Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Current Press Releases

Press Kit

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

Word Document Version


The exhibition catalogue Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (paperbound: $39.95) features an essay by Barbara Maria Stafford, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor in the department of art history at the University of Chicago, and 31 short essays by Frances Terpak, curator of photographs at the Getty Research Institute. Designed by Bruce Mau Design Inc., the 416-page catalogue also includes seventy-nine color illustrations, seventy-five black-and-white illustrations, four tritones, one line drawing, plus a detailed checklist of the exhibition. The catalogue is available at the Getty Museum bookstore, via the Internet at, or by calling 800-223-3431.

Lectures, Performances, and Special Events

Note to editors: Unless otherwise noted, all lectures, performances, and special events are free and open to the public, but seating reservations are required. Seating is limited. For reservations and information, the public may call 310-440-7300 or visit

Intensified Reality: Visual Devices and the Remaking of Worlds
Barbara Maria Stafford, exhibition co-curator and William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, department of art history, University of Chicago, explores the history of technology by examining the continuities and slippages between pre-industrial and emergent media.
Thursday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

An Evening of Diversions
Featuring intriguing amusements inspired by the Devices of Wonder exhibition, An Evening of Diversions invites audiences to step back in time 100 years, when the new century offered mind-boggling technological advancements. Produced by Community Arts Resources, the evening features cinema's first frames, a magic lantern show, and other acts of wonder that amazed the public in 1901.
No reservations required.
Saturday November 17, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Museum (various locations)

Jeff Wall on His Work
Artist Jeff Wall, best known for his large-scale photographs and light boxes, discusses his work featured in the exhibition.
Tuesday, December 4, 4:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall

Art Matters: Michael Light in Conversation with Barbara Isenberg
Bay Area artist Michael Light, whose work is featured in the exhibition, talks with Getty visiting lecturer and Los Angeles Times contributor Barbara Isenberg. Organized by the Getty Research Institute, Art Matters is a series of conversations with artists and other art professionals about their work and the changing contemporary arts landscape.
Wednesday, December 12, 7:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

A Trick of the Light, a film by Wim Wenders (79 minutes, 1996)
A semi-documentary film about the Berlin film pioneers, Max and Emil Skladanowsky, A Trick of the Light traces their work with pinhole images, magic lanterns, and flip books, leading ultimately to the first projected short movie sequences for a public audience.
Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

The Cosmos in a Cottage: The Library and Laboratory of Dr. John Dee
Benjamin Woolley, author of The Queen's Conjurer: The Science and Magic of Dr. John Dee, Advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, describes the home and library of Dr. John Dee, doctor of magic, who amassed one of the largest collections of curiosities in the late 16th century.
Tuesday, January 8, 4:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Deceptive Practices: A Conversation with Ricky Jay
Sleight-of-hand artist, collector, and magic historian Ricky Jay, in conversation with New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler, discusses his new book Jays Journal of Anomalies and his relationship with the Devices of Wonder exhibition.
Friday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Secret Knowledge: A Conversation with David Hockney
Artist David Hockney, in conversation with New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler, discusses his recent book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, which focuses on his startling theories regarding the persuasive deployment of optical devices by artists as far back as the 15th century.
Saturday, January 19, 7:00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Point-of-View Talks
Note to editors: Talks are held at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. Visitors should sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Michael C. McMillen, a visual artist best known for his sculptures and assemblage work, discusses a variety of devices used to augment vision that are found in the exhibition.
Friday, December 14
Exhibitions Pavilion

David Wilson, director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, screens his 40-minute film Levsha: The Tale of a Cross-Eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea and discusses its relationship to the Devices of Wonder exhibition.
Friday, January 25
Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall

Gallery Talks
Exhibition Pavilion talks provided by Museum education specialists will be offered daily at 1:30 p.m., beginning Tuesday, November 20. Reservations are not required.

Web Site
The award-winning Devices of Wonder Web site at demonstrates how objects in the exhibition work through playful animation, videos, and graphics. The site's 23 virtual devices include a "Magic Painter" image-matching game, a mysterious anamorphosis cone, and a cabinet of wonders with doors and drawers that visitors can open to reveal details of its craftsmanship and iconography.

Also on View in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents the exhibition SEEING, organized by LACMALab, that includes nine provocative and entertaining installations created by Los Angeles-based artists. The exhibition explores the concept of "seeing" by raising questions and challenging notions of expectation, perception, and viewpoint, drawing on LACMA's permanent collection as a resource for visitor engagement. The artists creating the experiential installations include John Baldessari, Delia Brown & Nicole Cohen, Judy Fiskin, Daniel Martinez, Michael C. McMillen, Willie Robert Middlebrook, Eric Owen Moss, Jennifer Nelson, and Kenny Scharf, with the overall exhibition space designed by the Los Angeles architecture firm Graft. SEEING will be open to the public free of charge from November 18, 2001 through September 2, 2002 in the Boone Children's Gallery at LACMA West.

# # #

Visiting the Getty Center: Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $5 per car. No parking reservations needed on Saturdays and Sundays or after 4 p.m. on weekdays. College students with current school I.D. and those arriving by taxi, shuttle, motorcycle, bicycle, or bus (MTA # 561 and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus # 14) can visit without parking reservations at any time. Parking is based on availability.

Reservations are required for weekday parking before 4 p.m., event seating, and groups of 15 or more. Reservations are recommended for the Restaurant. Parking on surrounding streets is restricted. 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

New Evening Hours: The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Mondays and major holidays.

About the Getty:

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.

The Getty Research Institute serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library-housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier-is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world, containing 800,000 volumes, including general collections of books, serials, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library's special collections include rare books, artists' journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials. As the Research Library expands its collections it will acquire material encompassing the history of art on all continents.

The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center features European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, decorative arts, and American and European photographs; changing exhibitions; and a wide range of programs for visitors of every age to enjoy including gallery talks, lectures, film screenings, concerts, and family activities, many offered in both English and Spanish.