The GRI has acquired the archive and library of Harald Szeemann, one of the most significant curators of the 20th century. Containing more than 28,000 books, 36,000 photographs, and 1,500 linear feet of archival materials, this acquisition is both the largest and the most important modern and contemporary collection ever acquired by the GRI.
Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s was a burgeoning venue for avant-garde art. This lecture, Avant-Garde Antics: The Art of Display in Postwar Los Angeles, focuses on the unique and playful methods artists employed for displaying and disseminating their work.
Page from Kitāb al-'ajā'ib wa al-gharā'ib (detail), 1553. The Getty Research Institute, 2010.M.65
Ottoman Book of Wonders and Oddities
This 16th-century manuscript, Kitāb al-'ajā'ib wa al-gharā'ib (Arabic for "Book of Wonders and Oddities"), traces the creation and evolution of celestial and terrestrial life. Its 148 hand-painted illustrations depict constellations, zodiacal signs, celestial entities, animals, and fabulous creatures.
Alfred Schmela in front of Kenneth Noland's Point (1959), 1963. Galerie Schmela records, 1923–2006. The Getty Research Institute, 2007.M.17
German Gallery Records on Postwar Art
Galerie Schmela was among the most important art galleries in Germany in the postwar period. Through a prescient program of exhibitions, founder Alfred Schmela introduced and promoted innovative European and American artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Robert Indiana, Yves Klein, and the group ZERO. The Galerie Schmela records include correspondence; financial records; vintage photo documentation; and extensive files of printed ephemera, posters, and clippings.
Pioneer of Abstract Animated Film and Founder of G
In 1920s Berlin, Hans Richter pushed the limits of early film, creating some of the first abstract animated works. As founder and editor of the avant-garde journal G, he urged other artists and filmmakers to experiment with this groundbreaking new medium.
First Room, First Façade of the Düsseldorf Gallery, etching (detail). Nicolas de Pigage and Christian von Mechel, La galerie électorale du Dusseldorff; ou, Catalogue raisonné et figuré de ses tableaux (Basel, 1778). The Getty Research Institute, 870670
Display and Art History: The Düsseldorf Gallery and Its Catalogue
In 1756, Lambert Krahe, the director of the Düsseldorf academy and gallery, created an innovative display of art. Breaking with the Baroque tradition of covering the entire wall with paintings, he displayed paintings in a didactic, symmetrical arrangement ordered by schools—encouraging viewers to draw comparisons.
This ongoing exhibition shows how a pioneering princely gallery presented its art, which later led to practices in modern museums that we recognize today.