I just gave myself more work! Within the next few days, I'll be hyperlinking all named artists to either their home page, or the best reference to them on the 'Net.
Anyone looking to purchase more than ten prints from me?
From the New York Times:
October 15, 2006
For Photography, Extreme Home Makeover
By PHILIP GEFTER
WHEN the J. Paul Getty Museum decided to quadruple its exhibition space for photographs, the obvious goal was to trumpet the breadth of its holdings in the medium: some 31,000 works acquired in a mere two decades.
Yet at a museum best known for Greek pots and old master paintings, the move was also a way of proclaiming the Getty’s relevance to the here and now — and more broadly, affirming photography’s global importance as an art form.
“Photography is our bridge to the modern world,” said Michael Brand, the director of the museum, whose new Center for Photographs opens to the public on Oct. 24. “It’s our only link to the 20th century.”
Photography has become a churning art-world industry: more Chelsea galleries are devoted to photographs; the number of photography books published has dramatically increased; the value of photographs sold at auction annually has doubled since 2001; and even the average size of photographic prints has grown.
The Getty’s photography collection, among the finest in the world, includes more than 100 works each by William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Gustave Le Gray, Alfred Stieglitz and Walker Evans. Some 150 living photographers are also now represented in the collection, and the Getty has embarked on a campaign to add 300 more.
Weston Naef, the curator of photographs, encourages private collectors who plan to donate works to the museum to acquire individual photographers “in depth.” The goal is to represent each living photographer with more than 10 images, Mr. Naef said, because an artistic signature becomes apparent only when one can look at multiple images from the body of work.
The vast expansion of the gallery space — to 7,000 square feet from its original 1,700 — was precipitated by the Getty Villa’s reopening in January. Moving the Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities to their permanent home at the Villa opened up the lower galleries in the west pavilion at the Getty Center.
Over lunch in the Getty Center’s airy dining room, Mr. Naef discussed the case he made to claim the space for photography.
“It has to do with the numbers,” he said. “Month after month for 10 years, our exhibitions have attracted 40 to 50 percent” of the Getty Center’s visitors.
“Of the 1.3 million visitors per year, 700,000 come for photography shows,” he added. “I have the highest audience share of any museum in the world.”
While photographs constitute only one of six collections at the Getty — the other five are drawings, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, manuscripts, and antiquities — the decision about who would be given the west pavilion galleries also turned on practical issues.
The drawings collection, for example, isn’t large enough to require 7,000 square feet. More to the point, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts all need to be shown in natural light, while photographs will fade if not shown under controlled lighting. The upper galleries all have skylights; the lower galleries, having no natural light, are ideal for exhibiting photographs.
The Getty has 58,000 square feet of exhibition space, and the number given over to photographs now exceeds that of many major museums. The Museum of Modern Art, for example, has 125,000 square feet of gallery space and devotes 5,700 to photographs. The International Center of Photography, with 6,800 square feet, has “the largest dedicated space to photography in New York City,” said Willis E. Hartshorn, its director. “But that’s because we’re all photography all the time.”
Mr. Naef said the museum began considering two years ago how to use the space. “By the fall of last year we had a good idea of how we wanted to configure the galleries,” he said. “Michael Brand made this project a high priority, as one of the first important decisions, when he arrived in January. Construction work began double-time early this year.”
The morning that the polished solid white-oak floors were unveiled, Mr. Naef took his first solitary walk through the photography galleries. “I squealed with delight,” he said afterward.
The exhibition space, while tailored to the needs of the photography department, is consistent with the plush look of all the museum’s galleries. A spacious diagonal exhibition corridor spans the entire lower floor of the west pavilion, with five individual galleries set off on either side. The galleries can be segmented for separate small shows or opened to traffic flow throughout the floor.
Each gallery is approximately 30 by 30 feet, consistent with the geometry of Richard Meier’s design for the entire Getty Center, based on 30-inch grids. (Even the travertine marble bricks on the exterior facade are 15 by 30 inches.)
Mr. Meier designed a new entrance for the west pavilion, adding an exterior canopy and a structure for exhibition banners that can be seen across the Getty Center’s grand plaza. The exhibition design department at the museum designed the galleries; Houston Tyner is the architect of record. The cost for the new entrance and the reconfigured galleries was about $2.3 million.
The galleries will open with “Where We Live: Photographs of America From the Berman Collection,” an exhibition of 168 images by 24 contemporary photographers that have been given or lent to the Getty by Bruce and Nancy Berman. A survey of the American social landscape, it includes work by Robert Adams, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Mitch Epstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, among other contemporary photographers. Since 1998 the Bermans have given 467 photographs to the Getty.
Mr. Naef plans to have photographs on public view at all times. “We have one of the great collections anywhere in the world and it’s meritorious to show more of it,” he said. Until now the photography galleries were dark for eight weeks a year during installations between shows. Because of the limited space, many works in the collection were never exhibited.
The new galleries will provide flexibility — not only in how many photographs can be hung but also in the size of the prints that can be shown.
“Pearblossom Hwy, 1986,” by David Hockney, for example, is a 6-by-9-foot image and the largest piece in the photography collection. It was last exhibited in 1998. In the second in a new series of exhibitions, “Photographs: Re-Imagining Art,” it will be the focus of a show that addresses the influence of Cubism on Mr. Hockney’s work.
After lunch, walking through the climate-controlled storage area where photographs are kept, Mr. Naef pointed out the “earthquake mitigation” design of the 3,000 shelves. The shelving units are connected directly to the superstructure of the building, and the shelves are angled to be lower in back, to prevent the boxes of photographs from sliding out if a tremor hits.
Now, finally, with its spacious new showcase, the Getty can bring more of those images out of storage. “Photography has become a full-blown artistic medium in its own right,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, said by phone about the Getty expansion. “So if you have a high-quality collection, why not just put it on view?”