The Getty
Photographs of Asia, masterpieces of manuscript illumination, Peter Greenaway on art, family fun, and more

December 2010

Find Events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa


Current Exhibitions

Future Exhibitions

Museum Collection

Research Institute Collection

(310) 440-7300

Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road
December 7, 2010–April 24, 2011
The Getty Center
Discover Felice Beato, one of the pioneering photographers of the 19th century, in this first-ever major exhibition devoted to his work.

Drawing on the Museum's recent acquisition of over 800 of Beato's photographs, the exhibition features his stunning topographical and architectural views of the Middle East and Asia and his portraits and studies of life made in India, China, Japan, Korea, and Burma. It also presents his riveting views of armed conflicts, including the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny, the Second Opium War, and the unsuccessful American engagement in Korea in 1871.

This exhibition is part of  JapanOC, a festival exploring the fascinating diversity of Japanese and Japanese-American arts and culture involving cultural institutions throughout Southern California. For more information, visit

Discover Felice Beato - opens December 7
Koboto Santaro, Felice Beato, negative, 1863; hand-colored albumen silver print, 1868. Banner image: The Bronze Statue of Dai-Bouts, Kamakura (detail), Felice Beato, 1863
Both images: Partial gift from the Wilson Centre for Photography

Photography from the New China
December 7, 2010–April 24, 2011
The Getty Center
Offering a dramatic contrast to Felice Beato's 19th-century views of East Asia, Photography from the New China presents a selection of work by eight artists produced since the 1990s. Highlighting several recent acquisitions, the show features a range of approaches, including performance for the camera, the incorporation of family photographs, and an emphasis on the body. The exhibition also explores themes such as prerevolutionary Chinese literati, vestiges of the Cultural Revolution, and the newly rampant consumerism in Chinese society.

Photography from the New China - opens December 7
New Women (detail), Wang Qingsong, 2000. © Wang Qingsong

Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500
Through February 6, 2011
The Getty Center
See the heroic tales of bygone eras come alive on the pages of lavish painted books. Bringing together masterpieces of manuscript illumination from more than 25 of the world's finest museums and libraries, this exhibition features beautiful portrayals of dramatic moral dilemmas, valiant battles, and chivalrous derring-do.

"While many shows are billed as a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,' says The Art Newspaper, "this show, which explores the diversity, artistic skill, and use of medieval French illuminated manuscripts, faithfully delivers on this promise."

Visit the exhibition Web site to explore a slideshow and special interactive features.

Learn more about this exhibition and explore the interactive features.

See events related to this exhibition.

Manuscripts of French history - on view now
The Performance of a Crusade Play at King Charles V's Feast, Master of the Coronation of Charles VI, Paris, about 1375–80. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Ms. fr. 2813, fol. 473v

The Secret Life of Drawings
Through February 13, 2011
The Getty Center
Discover how drawings in the Getty Museum's collection were made and how they have been studied and cared for over time. The exhibition explores restoration techniques for works on paper and reveals exciting finds, such as hidden watermarks, previously unknown drawings on the backs of certain sheets, and evidence of cutting and reassembling.

The exhibition Web site features a new video that reveals the science and secrets of conserving Old Master drawings.

Learn more about this exhibition and watch the new video.

See events related to this exhibition.

Explore the secrets hidden in drawings - on view now
Drawing at center: Study of Three Skulls (detail), unknown maker, Southern German, about 1530

Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology
Through March 27, 2011
The Getty Center
See Mexico through the eyes of explorers, artists, cartographers, and archaeologists. Photographs, books, maps, and engravings from the special collections of the Getty Research Institute depict Mexican archaeological objects and sites from the Colonial era to the present in the context of key historical events, such as the Spanish conquest, the 19th-century French intervention in Mexico, and the presidency of Porfirio Díaz.

Learn more about this exhibition.

See events related to this exhibition.

Explore representations of Mexico - on view now
Section of the Vienna Codex by an anonymous Mixtec artist after original manuscript in Alexander von Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères... (Paris, 1810), pl. 47

N E W   O N   T H E   B L O G

The Iris: Views from the Getty
Go behind the scenes and see what's new across the Getty! This month, we bring you highlights from the Getty Research Institute's new website and reveal how scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute are advancing space travel by studying ancient Greek vases (yes, really!).

We also showcase a project of the Getty Museum to help local students explore their world through photography, and discuss how a grant from the Getty Foundation helped to bring the world's largest collection of Native American baskets to your computer screen.

Visit The Iris: Views from the Getty.

See what's new - visit our blog, The Iris
Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, CA, 1947. Richard Neutra, architect, by Julius Shulman. More photographs from the Shulman archive are now online.


Information and Reservations:
(310) 440-7300

Tea by the Sea
Every Thursday beginning December 2, 1:00 p.m.
The Getty Villa
A new weekly event at the Getty Villa, Tea by the Sea invites you to enjoy a special experience inspired by the herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow in the Villa's authentically re-created first-century Roman gardens. Feast on a Mediterranean-inspired menu and deepen your appreciation of Roman life by joining one of our garden tours, including a new culinary-inspired tour. $36 per person.

Learn more and make reservations online.

