Visiting the Getty Research Institute

Contact Information:
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive
Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Tel. (310) 440-7335
Getty Research Institute Gallery Hours:
Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays and on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25
Research Library Hours:
9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays, major U.S. holidays, November 25, December 26–December 30
Reference Desk: (310) 440-7390
July 16 and 17: Getty Center Closed
The Getty Center will be CLOSED to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, 2011, due to a temporary closure of I-405 for a construction project.

Press release »
Information about the freeway closure and bridge demolition »

Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin / Liang Shitai

This exhibition traces the development of a new type of picture gallery display and catalogue that emerged in the late 18th century. This new style of presenting works of art marked the transition in the history of the museum from the Baroque to the Enlightenment, and eventually led to the types of displays and catalogues that we see in museums today.

Between 1709 and 1714, Johann Wilhelm II von der Pfalz, a German prince, built one of the earliest European picture galleries next to his palace in Düsseldorf—the first example of housing an art collection in a separate structure adjoining the palace.

Johann Wilhelm's nephew and successor, Carl Theodor, hired Lambert Krahe as director of the gallery in 1756. Krahe then broke with the Baroque tradition of covering an entire wall with paintings (see View of a Room at Pommersfelden Palace). Instead, he displayed paintings in a didactic, symmetrical arrangement ordered by schools, encouraging viewers to draw comparisons (see image at right).

The Düsseldorf catalogue—produced by Nicolas de Pigage, Christian von Mechel, and Jean-Charles Laveaux—represented Krahe's display. Unlike earlier catalogues that only provided inventories, it offered an analysis of each painting. The catalogue both served as a representation of princely magnificence and fostered art-historical education.

Follow the story of the development of the Düsseldorf gallery and its catalogue.