The Research Institute's research projects support the development of new art historical scholarship and are often based on the special collections of the Research Library. Covering multiple fields and methodologies, these projects generate conversations between Research Institute staff and visiting scholars with wider networks of expertise, and disseminate outcomes to an international scholarly audience. Research project organizers welcome conversations with scholars working in related areas.

New Projects


Alfredo Boulton: His Venezuela (1928–1978)
Alfredo Boulton (Venezuelan, 1908–1995) was one of the most important champions of modern art in Latin America and a key intellectual of 20th-century Venezuela. A multifaceted persona, he was an art critic, researcher, and art historian of Venezuelan art, as well as a patron and friend of many of the great artists of the 20th century. He was also a pioneer of modern photography. This project draws from an in-depth study of the Alfredo Boulton archive, acquired by the Research Institute in 2020.

Workshop: Alfredo Boulton: His Venezuela 1928–1978 (December 2019)
Exhibition: Alfredo Boulton: His Venezuela 1928–1978 (August 2023)
Publication: Alfredo Boulton: His Venezuela 1928–1978 (August 2023)
Symposium: forthcoming 2023


Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures
The choreography of New York–based dancer Blondell Cummings (American, 1944–2015) incorporated visual art, performance, and moving images. Deftly combining postmodern dance and African American culture, Cummings made dances from the emotional details of daily rituals, employing a unique movement vocabulary she called "moving pictures." This project draws from the artist's personal collection of film and video as well as from the Research Institute's holdings, including the archives of The Kitchen, High Performance, and Yvonne Rainer. The first solo museum show dedicated to the artist will take place in fall 2021 at Art + Practice in Los Angeles.

Exhibition: Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures
Publication: Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures (forthcoming fall 2021)
Virtual faculty open house: Exhibition preview and overview of the Blondell Cummings research guide and related Research Institute collections, April 30, 2021
Public programming: forthcoming

Research guide: Blondell Cummings


On the Eve of Revolution: The East German Artist in the 1980s
The Research Institute's Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) collections hold extensive primary sources on East German cultural policies, visual arts, and artistic practices in the German Democratic Republic throughout its existence (1949–1989). This project explores the art world in the waning years of the country's regime, focusing on two complementary sets of materials. The first is the application forms submitted by artists who registered for the 9th national exhibition of the DDR (IX. Kunstausstellung der DDR, Dresden, 1982), documenting the artistic production as it was shaped by the country's art schools. The second is the DDR samizdat (self-published) artists' books, a highly collaborative intermedia genre that reveals the informal channels and artists' networks of East Germany's art scene.

Conference presentation: Getty Digital Share, "East German Artists from Paper to Data," Antonio Beecroft and Isotta Poggi (October 20, 2020)
Open house: presentation of materials to the UCLA academic community of DDR samizdat artists' books on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 8, 2019)
Conference panel: German Studies Association, "DDR 1980–1989: Structure, Sequence, Dynamics, and Mediality of 1980s East German Artists' Books," Portland, Oregon, co-organized by Anna Horakova and Isotta Poggi (October 3, 2019)
Conference presentation: German Studies Association, "'Texts Show Images' and 'Images Show Texts': The Counterculture Use of Photography and Poetry of the Günther-Jahn-Bach Independent Press," Portland, Oregon, presented by Isotta Poggi (October 4, 2019)

Collection: DDR collections, 1928–1993 (bulk 1950–1993)
Collection: DDR samizdat artists' books and magazines


Understanding the Architectural Model: Research Applications for 3-D Imaging
Architectural models are undeniably central to architectural design and the production process. Yet, despite their importance for professionals, models have remained a largely untapped resource for architectural historians. This is in part because relatively few archives include models in their collections, due to the challenges of providing access to these often large and delicate objects. Recent advances in 3-D imaging technology have the potential to open up new opportunities for access, but developing strategies for imaging requires a clear sense of how the resulting files will be applied to research. Accordingly, this project will develop strategies for using 3-D renderings of models to write architectural histories, including best practices for the application of these technologies as well as for research methodologies and scholarship related to architectural models.

Workshop: Understanding the Architectural Model (March 10–11, 2020)

Archive: Frank O. Gehry papers
Archive: Pierre Koenig papers and drawings, 1925–2007
Archive: John Lautner papers, 1929–2002
Archive: Daniel Libeskind papers, 1968–1992

Active Projects


Ada Louise Huxtable and the Formation of the Architecture Critic
This project investigates an intellectual figure of foremost relevance to the emergence of architectural criticism in the United States. Known for her criticism, preservation advocacy, historical scholarship, and lectures, Ada Louise Huxtable (1921–2013) was a key voice in bringing architecture into public discourse. The project seeks to query this transformative yet understudied figure, examining her role in the development of new public audiences for architecture, her impact on the development of architectural journalism as a field distinct from the academy, and her influence on contemporaneous architectural practice. The reception of Huxtable's work among scholarly and popular audiences, including outside the United States, will also be explored.

Conference: Mediating Architecture and Its Audiences: The Architectural Critic
Workshop: Ada Louise Huxtable and the Formation of the Architecture Critic (April 2019)

Ada Louise Huxtable Papers


America and the Recentering of the International Art Market: From Dealers to Collectors to Museums, 1880–1930
This project considers the art dealer as a crucial actor, and the art market as an essential arena, in the creation of the collections, museums, and ideas that characterize the birth of the American art world, a period roughly spanning 1880 to 1930 that continues to cast a long shadow. Leveraging the Getty Research Institute's strong and unique dealer archives from this period—Duveen, Goupil, Knoedler, and others—as well as the remodeled Getty Provenance Index, this project investigates the strategies adopted by dealers, collectors, and experts as they positioned the American market as a major player in the dynamic international exchange of works of art.