Tea by the Sea - every Thursday from December 2


Performances and Films

Information and Tickets:
(310) 440-7300

Gordon Getty Concert: Lionheart
Saturday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.
The Getty Center
The distinguished vocal ensemble offers a dazzling performance of Remede de Fortune (Remedy of Fortune), a masterwork of medieval music and courtly love poetry by composer Guillaume de Machaut, to complement the exhibition Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500. Tickets $20; students/seniors $15.

Learn more and get tickets.

Medieval French music - December 4
Lionheart. Photo: William Wegman


Lectures and Conferences

Information, Reservations, and Tickets:
(310) 440-7300

The Origins of Hellenistic Ruler Portraiture in the Phillippeion at Olympia
Thursday, December 2, 7:30 p.m.
The Getty Villa
During the Hellenistic period—the greatest, and last, flowering of Greek culture—kings and queens often had themselves depicted as gods and heroes. Why did this happen, and what do these beautiful portraits tell us about the past? Classicist Peter Schultz explores. Free; a ticket is required.

Learn more and get tickets.

Hellenistic portraiture - December 2
This 2nd-century B.C. statuette of Alexander with a lance (now missing) portrayed him armed and naked, echoing the great heroes of Greek mythology.

Getty Perspectives
New Possibilities: Cinema and Art History
Wednesday, December 15, 7:00 p.m.
The Getty Center
Best known as a filmmaker, Peter Greenaway is also an incisive and brilliantly unconventional observer of art. In this talk he takes on masterpieces such as Rembrandt's The Night Watch and Leonardo's The Last Supper, employing techniques of cinema and digital technology to enhance our viewing, and his interpretation, of the paintings. Free; reservations required.

Learn more and make reservations.

Peter Greenaway - December 15
Peter Greenaway. Photo: Dennis van Doorn


Lectures and Conferences

Information and Reservations:
(310) 440-7300

Display of Art in Roman Palaces 1550–1750
Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Getty Center
At this free two-day conference, international scholars analyze patterns of display of art in noble Roman homes during the period in which Rome—with its cardinals, ambassadors, ancient barons, and newcomers, all building or remodeling their palaces—provided a model to all of Europe for living with an abundance of art. Free; a reservation is required for each day.

Learn more and make reservations.

Conference on the display of art in Roman palaces - December 2 and 3
Plan and elevation of the Colonna Gallery main room, "Collection of Architectural Prints and Drawings of Renaissance Sites in Rome," ca. 1600–1750


Courses and Demonstrations

Information and Tickets:
(310) 440-7300

Mask Making for the Theater
Friday, December 3, repeating Saturday, December 4, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
The Getty Villa
Join theater artist and mask designer Alyssa Ravenwood for a multifaceted exploration of masked theater in antiquity. Learn more about the history of masked theater and the aesthetics of ancient Greek performance masks. Enjoy an acting demonstration, and make your own wearable mask inspired by examples in the exhibition The Art of Ancient Greek Theater. Course fee $95; $75 students (includes materials).

Learn more and see other upcoming studio courses.

Make masks inspired by ancient Greece - December 3 and 4
Mask of a Satyr, Greek, 300–100 B.C. Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

Visions of Mexico
Saturdays, December 4 and 11, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
LACMA and The Getty Center
Explore Mexican art, history, and culture through two of L.A.'s rich collections. On December 4, you'll enjoy a survey of LACMA's collection of ancient, colonial, and modern Mexican objects. On December 11, you'll explore representations of Mexican archaeological objects and sites in the Getty Research Institute exhibition Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology. Course fee $20 per session; $15 LACMA members and students.

Learn more and get tickets.

Explore visions of Mexico - December 4 and 11
Calendario Mexicano, Désiré Charnay, 1858

F O R  F A M I L I E S

Family Programs

(310) 440-7300

Family Festival Celebrates Ancient Theater
Sunday, December 5, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Getty Villa
Bring your family's entire cast of characters along to celebrate theater during this daylong festival of learning, crafts, and performance inspired by the exhibition The Art of Ancient Greek Theater. Craft your own Greek theater masks, costume yourselves as ancient actors, and applaud or join in pint-sized versions of classical Greek comedies onstage! Free; a ticket is required.

Learn more and get tickets.

Free family festival - December 5
Get creative at this full day of hands-on family events! Photo: Aaron Paley

I N   T H E   M U S E U M   S T O R E

Phone Orders: (800) 223-3431

Exquisite Handblown Glass
These sumptuous glass vases by contemporary artist Peter Vizzusi are created using ancient glassblowing techniques. Drawing on the artistic heritage of Italian craftsmen, the artist infuses classic Venetian style and design into a modern work of glass art. These unique pieces are contemporary reflections of the types of historic glass found in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. $65–$135.

See all the styles available and browse more elegant gift ideas in the Museum Store.

Exquisite handblown glass - in our online store
December at a Glance
At the Getty Center this month

O P E N I N G   T H I S   M O N T H
Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road (December 7)
Photography from the New China (December 7)

H O T   T I C K E T S
Concert: Lionheart (December 4)
Lecture: Peter Greenaway (December 15)

At the Getty Villa this month

H O T   T I C K E T S
Lecture: Hellenistic Portraiture (December 2)
Family Festival (December 5)

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

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(310) 440-7300

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