Museum Home Past Exhibitions Dialogue among Giants: Carleton Watkins and the Rise of Photography in California

October 14, 2008–March 1, 2009 at the Getty Center


Admission to the Getty Center is FREE. For visitor information, see information on planning a visit or call (310) 440-7300. All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required for performances, lectures, seminars, and courses.


Carleton Watkins and the Element of Time
Weston Naef, senior curator, Department of Photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum, traces how Watkins made time itself an element of content in his photographs. Focusing on select photographs, this talk illuminates how Watkins influenced Eadweard Muybridge by laying the groundwork for Muybridge's motion studies through his own multiple views of one subject or location.

Sunday, January 25, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Stillness and Restlessness: Watkins, Muybridge, and Landscape Photography in 19th-Century California
Artist Mark Klett, who has worked extensively re-photographing 19th-century western masters, and writer and Muybridge scholar Rebecca Solnit offer their own dialogue about the complex particulars of making landscape photographs in the 19th-century Far West.

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Panel Discussion

Immigration and the Changing Picture of California
Bob Sipchen, editor of Sierra magazine, leads a panel discussion on how immigrants have interacted with and shaped the environment in the Golden State since the era documented in early photographs. Co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and Zócalo, a cultural forum for the new L.A.

Thursday, December 4, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Film Series

How the West Was Shot: Six Westerns, Six Decades
The western landscape has long provided a raw and encouraging palette seemingly created for the artist. Just as photographer Carlton Watkins evidenced its majesty in the late 1800s, film makers a few years later would insert characters and epic stories into its environs. John Ford's The Iron Horse (1924) and Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (1930) laid the groundwork for concerns of filmed westerns for years to come. Complete schedule of films in this six-part film series to be announced. Free, reservations required.

Learn more about this event.

Friday, January 23 , 2009, 7:30 p.m.
The Iron Horse (1924), directed by John Ford

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
The Big Trail (1930), directed by Raoul Walsh

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Red River (1948), directed by Howard Hawks

Friday, January 30, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), directed by Sergio Leone

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), directed by John Sturges

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), directed by Sam Peckinpah

Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

GettyGuide™ Audio Player

Listen to historians of photography and a working artist describe the personalities and politics of California in the dawn of its statehood.

The Three Brothers, 4,480 Feet, No. 804 / Watkins

Curator's Gallery Talks

Erin Garcia, assistant curator, Department of Photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum, leads gallery talks on the exhibition. Meet under the stairs in the Museum Entrance Hall. Free; no reservations required.

Wednesdays, October 29 and December 10, 2008, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 2:30 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum galleries

Point-of-View Talk

Luther Gerlach, nationally recognized photographer specializing in 19th-century techniques, explores the exhibition. Free. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 1:00 p.m. the day of the talk.

Saturday, November 22, 2008, 2:30 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum galleries

Studio Course

Photography Workshop: Albumen and Salt Prints
Join Luther Gerlach, nationally recognized photographer specializing in 19th-century techniques, and learn to make albumen and salt prints in this two-session studio workshop. Participants will explore vintage cameras, lenses, and historic photographic processes while taking an albumen print from negative to final print. Course fee $65; $50 students. Open to 25 participants. Call (310) 440-7300 for reservations, or use Make Reservation buttons below.

This two-part course repeats:
Wednesdays, November 5 and 12, 2008, 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Wednesdays, December 3 and 10, 2008, 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Sundays, January 18 and 25, 2009, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum Studios and Galleries

Family Festival

Uncover the natural beauty and epic wonder of California in this daylong festival. Enjoy the music and tales of the 49ers with Gordy Ohliger the Banjo-ologist, learn the myths of the Southwest with master storyteller Michael Katz, and discover the culture of the Chumash people. A full day of celebration with music, dance, storytelling, and interactive workshops complements the exhibition.

Saturday, October 25, 2008, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum Courtyard

Artist-at-Work Demonstrations

Wet-Plate Collodion Negatives and Albumen Prints
Drop by as photographer Luther Gerlach demonstrates how to make wet-plate collodion negatives and albumen prints using authentic mammoth-plate cameras, lenses, and procedures from the 19th century.

Sundays, November 2, 2008–January 4, 2009
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Cameras, lenses, and negative making
2:00–3:00 p.m.: Paper preparation and printing
Getty Center, Museum Studios