Workshop: The Knoedler Workshop (May 7–May 8, 2014)
Symposium: Art Dealers, America and the International Art Market, 1880–1930
Database records: Knoedler stock books 1–11 (1872–1970)

Archive: Knoedler Gallery Archive
The Getty Iris posts: ongoing


The Art and Architecture of Partition and Confederation, Pakistan and Beyond
Amid a rise in the study of modern and contemporary South Asian visual and performance arts, cultural studies, and architecture, there has been a dearth of scholarship as it pertains to Pakistan and surrounding regions. This project translates the historical exigencies of partition and confederation into methodological tools, broadening a transnational and internationalist framework to include other areas of South Asia. A key focus is postcolonial and globalist interventions by art and architectural historians, especially their efforts to highlight departures from modernism that resist categorizations of "Western" and "non-Western."

Workshop: The Art and Architecture of Partition and Confederation, Pakistan 1933–1971 (October 15–16, 2018)


Art of Alchemy
Focusing on the Getty Research Institute's collections of rare books on the theory and practice of alchemy—the art of chemically imitating nature—as well as objects from the Getty Museum that reflect such synthetic artistic techniques, this project brings to light alchemy's influence on the global history of art and visual culture. Art of Alchemy is a collaboration between the Research Institute and the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin.

Exhibition: The Art of Alchemy
Exhibition: Alchemy. The Great Art
Publication: The Art of Alchemy (forthcoming)
Publication: Alchemy. The Great Art

Digitized books: Getty Alchemy Collection
Digitized collection: Manly Palmer Hall Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, 1500–1825
Exhibition: Migrations of the Mind: Manuscripts from the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection


Bauhaus Beginnings
Bauhaus Beginnings marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, a Weimar-era German art and design school whose innovative pedagogy resonated globally, shaping countless trajectories in art and design throughout the 20th century. The project interrogates the school's theoretical foundations, investigating the relationship between expressionism, abstraction, and architecture, as played out through various forms of pedagogical exchange. The Research Institute's extensive collection of Bauhaus documents and artworks is a central focus, including student work, the Wassily Kandinsky papers, artists' books by Bauhaus masters such as Johannes Itten and Lothar Schreyer, and rare collections of prints such as Bauhaus Drucke: Neue Europäische Graphik.

Workshop: Bauhaus Weimar, 1919–1925 (April 11–12, 2018)
Public program: Bauhaus on Screen
Exhibition: Bauhaus Beginnings
Digital exhibition: Bauhaus: Building the New Artist

Research Guide: Bauhaus Resources


British Sales, 1780–1800: The Rise of the London Art Market
British Sales Phase II: 1680–1780
The French Revolution instigated an enormous redistribution of art throughout Europe. London emerged as a funnel through which large numbers of objects flowed into galleries, establishing itself as the hub of the international art trade. As part of a joint research endeavor with the National Gallery, London, this project incorporates auction catalogue material from the late 18th century into the Getty Provenance Index®, allowing researchers to track patterns of taste and more fully explore the power of art markets.

Database records: British Sales, 1680–1800 (242,000 records)
Conference: London and the Emergence of a European Art Market (c.1780–1820) (June 21–22, 2013)
Publication: London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780–1820

The Getty Iris post: Life Before eBay: British Art Auctions at the End of the 18th Century
The Getty Iris post: New Sales Data Trace the First Hundred Years of the British Auction Market
Web page: British Sales Phase II: 1680–1780 (National Gallery, London)


Concrete Art in Argentina and Brazil
In the 1940s and 1950s, as industrializing Latin American countries sponsored ambitious national development programs, fueling innovation among new domestic industries, artists in Argentina and Brazil experimented with geometric abstraction and debated the role of the artwork in society. Some of these artists experimented with new, novel synthetic materials, creating objects that offered an alternative to established traditions in painting. They proposed these objects become part of everyday, concrete reality and explored the material and theoretical limits of that proposition.

Experts from the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Research Institute collaborated with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a world-renowned collection of Latin American art, to research the formal strategies and material decisions of artists working in the concrete and neo-concrete vein, resulting in the first comprehensive technical study of these works. The project was conceived jointly with the Getty Conservation Institute and was part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

Workshop: Concrete Art in Argentina and Brazil (October 27–28, 2016)
PST symposium: Encounters, Utopias, and Experimentation: From Pre-Columbian Tenochtitlan to Contemporary Buenos Aires (watch videos of talks here and here)
Exhibition: Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Exhibition catalog: Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Public program: The "Concrete" in Poetry and Art
Public program: After Concretism: Audiovisual Experiments in Brazil film screening

Art + Ideas podcasts: The Making of an Exhibition, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
The Getty Iris post: Night Vision: Notes on Seeing Concrete Art under Ultraviolet Light
The Getty Iris post: The Potential of a Point, the Direction of a Line, the Clarity of Angles: Lawn Drawings in the Getty Center Gardens
The Getty Iris post: An Archival Trail: Concrete Art in Argentina


Ed Ruscha's Streets of Los Angeles
Since the 1960s, artist Ed Ruscha has been photographing the streets of Los Angeles, an endeavor that now spans five decades, hundreds of miles, and over half a million images. The research project will make this groundbreaking and heretofore unknown collection of materials widely available through digitization and eventual exhibition of the negatives, providing a crucial, publicly accessible resource to scholars in history, art, and architecture. It also contributes to current dialogues and research in the digital humanities, new media, and immersive exhibition techniques.

