

Michelangelo to Degas: Major New Acquisitions
January 17–April 22, 2018

The Getty Museum recently made one of the most significant acquisitions in its history, consisting of sixteen drawings and a painting from a private collection. The group features works by many of the most celebrated draftsmen in the history of European art, including Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, Domenico Tiepolo, Goya, and Degas. The exhibition of these newly acquired works comes as the Museum celebrates twenty years since the opening of the Getty Center.

Finding Form
December 12, 2017–February 11, 2018

Line by line and layer by layer, an artist conjures a three-dimensional world from a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Through an array of media and techniques—hatched ink lines, varying densities of wash, white chalk highlights—these draftsmen generate form, likeness, and depth, yielding an arresting presence. Featuring celebrated masterworks from the 1500s to the 1800s, all from the Getty's permanent collection, this focused exhibition demonstrates how artists have performed this magic across time and place.

Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, 1997
December 12, 2017–May 6, 2018

Acclaimed photographer Robert Polidori (Canadian-French-American, born 1951), known for his images of architecture and human habitats, created a series of images of the Getty Center shortly before the opening of the multipurpose complex in 1997. Organized to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Center, this exhibition features captivating behind-the-scenes views of the building and the new galleries as objects from J. Paul Getty's painting, sculpture, and decorative arts collections were being installed in the Museum.

CARAVAGGIO: MASTERPIECES FROM THE GALLERIA BORGHESE
November 21, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Getty Museum, Getty Center

Exhibition inaugurates the Caravaggio Research Institute, an international research institute conceived by Anna Coliva, Director of the Galleria Borghese, and supported by the Roman luxury House FENDI

The J. Paul Getty Museum presents a rare exhibition of three celebrated works by the great Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), on loan from the Galleria Borghese in Rome, home to the largest collection of Caravaggio’s paintings in the world. Caravaggio: Masterpieces from the Galleria Borghese will be on view at the Getty Center from November 21, 2017 through February 18, 2018.

According to Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, “These three masterpieces are among Caravaggio’s best-known paintings, and we are extremely grateful to the Galleria Borghese for sharing them with our public. Caravaggio’s revolutionary genius made him one of the most important and beloved figures in European art history. The opportunity to see three of his most renowned works alongside the exceptional 17th-century Italian masterpieces in our own collection is an event not to be missed.”

One of the most admired painters in history, Caravaggio developed a boldly naturalistic style that employed striking theatrical compositions and emphasized the common humanity of his protagonists. His art was both widely celebrated and highly controversial among his contemporaries and remained influential for centuries afterward.

The three paintings presented in the exhibition exemplify the crucial stages in Caravaggio’s short but intense career (he died at age 39).

Boy with a Basket of Fruit (ca. 1593-94) represents the beginning of the artist’s career when he moved from Lombardy to Rome and first attracted attention as a painter of realistic genre scenes and still lifes. Saint Jerome (ca. 1605) portrays the saint as a scholar reading and annotating sacred passages in the dramatically spotlight manner that Caravaggio made famous. In David with the Head of Goliath (ca. 1610), painted at the end of the artist’s career in his more somber and expressive later style, Caravaggio included his own features in Goliath’s head, purportedly in penance for his having committed a murder in May 1606. All three paintings were acquired by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a nephew of Pope Paul V, who knew Caravaggio personally and was one of his primary patrons.

“Caravaggio continues to exert tremendous influence on art today. His exceptional combination of truth to life and drama, and that famous chiaroscuro, gave birth not only to a new style of painting, but also inspired generations of painters with his psychological naturalism,” said Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings at the Getty Museum. “These rare loans are prime examples of Caravaggio’s exceptional talent and innovation.”

The exhibition at the Getty Museum is the first part of an international exhibition program on Caravaggio aimed at promoting the Caravaggio Research Institute, an international research project on the artist, conceived by Anna Coliva, director of the Galleria Borghese and supported by the Roman House FENDI through a three-year partnership with the Roman museum.

The partnership between the Galleria Borghese and FENDI is part of a patronage begun by the luxury goods House in 2015, and is based on the company’s belief that beauty must be shared and spread, and that the incomparable richness of the Galleria Borghese, a reflection of the Eternal City, is a powerful, cosmopolitan pathway to promote a refined cultural sensitivity, both contemporary and universal, in the same way that FENDI pursues in its collections a true example of aesthetic research and the absolute sign of “Made in Italy.”

"The Caravaggio Research Institute is an international scientific project that seeks to reintroduce within museums the most advanced research to make them producers of culture and not mere producers of blockbuster exhibitions. The Galleria Borghese and FENDI are honored that the Caravaggio Research Institute will be presented to the public at the Getty, a leading actor in preserving, researching, promoting and enhancing art and a leading authority in the realm of digital humanities,” says Anna Coliva, director of the Galleria Borghese.

“We are proud to support the Galleria Borghese and the Caravaggio Research Institute through this unique exhibition opportunity at the Getty Museum. It is increasingly a fundamental value, as well as a moral one, for FENDI to enhance, support and export Italian art and beauty in the world, its excellence and its talents,” states Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of FENDI.

Caravaggio: Masterpieces from the Galleria Borghese at the Getty Museum is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie, Ambassador and Mrs. Ronald S. Lauder, Mr. and Mrs. Mark S. Siegel and Ambassador and Mrs. Ronald P. Spogli. With additional support from FENDI.

Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Through February 11, 2018

Combining art historical and scientific analysis, experts from the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Research Institute have collaborated with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to examine the formal strategies and material choices of avant-garde painters and sculptors associated with the Concrete art movement in Argentina and Brazil. These works of geometric abstraction, created between 1946 and 1962, are presented alongside information on the way artists pioneered new techniques and materials.

This exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

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