The Getty Center
Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Museum Lecture Hall
Past Event

 
An innovative, iconoclastic curator of contemporary art, Walter Hopps founded his first gallery in L.A. at the age of twenty-one. At twenty-four, he opened the Ferus Gallery with then-unknown artist Edward Kienholz, where he cast the spotlight on a new generation of West Coast artists. Ferus was also the first gallery ever to show Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and was shut down by the L.A. vice squad for a show of Wallace Berman's edgy art. At the Pasadena Art Museum in the sixties, Hopps mounted the first museum retrospectives of Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell and the first museum exhibition of Pop Art–before it was even known as Pop Art. In 1967, when Hopps became the director of Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art at age thirty-four, the New York Times hailed him as "the most gifted museum man on the West Coast (and, in the field of contemporary art, possibly in the nation)." He was also arguably the most unpredictable, an eccentric genius who was chronically late. Erratic in his work habits, he was never erratic in his commitment to art. Deborah Treisman and James Cuno, president and CEO of the Getty, discuss Hopps's lasting impact.

Hopps died in 2005, after decades at the Menil Collection of Art in Houston of which he was founding director.

Walter Hopps (1932–2005) was a curator and museum director who worked at the Pasadena Art Museum, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, which he helped create, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Deborah Treisman has been the fiction editor of The New Yorker since 2003. She hosts the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, and was the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker. From 1994 to 1997 she was the managing editor of the art and literary quarterly Grand Street, for which Hopps was the art editor.


How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.