Workshop: Ed Ruscha's Streets of Los Angeles (January 2019)
Updated collections viewer: Photographs of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard, 1965–2010 and Photographs of Los Angeles streets, 1974–2010
Digitized interactive experience: 12 Sunsets: Exploring Ed Ruscha's Archive
Web page: Ed Ruscha's Streets of Los Angeles Project

Archives: Ed Ruscha's Streets of Los Angeles Archives
Publication: Ed Ruscha and Some Los Angeles Apartments
Exhibition: In Focus: Ed Ruscha
Press Release: The Getty Acquires Ed Ruscha Photographs and Archive
Web page: Every Building on the Sunset Strip
Web page: From the Archive (Ed Ruscha)


Fluxus Means Change: An Avant Garde Archive
Drawing from the Getty Research Institute's Jean and Leonard Brown collections on Dada, surrealism, and Fluxus, this project focuses on the Browns' innovative, highly personal, and prescient collecting practices. With Marcel Duchamp as a touchstone, the Browns' first interests were Dada and surrealism. Following Leonard's death in 1971, Jean introduced herself to Fluxus founder George Maciunas in New York City and began to collect Fluxus and other alternative-genre materials: mail art, ephemeral art publications, and artists' books. Through these materials and the couple's papers, library, and collections of rare 20th-century printed books, the project explores the relationships the Browns developed among their avant-garde and postwar collections.


Harald Szeemann
The goal of this project is a comprehensive research and programming plan for the Harald Szeemann Papers during the four-year cataloging process. The Research Institute will direct research in the archive towards important questions in the field of art history, making the best strategic use of the archive as portions become available. As one of its earliest activities, the Institute collaborated with Fondazione Prada in 2013 to produce a full-scale reconstruction of Szeemann's seminal 1969 exhibition, When Attitudes Become Form.

Workshop: Harald Szeemann Workshop (June 11–12, 2014)
Discussion: Reconsidering Harald Szeemann
Digitization of primary sources: ongoing
Exhibition: When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013
Exhibition: The Kingdom of Obsessions
Publication: Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions (German version)

Archive: Harald Szeemann Archive and Library
The Getty Iris posts: ongoing


Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945): Processes and Influences
The name of German artist Käthe Kollwitz invokes unforgettable images of the human condition—war, protests, suffering, family, mourning, and social justice—expressed by powerful representations of the human body. Kollwitz adhered to figurative art in an era of increasing and colorful abstraction, and over the course of her career, she documented her creative process in preparatory drawings and working proofs. This research project considers the ways in which Kollwitz's technical experiments informed the content of her work. It likewise examines the influence of the modern German artists in her orbit, whose works helped shape the details and texture of her prints.

Conference (forthcoming)
Exhibition (forthcoming)
Publication (forthcoming)
Digital resource (forthcoming)

Press release: Getty Research Institute Acquires . . . the Definitive Collection of Work by Käthe Kollwitz
Web page: Dr. Richard A. Simms Collection


Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (Los Angeles, Latin America)
This project conducts in-depth explorations of the artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America, the relationships between Latin America and the rest of the world, and the history of exchange among Latin American countries and throughout the Latin American diaspora. As part of a larger initiative by the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Research Institute is collaborating with other Getty programs and will take part in a region-wide series of exhibitions and events in 2017.

Workshop program: Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (PDF, 1p., 129KB)
Conversation: Latin Americanisms: Colonialism and Coloniality (event video)
Conversation: Latin Americanisms: Archive and Memory (event video)

Press release: Getty Announces Topic For New Initiative (PDF, 2pp., 75KB)


This project will make available online approximately 700,000 items from the painting, drawing, and print collections of the Getty Research Institute's Photo Archive, experimenting with new methods of collections processing while establishing best practices. PhotoTech's innovative approach focuses on strategies that improve knowledge as well as access and discovery, for example not only capturing images of artworks but also enriching cataloguing metadata by providing digital access to their unique annotations. Additionally, PhotoTech explores the past and future influence of the photographic archive on the study of art history through an extensive program of research. Learn more.

Workshop: forthcoming
Digital resource: forthcoming
Publication: forthcoming


Pre-Hispanic Art Provenance Initiative
This project documents and analyzes the commodification and mobilization of Pre-Hispanic art and material culture by the international art market between the mid-19th and late-20th centuries. The project will include a biennial series of international symposia and workshops that examine the history of collecting and dealing in Pre-Hispanic art and a series of scholarly publications.

Public program: "Good Pieces in Sight": The US Market in Mesoamerican Antiquities circa 1940
Public program: Collecting Mexican Art before 1940: A New World of American Antiquities
Workshops: forthcoming
Symposia: forthcoming
Publications: forthcoming

Web page: Latin American Dealer Archives
The Getty Iris post: Research to Shed Light on 20th-Century Trade in Mexican Antiquities


Producing Empire: Visual Culture and the Politics of Representation (The ACHAC Collection)
This project uses the Research Institute's Association pour la Connaissance de l'histoire de l'Afrique Contemporaine (ACHAC) Collection to reveal how the French displayed, defined, and represented their empire. Through materials that extend across several mediums including photographs, postcards, maps, travel posters, advertisements, and children's games, this collection offers unique insights into the impressive range of visual materials utilized by the French authorities in representing the diversity of their international colonies.

Graduate seminar: Producing the French Empire: The ACHAC Collection and the Politics of Representation (spring 2014)
Workshop: Producing Empire: Visual Culture and the Politics of Representation (The ACHAC Collection) (May 9, 2014)
Publication: forthcoming

Collection: ACHAC Collection, 1880–ca. 1975


(Re)Inventing the Americas
This project analyzes the mythologies that arose during the so-called discovery and exploration of the New World, revealing the influence that these utopian visions have had on defining and "inventing" the Americas, particularly the basis they have provided for a large collection of literature, anthropological studies, and works of art.

Workshop: (Re)Inventing the Americas (April 2019)


Remodeling the Getty Provenance Index
The Getty Provenance Index® is a set of databases offering free online access to source material for research on the history of collecting and art markets. A pioneering project in the digital humanities, the Provenance Index was founded more than 30 years ago. The goal of the remodeling project is to undertake a complete conceptual and technical overhaul, thus realizing the Index's full potential as one of the leading tools for art historical research on the social life of objects.

