The Getty
See Messerschmidt's Character Heads! Plus: Herb Ritts: L.A. Style extended to September 2, outdoor music for kids, more

August 2012

Event Calendar

N E W   E X H I B I T I O N S
Messerschmidt and Modernity
Through October 14 | The Getty Center

Current Exhibitions

Future Exhibitions

Museum Collection

Research Institute Collection

(310) 440-7300

Come face to face with some of the most astonishing sculptures ever created, the Character Heads by 18th-century German artist Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. This exhibition explores Messerschmidt's art in the context of the Enlightenment fascination with expressions and emotions, as well as the pseudosciences that emerged to explain them. It also traces the impact of the Character Heads on the work of contemporary artists, including Tony Cragg, Bruce Nauman, and Cindy Sherman.

Turn yourself into a living sculpture in our Expression Lab, where you can explore expressions using your own face as the medium.

Learn more about this exhibition »

See events related to this exhibition »

Go behind the scenes with the exhibition curator on The Iris »

Messerschmidt and Modernity - open now
Self-Portrait after Messerschmidt (detail), 2009, Tony Bevan. Courtesy L.A. Louver, Venice, CA and Ben Brown Fine Arts, London. © Tony Bevan
Banner image: The Vexed Man (detail), after 1770, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
Opening in August

Lion Attacking a Horse from the Capitoline Museums, Rome
August 10, 2012–February 4, 2013 | The Getty Villa
Among the most storied works of ancient art, the spectacular Lion Attacking a Horse is on rare loan from the civic museums of Rome and will take pride of place in the Getty Villa's Atrium for six months.

The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages
August 28, 2012–February 3, 2013 | The Getty Center
See luxurious illuminated manuscripts that helped medieval Christians express devotion to God, and that served as testaments to the piety of their owners.

Learn more and see all upcoming exhibitions »

C L O S I N G   S O O N
Herb Ritts: L.A. Style
Through September 2 | The Getty Center

Extended one week due to popular demand, this celebrated exhibition features Herb Ritts's stunning fashion photographs, nudes, and celebrity portraits, along with a selection of his magazine covers, Polaroids, and commercial video projects.

A new 12-minute documentary on Herb Ritts plays at the Getty Center through the final day of the exhibition.

Sponsored by Lincoln

Learn more about this exhibition »

Extended! Herb Ritts: L.A. Style closes September 2
Cindy Crawford, Ferré 3, Malibu, 1993, Herb Ritts. Gift of the Herb Ritts Foundation. © Herb Ritts Foundation
Closing in August

Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages
Through August 12 | The Getty Center
See delightful and disturbing visions of death and the afterlife that sumptuously adorned illuminated manuscripts, books, panel paintings, and stained glass throughout the Middle Ages. Learn more »

Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity
Through August 26 | The Getty Center
Drawn from the Getty Museum's photographs holdings, this exhibition surveys visual strategies used by photographers to picture the famous from the 1840s to the year 2000. Learn more »

T H E A T E R   A T   T H E   V I L L A
Euripides' Helen
Previews: Thursday–Saturday, August 30–September 1, 8:00 p.m.
Performances: Thursdays–Saturdays, September 6–29, 8:00 p.m.
The Getty Villa

Performances and Films

Information and Tickets:
(310) 440-7300

This fall's outdoor theater production features a spectacular new performance of Euripides' rarely staged Helen. In this inventive fantasy of mistaken identities and impossible coincidences, Helen of Troy is reimagined in middle age as a witty and resourceful heroine who fights to reclaim her husband, her throne, and her eternal good name. Tickets $42; students/seniors $38. Previews $25.

Learn more and get tickets »

Euripides' Helen, world premiere at the Getty Villa - September 6 to 29
More Great Theater in L.A.
Alfred Molina is Mark Rothko in RED - through September 9
Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko in RED. Photo: Johan Persson/ArenaPAL

RED at the Mark Taper Forum
August 1–September 9
Mark Rothko, celebrated bad boy of the art world, takes the L.A. stage by storm in this electrifying play by John Logan (The Aviator, Hugo). Alfred Molina embodies Rothko's explosive struggles with art, commerce, and his own ego. Tickets from $20. Enjoy Enjoy a special offer on tickets to RED through September 2.

