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Jean-Antoine Houdon

The Getty Center's winter Premiere Presentation, Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment is the first major international exhibition of the great French sculptor's work. Featured are many of Houdon's iconic images of early American and Enlightenment leaders such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Molière, Denis Diderot, and many others. To complement the exhibition, the Getty presents an array of public programs that offer additional avenues to learn about, discover, and appreciate his remarkable work.

All events are FREE and are held in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Seating reservations are required. For reservations and information, please call 310-440-7300 or visit Tickets are available on-site or by phone.


Drop by as artist Jonathan Bickart demonstrates the art of terracotta sculpture techniques. Thursdays: November 6 and 20, and December 4 and 11
Sundays: November 9, 16, and 23, and December 7 and 14
1:00–3:00 p.m.
Museum Courtyard


The First Statuary in the World: Jean-Antoine Houdon
Anne L. Poulet, director of the Frick Collection and guest curator for the exhibition, discusses the role played by Houdon—considered the greatest European sculptor of the Enlightenment period—in portraying the important figures of Europe and America and the international clientele who enthusiastically acquired his sculptures.
Thursday, November 6, 7:00 p.m.

Jean-Antoine Houdon: America's First Great Sculptor
Dean Walker, the Henry P. McIlhenny Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art, discusses Houdon's brilliant portraits of the Founding Fathers, including Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson, to illuminate the role of sculpted portraits and their various meanings for both famous sitters and ambitious sculptor alike.
Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m.


Gordon Getty Concert Series:
The Aulos Ensemble presents "French Music from the Age of the Enlightenment"
Founded in 1973 by five graduates of the Juilliard School of Music, the Aulos Ensemble has created a new awareness of the rich rewards of performance on "original" instruments and collaborations with leading artists in authentic performance practices from the United States and Europe.
Tickets: $20; $15 students and seniors
Saturday, November 22, 8:00 p.m.


Talks are held at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. in the Museum galleries. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Robert Graham, a sculptor known for his large-scale bronze monuments including the Great Bronze Doors of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, discusses the exhibition.
Friday, December 12

Robbie Conal, a guerrilla poster artist whose satirical posters deal with contemporary political issues, discusses the exhibition.
Friday, January 16


Houdon and the Cult of Celebrity
This two-part, discussion-based gallery course, led by Anne Iverson from the Getty's department of European sculpture, takes an in-depth look at the exhibition and discusses the ways in which Houdon successfully crafted his own reputation, as well as those of his famous sitters. No experience necessary. Limited to 18 participants.
Reservations available beginning November 25 at 9 a.m.
Tuesdays, December 2 and 9, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Exhibitions Pavilion

Portraiture in Three Dimensions Join instructors Elliot Kai-Kee and Zhenya Gershman for this two-part studio course focusing on sculpting a portrait head in oil-based clay. Participants explore the historical context of the sculpted image through gallery visits, study proportion of the face and basic anatomy, and create a study portrait using a life model in the studio. Limited to 25 participants.
Course fee $60; students $45.
Reservations available beginning October 24 at 9 a.m.
Tuesdays, November 11 and 18 and December 9 and 16, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Museum studios

One-hour exhibition overviews, led by gallery teachers, are offered Tuesdays through Sundays at 1:30 p.m. beginning November 11.

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Thea M. Page
Getty Communications Dept.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Grant Program. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs are based at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Visiting the Getty Center: The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $5 per car. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is 310-440-7305.

Additional information is available on the Getty Web site at