Workshop: Provenance Index Remodeling Project, Design Thinking (October 3 and 5, 2016)
Workshop: Provenance Index Remodeling Project, Connectivity (June 9–10, 2016)
Workshop: Provenance Index Remodeling Project, Research & Development (June 8–9, 2015)
Database: Getty Provenance Index (new data architecture and user interface forthcoming)


The Metropolis in Latin America (1830–1930)
This project examines the colonial city as an urban model imposed by the Iberian powers, and the new republican city as a transfer of resources and technical knowledge that were eventually appropriated, interpreted, and later subverted through a wave of revivals. A central focus is how six capitals—Buenos Aires, Havana, Lima, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago de Chile—were transformed from colonial cities into monumental republican metropolises, showing the urban impact of key socioeconomic changes including the emergence of a bourgeois elite, extensive infrastructure projects, and rapid industrialization and commercialization.

Workshop: Urban Transfer(s) in Action: Building the Latin American Metropolis, from Independence to the Threshold of Modernism (April 27–29, 2016)
Workshop: Metropolis Publication Workshop (November 6, 2017)
Exhibition: The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830–1930

Publication: The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830–1930 (forthcoming)

The Getty Iris post: An Antidote for Social Amnesia: The Memory Space of the Cais do Valongo
The Getty Iris post: Envisioning Alternate Futures: Nature in the Making of the Metropolis


Transpacific Encounters
The "discovery" of the Americas was a momentous occasion that ushered in the early modern period and the era of globalization. Aside from the ensuing Spanish conquest and colonialization of the Americas, other types of encounters fundamentally altered how artworks and trade goods circulated the globe. This project explores the artistic ramification of these encounters, focusing on the cross-cultural global networks that occurred between the Americas and Asia.

Conference: Objects in Motion in the Early Modern World (includes conference video and program)
Symposium: Transpacific Engagements: Visual Culture of Global Exchange (1781–1869) (includes symposium program and abstracts)
Publication: Transpacific Engagements: Exchange, Translation, and Visual Culture in the Age of Empires (1565–1898) (forthcoming)


Video Art in Latin America
This project addresses the need for more English-language resources about the history of video art from Latin America and provides access to key works of video art from the region through the special collections of the Research Institute. The goal is to link archival resources to emerging threads of interdisciplinary scholarship and re-examine canonical narratives of video art within the context of pan-American practices. The project also aims to expand the historical and conceptual frameworks for studying global video art alongside a broader global media practice.

Workshop: Video Art in Latin America (August 18–19, 2016)
Exhibition: Video Art in Latin America
Public program: Dissonance screening
Public program: Recent Video from Latin America screening
Digital resource: forthcoming


The Score
This project supports the development, design, and production of a born-digital publication integrating, text, images, audio, and video related to the Research Institute's holdings in performance scores and score-related documentation. The publication traces the expansion of the idea of the "score" in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s from experimental graphic notations by avant-garde composers to performance scores by visual artists, performance artists, and experimental poets. The research project enables in-person collaboration between digital publishing technologists at the Getty and a team of art historians, musicologists, and literary scholars.

Workshop: Design Sprint (December 2015)
Workshop: Wireframe Prototyping (August 2016)
Digital publication: The Score: Avant-Garde Composition in the Visual and Performing Arts after John Cage (forthcoming)

Archive: David Tudor Papers
Archive: Jean Brown Papers
Archive: Allan Kaprow Papers
Archive: Yvonne Rainer Papers

Active Initiatives


African American Art History Initiative
This transformational research initiative focuses on the postwar art and cultural legacy of artists of African American and African diasporic heritage. It aims to provide a more robust and accurate history of American art, one that will have a decisive impact on the narrative of global culture. Through collaboration with other institutions and individuals, the initiative will make the archival and published record of African American art history more freely accessible, disseminating its results through digitization, exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

Learn more.


Florentine Codex Initiative
The Florentine Codex is an encyclopedic manuscript produced collaboratively in the 16th century by Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and a team of Indigenous writers and artists in Mexico City. Renowned for its bilingual presentation of pre-Hispanic Indigenous culture and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the codex's 12 books contain a primary Nahuatl text (an Indigenous language of central Mexico), a Spanish interpretation by Sahagún, and thousands of illustrations painted by Nahua artists.

Scholars regard the codex, modeled after ancient Roman and medieval encyclopedias, as the most reliable source of information about Mesoamerican culture. Supported by the Getty Research Institute, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Seaver Institute, the project enables global access to the manuscript while disseminating knowledge about its cultural significance.

Conference session: El Códice Florentino: Una Historia Universal del Mundo Azteca, International Congress of Americanists, Salamanca, Spain (July 16, 2018)
Workshop: Digital Florentine Codex, Getty Research Institute (September 12–13, 2018)
Symposium: 1519, the Arrival of Strangers: Indigenous Art and Voices following the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica
Workshop: The Florentine Codex: Teaching the Conquest of Mexico through Indigenous Eyes (June 22–26, 2020), co-organized with UCLA Latin American Institute
Lecture: Florentine Codex Initiative, 13th Annual Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (November 20, 2020)
Public program: Nahua Voices on the Conquest of Mexico: "De como los españoles conquistaron a la ciudad de México," Book 12, Florentine Codex (August 13, 2021), co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia
Web page: Florentine Codex Initiative
Resource: 4,000 trilingual (English, Spanish, Nahuatl) Getty Vocabulary entries (forthcoming)
Digital critical edition: Digital Florentine Codex (forthcoming)
Digital publication: The Florentine Codex's Book 12: Nahua Visions and Voices of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico-Tenochtitlan (forthcoming)

Exhibition: Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
Symposium: Indigenous Knowledge and the Making of the Colonial Latin America
Symposium: The Florentine Codex: Visual and Textual Dialogues in Colonial Mexico and Europe
Lecture: Imagining the Conquest of Mexico by Kevin Terraciano
Lecture: The Colors of the New World: Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex by Diana Magaloni Kerpel
Exhibition: The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire


The Future of Art Bibliography
The Future of Art Bibliography (FAB) initiative developed out of various conversations among colleagues in the United States and Europe. Concerns in the art historical community about limited funding resources for art libraries and projects internationally and the cessation of the Getty's support for the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) provided the catalyst for a Kress Foundation grant to the Getty Research Institute.

