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Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen

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The Getty Research Institute
The Getty Research Institute serves education in the broadest sense, increasing knowledge about the visual arts by encouraging, enabling, and inspiring advanced scholarship. It strives to provide intellectual leadership through innovative, often interdisciplinary, research projects, publications, public programs, and exhibitions. The Research Institute serves scholars worldwide through an extraordinary 800,000-volume art research library equipped with databases of cultural information, and vocabulary tools available online, on CD-ROM, and in print. Each year, the Research Institute gathers together a distinguished group of international scholars, artists, and writers, as well as promising pre- and postdoctoral fellows, to pursue individual and collaborative projects, built around a common theme. The theme of the current Scholar Year (2001-2002) is "Frames of Viewing: Perception, Experience, Judgment."

Special Collections
The special collections of the Getty Research Institute's Research Library contain manuscripts; archives; rare books, prints, and photographs; architectural drawings and models; and two million study photographs. There are 165 objects from the Research Library's special collections in the Devices of Wonder exhibition, including an 18th-century camera obscura in the form of a book, optical games and devices, related treatises on perspective and natural philosophy, books on alchemy, and early auction catalogues.

Research Institute exhibitions, including Devices of Wonder, showcase rare and unique materials from the collections of the Research Library, including books, manuscripts, photographs, diaries, sketchbooks, artists' notebooks, maps, and posters. The Research Institute also lends materials to other institutions for special exhibitions. The World from Here: Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles on view at the UCLA Hammer Museum (October 17, 2001-January 13, 2002) features more than 60 objects from the Research Library's collections.

Public Programs
Research and scholarship conducted at the Getty are disseminated through a diverse range of public programs. Lectures, debates, panel discussions, symposia, performances, film screenings, and conferences are among the events sponsored by the Research Institute, often in collaboration with artists, community groups, academic institutions, and other cultural organizations.