Learn more and get tickets from Center Theatre Group »

L E C T U R E S   &   C O N V E R S A T I O N S
Picturing Landscape
Thursday, August 16, 7:30 p.m. | The Getty Center

Lectures and Conferences

Information and Reservations:
(310) 440-7300

Can photography affect the way we view landscapes? Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and photographer Victoria Sambunaris discuss the varied ways that photography shapes our perception of the natural world. Free; reservations required.

Learn more and make reservations »

How do we picture landscape? August 16
Sandbars, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 1966, William A. Garnett. © Estate of William A. Garnett
From Mozart's Vienna to Freud's Vienna: The Human Emotions in Messerschmidt and Klimt
Thursday, August 30, 7:30 p.m. | The Getty Center

Two spectacular cultural moments in the history of Vienna shaped the artistic agendas of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt and Gustav Klimt. In Mozart's Vienna of the late 18th century, Messerschmidt explored new ways to represent human emotion. A century later, Klimt explored his own artistic expression of intense emotions in Freud's Vienna. Historian Larry Wolff discusses how the urban culture of Vienna in these two different eras illuminated their art. Free; reservations required.

Learn more and make reservations »

Human emotions in art - August 30
Variation of A Cheeky Nitpicky Mocker (detail), after 1770, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Private collection
Death and Rebirth: Demeter and Persephone
Saturday, August 18, 1:00–4:00 p.m. | The Getty Villa

Courses and Demonstrations

Information and Tickets:
(310) 440-7300

Discover the power of the mythical goddesses Demeter and Persephone, who presided over fertility and the feminine sphere. Learn about the religious and social significance of this mother-daughter pair and their dramatic separation by the god Hades, then explore their cult in Sicily through the installation The Sanctuaries of Demeter and Persephone at Morgantina with curator Alexandra Sofroniew. Course fee $35; $28 students.

Learn more, get tickets, and see other upcoming gallery courses »

Explore death and rebirth in ancient art - August 18
Demeter (left) on a mixing vessel with Triptolemos (detail), about 470 B.C., attributed to the Syleus Painter
F O R  F A M I L I E S
Garden Concerts for Kids
Saturdays and Sundays, August 4 & 5, 11 & 12, and 18 & 19, 4:00–5:30 p.m. | The Getty Center

Family Activities

(310) 440-7300

Bring the kids to our free concerts in the Central Garden! August 4 and 5 features kindie rock stars Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players performing songs from their wildly popular album Jungle Gym. On August 11 and 12, American roots and blues musician Randy Kaplan delights with tunes from his CD Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, while multi-instrumentalist David Tobocman shares his Very Helpful Songs. On August 18 and 19, troubadour extraordinaire Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a humorous picture of growing up, school, and family life. Free; no reservations required.

Learn more about Garden Concerts for Kids »

Enjoy kid-friendly music in the great outdoors - weekends in August
Kindie rockstar Justin Roberts. Photo: Todd Rosenberg
Highlights at a Glance—August 2012
At the Getty Center this month

O P E N I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages (Aug. 10)

C O N T I N U I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Herb Ritts: L.A. Style (through Sept. 2)
Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line (through Sept. 23)

C L O S I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages (Aug. 12)
Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity (Aug. 26)

H O T   T I C K E T S
Garden Concerts for Kids (Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19)
Lecture: Picturing Landscape (Aug. 16)
Lecture: The Human Emotions in Messerschmidt and Klimt (Aug. 30)

At the Getty Villa this month

The Getty Villa is closed on Wednesdays in August and September in preparation for the outdoor classical theater production of Euripides' Helen.

O P E N I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Lion Attacking a Horse from the Capitoline Museums, Rome (Aug. 10)

H O T   T I C K E T S
Course: Death and Rebirth (Aug. 18)
Outdoor Theater Production: Helen (Aug. 30–Sept. 29)
Art Odyssey for Families (Wed.–Sun.)
Handling Sessions: Gem Carving (Sat. & Sun.)

General inquiries:
Press inquiries: or visit our Press Room
e-Getty feedback:

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(310) 440-7300

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Fri & Sat: 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Closed Mondays

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Plan your visit

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Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 440-7300

HOURS: Weds–Mon: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Closed Tuesdays

Admission to the Getty Villa is FREE. An advance, timed-entry ticket is required. Parking is $15, but $10 for evening events after 5:00 p.m.
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