Learn more.

Completed Projects


Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde
Created between 1910 and 1917 by the visual artists Goncharova, Larionov, Malevich, and Rozanova and the poets Khlebnikov and Kruchenykh, Futurist book art transformed the hybrid medium of the artist's book in all its dimensions—imagery, poetry, and design. Moreover, word and image in Futurist books depended upon sound. The poetic language of zaum, an invented word meaning "beyonsense," expressed itself in the book through its startling phonic dimension.

Publication: Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art (2016)
Online interactive: Audio recordings, transliterations, and translations of 10 poems, with digitized images of the original poems

Digitized books: Russian Avant-Garde Books
Lecture: Interactive Books: From the Russian Futurists to El Lissitzky (2014)
Lecture: Artists' Books of the Avant-Garde: From the Russian Futurists to El Lissitzky, Modern Imprints Symposium, University of Georgia (April 18, 2014)
Symposium: The Book as Such in the Russian Avant-Garde
Performance: Explodity: An Evening of Transrational Sound Poetry (includes performance video and program)
Exhibition: Tango with Cows


Brazilian Art History
Reframing the narrative of art history in ways that respond to the specific conditions of Brazil, this project emphasizes the country's dynamic cultural encounters both internally and beyond its borders, as opposed to an older model that sought to identify what was essentially Brazilian about Brazilian art. Project participants are scholars of different periods of Brazilian art, ranging from precontact through the 20th century, and they specialize in media as diverse as feathers, architecture, painting, and new media.

Workshop: Brazilian Art History (2012)
Publications: Articles submitted to various journals


Digital Diego
The Digital Diego project aims to make Diego Rivera's sketchbook of California miners accessible to the public for a period of one year. Rivera created the sketchbook in preparation for the Allegory of California (1930–31) fresco located in the San Francisco Stock Exchange Tower.

Digitized sketchbook: California Miners
Getty Research Journal essay: Diego Rivera's "California Miners" Sketchbook (1931): New Research on the Artist in California during the Great Depression


Digital Kirchner
This project centers on a series of illustrations of the Apocalypse by German artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938). Created on the back of cigarette boxes in 1917, the small-scale drawings were tipped into an album that is preserved in the Research Institute's special collections. Team members wrote a scholarly essay about the drawings, while the album itself was digitized and used to develop a Beta version of the online collaborative platform Getty Scholars' Workspace, the initial public release of which is scheduled for late 2015.

Getty Research Journal essay: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Drawings of the Apocalypse

Digitized sketchbooks: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Sketchbooks, 1917–1932


Digital Mellini
The Research Institute's first digital publication, Pietro Mellini's Inventory in Verse, 1681, broke new ground in 2015 and engendered new ways of thinking about scholarship at Getty. However, as is common with digital projects, the very technologies that made Mellini unique are also those that make sustaining it a challenge. In 2020, the publication was web-archived through the Getty Library Catalog, replacing the now out-of-date live version built in Drupal. This transition ensures Mellini's continued influence by making it accessible to current and future generations of scholars around the globe.

Archived digital publication: Pietro Mellini's Inventory in Verse, 1681 (2015)
Getty Research Journal essay: Digital Mellini: Project Update and Observations on Translating Historical Texts (2012)

Workshop: Digital Art History: Challenges, Tools & Practical Solutions
The Getty Iris post: Creating an Online Collaboration Tool for Scholars


Digital Montagny
The focus of this project is French artist Elie-Honoré Montagny's Recueil d'Antiquités (1804), an unpublished album in the Research Institute's Special Collections that contains drawings, tracings, and annotations by Montagny during his 1804–05 travels in southern Italy and Sicily. As the second manuscript to be researched and edited online using the Getty Scholars' Workspace™ digital environment, the focus here is on images as opposed to Digital Mellini's concentration on text.

Digital publication: Elie-Honoré Montagny's Recueil d'Antiquités: A Digital Critical Edition

Digitized book: Recueil d'antiquités dessinées . . .


Digital Seminar
This project gathers a team of professors from different universities to collaborate on a seminar dedicated to the Swiss curator Harald Szeemann, whose extraordinary archive is now in the Special Collections of the Research Institute. The project allows professors to maintain autonomy and foster in-person relationships with the students in their own classes, bringing scholars and students into a wider, global conversation about the important work of Szeemann.

Seminar: Harald Szeemann and His Archive at the GRI (2017)
Online conference: 2017
Oral history project: ongoing

Archive: Harald Szeemann Papers


The Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550–1750
This project identifies and analyzes patterns of display in noble Roman residences over two centuries (1550–1750), a period that encompassed the beginnings of collecting as it is understood today and the end of the baroque. The very concept of art and the writing of the history of art developed in close dialogue with display in such settings. As part of the project, hundreds of Roman inventories were added to the Getty Provenance Index®.

Publication: Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550–1750

Conference: Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550–1750
The Getty Iris post: Display of Art in Roman Palaces


German Sales, 1900–1945: Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy
The Getty Research Institute, in partnership with the Kunstbibliothek—Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, and the Forschungsstelle "Entartete Kunst" at the Universität Hamburg, developed cohesive, cross-institutional data—approximately 250,000 records—about art transactions in Germany between 1920 and 1945 for the Getty Provenance Index®. The project was completed in two phases, the second of which launched in 2015 to broaden the scope of research on dealers and collectors in the early 20th century, adding approximately 3,000 more auction catalogues to the database. The first phase of this project was supported jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as well as by a grant from the VolkswagenStiftung.

Database records: German Sales, 1900–1945 (830,000 records)
Workshop: Market and Might: The Business of Art in the "Third Reich" (September 23–27, 2013)
Lecture: A Search Renewed: New Efforts to Trace Artworks Displaced during the World War II Era—Lynn H. Nicholas (September 25, 2013)
Publication: forthcoming

Research guide: Collecting and Provenance Research
Bibliography: Provenance Research Resources
Bibliography: Holocaust-Era Research Resources
The Getty Iris post: Publishing German Sales, A Look under the Hood of the Getty Provenance Index
The Getty Iris post: New Online Resource to Reveal Stories about Nazi-Looted Art, Wartime Art Market
Web page: German Sales 1901–1945 (
Interview: Perl and the Art Market in a Time of Historical Turmoil


Getty Scholars' Workspace™
Part of a Research Institute digital art history initiative, Getty Scholars' Workspace provides an online environment for conducting collaborative art-historical research projects and creating born-digital publications that allow researchers to collaboratively engage with digital facsimiles of primary source materials. The goal of this project is to release a flexible, robust open-source electronic toolset, with accompanying technical and methodological documentation, to be shared with the international art history community.

Software: Getty Scholars' Workspace version 1.1


Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
One of over 80 research and exhibition projects dedicated to pre-Columbian, Latin American, and Latino art that are supported by the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, this landmark exhibition features significant works of art from the royal courts of the pre-Columbian Americas. Co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition follows the emergence of goldworking in the Andes and its expansion northward into Mexico, revealing the distinctive ways ancient Americans used not only gold and silver but also jade, shell, and feathers—materials they considered more valuable than gold. Bringing together newly discovered archaeological finds and masterpieces from major museums in Latin America, Europe, and the United States, Golden Kingdoms casts new light on these ancient civilizations and their place within world history.

Exhibition: Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas (J. Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Exhibition catalog: Golden Kingdoms: Luxury Arts in the Ancient Americas
Lecture: Imperial Radiance: Luxury Arts in the Land of the Incas
Symposium: Encounters, Utopias, and Experimentation: From Pre-Columbian Tenochtitlan to Contemporary Buenos Aires (watch on YouTube)
Public program: Cornelia Funke's Journey through the Ancient Americas
Workshops: February 6–8, 2014, at Getty Center; November 13–15, 2014, in Mexico City, Mexico; February 4–7, 2015, in Lima, Peru

Symposium: Indigenous Knowledge and the Making of the Colonial Latin America
Symposium: The Birth of the Museum in Latin America


Jackson Pollock, Mural
Commissioned in 1943 by Peggy Guggenheim, Mural is a monumental transitional painting by American artist Jackson Pollock (1912–1956). Now in the collection of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, in 2012 Mural came to the Getty Center, where a team of scientists and conservators in the J. Paul Getty Museum and Getty Conservation Institute began analyzing, conserving, and researching this important painting. Stories about its creation and installation have dominated interpretations for decades. With new knowledge about the pigments and techniques used in the painting, art historians, scientists, and conservators from the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Museum, along with a distinguished group of invited scholars, consider how these findings modify an understanding of Pollock's process and larger body of work.

Workshop: Experts' Meeting for Mural
Symposium: Jackson Pollock's Mural: Transition, Context, Afterlife
Exhibition: Jackson Pollock's Mural
Publication: Getty Research Journal special issue: Examining Pollock: Essays Inspired by the Mural Research Project

Publication: Jackson Pollock's Mural: The Transitional Moment


Lawrence Alloway
Lawrence Alloway (1926–1990) was a key figure in the development of modern art in Europe and America, maintaining a prolific output as an art critic and curator. Credited with introducing American abstract expressionism to England and coining the term "pop art," Alloway had eclectic interests including architecture, earthworks, feminism, film, neorealism, science fiction, and public sculpture. This project addresses the multiple facets of Alloway's life and career and his impact on art history and criticism.

Discussion: Lawrence Alloway: Critic and Curator
Digitized correspondence: Lawrence Alloway and Sylvia Sleigh Correspondence
Publication: Lawrence Alloway: Critic and Curator

Collection: Lawrence Alloway Papers, 1935–2003
Collection: Sylvia Sleigh Papers, 1803–2011, (bulk 1940–2000)
Conference: Lawrence Alloway Reconsidered
Publication: Tate Papers Issue 16
The Getty Iris post: Sylvia Sleigh and Lawrence Alloway, Mutual Muses


Los Angeles Architecture, 1940–1990
Part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., this project explored all aspects of the history of Los Angeles's architectural and urban development, from the city's mass-suburbanization and resulting sprawl to the construction of its freeway system, as well as architects' experiments with new building types, materials, and techniques. This broader approach enables a better understanding of a city that has been both maligned and admired, a city that some scholars have called the first postmodern city; others, the city of the future.

Symposium: Urban Ambition: Assessing the Evolution of L.A. (includes symposium video and program)
Conversation: Why L.A.? An Evening with Hitoshi Abe, Neil Denari, Craig Hodgetts, and Peter Noever (includes event video)
Public programming: Related Events
Exhibition: Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990
Publication: Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990

Resource: Julius Shulman Resources
Resource: Architecture and Design Collection Highlights
Collection: Julius Shulman digital photography archive
Collection: Ray Kappe Papers, 1954–2007
Collection: Pierre Koenig Papers and Drawings, 1925–2007
Collection: John Lautner Papers, 1929–2002
Collection: Union Station Collection


Orientalist Photography
The Middle East and North Africa—the "Orient" to 19th-century European travelers—were crucial in photography's development as a new technology and an art form. Meanwhile, photography was pivotal in maintaining Europe's distinctively Orientalist vision of the region. Orientalist photographs permit research into photography's role in shaping European and non-European views of the Middle East and North Africa; further, attention to the local artists, patrons, audiences, and collectors of these photographs complicates notions of the "Orient" both geographically and culturally.

Graduate seminar: Contact Visions: Orientalism, Photography, and the Middle East (winter 2009)
Symposium: Zoom Out: The Making and Unmaking of the "Orient" through Photography
Publication: Photography's Orientalism: New Essays on Colonialism's Representation

Collection: Pierre de Gigord Collection of Photographs
Collection: Jacobson Orientalist Photography Collection
Exhibition: Walls of Algiers: Narratives of the City
Publication: Walls of Algiers: Narratives of the City through Text and Image


Pacific Standard Time
Pacific Standard Time was the culmination of a long-term initiative by the Getty to research, preserve and exhibit the art and cultural history of postwar Los Angeles. The Getty Foundation funded exhibitions and research by over 60 cultural organizations across Southern California that addressed diverse topics including postwar design, African American art, the Light and Space movement, and the history of the Los Angeles Woman's Building. The archives produced by this initiative are now part of the Research Institute's special collections.

In addition to the list below, see individual PST LA/LA–related research projects above for further outcomes and related materials: Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas; The Metropolis in Latin America (1830–1930); Concrete Art in Argentina and Brazil; and Video Art in Latin America.

Website: Pacific Standard Time
Website: Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Symposium: Artists & Archives: A Pacific Standard Time Symposium (includes symposium video and program)
Conversation: Modern Art in Los Angeles: Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles Art Scene (includes event video)
Conversation: Modern Art in Los Angeles: Assemblage and Politics (includes event video)
Conversation: Modern Art in Los Angeles: Women Curators in Los Angeles (includes video)
Interviews: Modern Art in Los Angeles and Pacific Standard Time Recordings, 2003–2012
Interviews: Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. Oral History Interviews with Artists, Filmmakers, Curators, Collectors, and Critics, 2008–2012
Events: Performance and Public Art Festival
Symposium: Dialogues in the Present Tense: Latino and Latin American Art through the Lens of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Film screening: Film Preservation in Latin America: Pasado, Presente, Futuro
Symposium: Teaching and Writing the Art Histories of Latin American Los Angeles (3 videos)
Conversation: Beyond the Ordinary: A Conversation with Three Conceptual Artists from Argentina
Exhibition: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970
Exhibition: Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics, 1950–1980
Exhibition: From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column
Exhibition: In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945–1980
Publication: Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945–1980

Collection: Betty Asher Papers, 1860–1999
Collection: Jan Baum Gallery Records, 1967–2007
Collection: Charles Brittin Papers, 1914–2004, bulk 1950–1975
Collection: Experiments in Art and Technology Los Angeles Records, 1969–1975
Collection: Hal Glicksman Papers, ca. 1927–2010
Collection: High Performance Magazine Records 1953–2005
Collection: Henry Hopkins Papers, 1950–2005
Collection: Robert Irwin Papers, ca. 1940–2011, bulk 1970–2011
Collection: Allan Kaprow Papers, ca. 1940–1997
Collection: Julius Shulman Photography Archive, 1935–2009
Collection: Edmund Teske Papers, 1933–1996
The Getty Iris post: Avant-Garde Antics: The Art of Display in Postwar Los Angeles


Performance Works: Documenting Feminist Ephemeral Art
This project investigates the preparation, documentation, and archiving strategies employed by feminist performance artists in their creative output. Using as case studies the work of such artists as Carolee Schneemann, Barbara T. Smith, and Marta Jovanovic, it examines how the time- and site-specific experience of performance art is translated into physical material, which, contrary to the ephemeral enactment, can be collected, archived, and displayed. Areas of inquiry include to what extent the study of archival material influences art-historical scholarship and interpretation of a given work, as well as how performance documentation strategies are changing in relation to new technologies and media and what the implications are for the concept of the "archive."

Archive: Carolee Schneemann papers, 1959–1994
Archive: Barbara T. Smith papers, 1927–2012
The Getty Iris post: Hearts, Disgust, and Performance Art in Belgrade
Article: From Love to Hate — a performance in the Swiss Embassy Residence
The Getty Iris post: The "Disgusting" Female Body as Artistic Medium of Resistance
Conversation: Carolee Schneemann on Her Art and Archive


Photo Study Collections
The goal of this project is a conversation, both local and global, about the use of photo archives. Research topics include how photography transforms mediums, how scale is represented, and how artists and art historians may have produced and collected photographs of artworks to support their own perceptions of significance. Other areas of inquiry focus on whether digital photography will fill the same role as its analog predecessor and whether digital collections will be able to replicate the research value of photo archives.

Workshop: Photography's Mediation of Sculpture (January 16–17, 2014)
Colloquium: Photography and Sculpture: The Art Object in Reproduction—Day 1 at the Clark Art Institute
Colloquium: Photography and Sculpture: The Art Object in Reproduction—Day 2 at the Getty Center
Symposium: Objectivity and Neutrality in Analog and Digital Photography
Getty Research Journal essay: Foto Arte Minore: The Max Hutzel Collection of Photographs of Art and Architecture in Italy
Publication: Photography and Sculpture: The Art Object in Reproduction

Resource: Getty Research Institute Photo Archive
Resource: Guide to the Photo Archive and Database


Photography and the Visual Arts in Cold War Hungary
This collaborative project between the Research Institute and the Wende Museum of the Cold War, located in Culver City, focuses on complementary collections from both institutions that together portray a synopsis of Hungary's visual history during the Cold War, represented across artistic disciplines as well as in public and private spheres. The project redefines the paradoxical relationship between official and unofficial cultures in the Eastern Bloc and the changing meaning of the avant-garde.

Workshop: Photography and the Visual Arts in Cold War Hungary (July 20–21, 2015)
Exhibition: Promote, Tolerate, Ban: Art and Culture in Cold War Hungary
Film screening: Gyula Gazdag and Cold War Hungarian Cinema
Film screening: A Bibó Reader
Film screening: Dream Reconstructions, by Miklos Erdély
Film screening: Looking into the Camera: Amateur Films, Surveillance, and Video Art in Cold War Hungary
Publication: Promote, Tolerate, Ban: Art and Culture in Cold War Hungary

Collection: Michael and Carol Simon Collection of Hungarian Photography, 1850s–2009
Lecture: The Contested Image of Everyday Socialism in Hungary
Lecture: Budapest 1956: Photographs of Revolution between Politics and Art
Lecture: Documentary Traces of Hungarian Performing Arts—Katalin Cseh-Varga (November 2015)
Conversation: Keeping the Promise: A Method for a Critical Historiography of Event-Based and Intermedia Art in East-Central-Europe
Lecture: (Re)Presenting Cold War Hungary: Encounters between Photography and the Visual Arts—Cristina Cuevas-Wolf (April 2015)
Getty Research Journal essay: The Photographic Memory and Impact of the Hungarian 1956 Uprising during the Cold War Era
Press release: Getty Research Institute and Wende Museum Co-Organize Important Exhibition Exploring Art in Cold War Hungary


Printmaking in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660–1715
In collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, this project reassesses the history of prints and techniques, print production, commerce, and taste and collecting in France from 1660 to 1715, providing the first broad overview of a watershed period once considered the golden age of French printmaking. From the grand portraits to satiric views of everyday life, the project explores the rich variety and varying functions of prints that came to define French power and style in ancient regimes.

Workshop: Printmaking in the Age of Louis XIV (January 14–18, 2013)
Lecture: Fit for a King: Louis XIV and the Art of Fashion
Symposium: forthcoming
Public program: An Afternoon Adventure with Cornelia Funke
Exhibition: A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660–1715
Publication: A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV, 1660–1715

Exhibition: Printing the Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and Monumental Prints in the Age of Louis XIV
Publication: Printing the Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and Monumental Prints in the Age of Louis XIV


Surrealism in Latin America
The history of surrealism in Latin America is a vibrant research field that has developed over the last few decades. Scholars, however, face significant challenges: primary documents are often located in archives that are difficult to access, and secondary sources exist in several languages, complicating conversations among scholars. Work remains on the relationship between surrealism and pre-Columbian art; the role of key figures such as Peruvian poet César Moro and Austrian painter and editor Wolfgang Paalen; and surrealism's continuing legacy in the work of postwar artists in Latin America. This project addressed these challenges, producing new research in a wide variety of formats.

Digitized collection: Dyn, No. 1–No. 6 (on-site access only)
Resource: Surrealism in Latin America research guide
Bibliography: Surrealism in Latin America
Workshop program: Surrealism in Latin America
Symposium: Vivísimo Muerto: Debates on Surrealism in Latin America (includes symposium video and program)
Lecture: A "New Friendship between Art and Anthropology": Surrealism in Mexico (includes lecture video)
Exhibition: Farewell to Surrealism: The Dyn Circle in Mexico
Publication: Farewell to Surrealism: The Dyn Circle in Mexico
Publication: Surrealism in Latin America: Vivísimo Muerto
The Getty Iris post: The "Scandalous Life" of César Moro
The Getty Iris post: The Forgotten Surrealist

Completed Initiatives


Art on Screen
Though cinema's relationship to other arts has been the subject of scholarly discourse since the medium's inception, the unique hybridity of its production and display has often excluded it from mainstream art-historical discourse. Focusing on the complex relationship between moving-image media, fine art, and architecture, Art on Screen bridges the divide between cinema and the fine arts. Through a combination of interdisciplinary research, lectures, screenings, and symposia, this initiative revives cinema's position within the museum and art history.

Seminar: Living Art: An Evening with James Scott (December 2015)
Seminar: Landscape Films in the Age of Affluence—Jennifer Peterson and Alexander Nemerov (June 2015)
Seminar: Buon Fresco: A Screening and Conversation between Tacita Dean, Davide Gasparatto and Yvonne Szafran (December 2014)
Seminar: The Medium Messed: Aesthetics of Video Viewing—Ulrike Hanstein and Liz Kotz (April 2014)
Seminar: Rhythm and Pacing in Ivan the Terrible, Part I—Leah Jacobs and Michael Patterson (February 2014)
Seminar: Allan Sekula and the Cinema of Honest Materiality—Ed Dimendberg and Colin Gardener (November 2013)
Seminar: Spencer Williams: A Comic History of Race Movies—Jacqueline Stewart and Kara Keeling (October 2013)
Seminar: Wrong Living: Cinema and the Bungalow—John David Rhodes and Charles Wolfe (April 2013)
Seminar: Dancing with the Devil: The Rolling Stones in Cinema—David E. James and Rani Singh (February 2013)
Public program: Memorias del Subdesarrollo (Memories of Underdevelopment) film screening
Public Program: ASCENT: A film by Fiona Tan
Public Program: BURDEN film screening
Public Program: Mr. Turner film screening
Public Program: Passing Beauty: A Conversation with Hou Hsiao-Hsien (in partnership with the Academy Museum)
Public Program: In the Labyrinth: A Conversation with Guillermo Del Toro (in partnership with the Academy Museum)
Public program: Galaxie film screening
Public program: A Conversation with Agnès Varda (includes symposium video)
Public program: Smog film screening
Public program: FILM and Film with Tacita Dean
Public Program: William Krisel: Architect film screening and conversation
Workshop: Art Film and the Current Condition (June 15–16, 2012)
Workshop: Moving Image Workshop with Tom Gunning (April 2–3, 2010)
Workshop: Robert Beavers Film Workshop (October 2009)
Lecture series: ongoing

Collection: Harry Smith Papers
Publication: Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular
The Getty Iris post: Harry Smith's Archives and Collections Now at the Getty Research Institute
The Getty Iris post: Treasures from the Vault: Harry Smith and Patterns in the Wind