Archival Program Information
For current Research Institute events, please see The Getty Event Calendar

Lecture Series

In conjunction with the exhibition World War I: War of Images, Images of War, this lecture series explores the art and culture of the First World War. It broadens the exhibition's focus on the visual politics of the period to include the conflict's manifestations in other forms of art. Presentations by internationally renowned scholars will examine aspects of World War I, such as its representation in film and literature or the significance of historical monuments, thus highlighting the profound cultural impact of this first modern war.

World War I: War of Images, Images of War will be on view in the Getty Research Institute Galleries I and II at the Getty Center from November 18, 2014, to April 19, 2015.

Das Gerücht / Herrmann
The Mediated War: Karl Kraus's Docudrama The Last Days of Mankind
Sunday, January 25, 2015
2:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall, The Getty Center

This lecture focuses on Karl Kraus's great anti-war play The Last Days of Mankind, which incorporates documentary sources, including newspaper headlines, speeches, and military reports, to produce a devastating picture of the progress of World War I, from its beginnings to its bitter end.

The ideas presented in this lecture are part of a larger study of Austro-Modernism, which argues that the writings of Elias Canetti, Paul Celan, Karl Kraus, Joseph Roth, and other novelists and poets born in the Austrian provinces during the pre-World War I period constitute an avant-garde, still largely unknown or misunderstood in the anglophone world.

Marjorie Perloff is professor emerita of English and comparative literature at Stanford University and Florence Scott Professor Emerita of English at the University of Southern California.

Film still from Ballet Mecanique
Representing Trauma: World War I
Film Screening and Lectures
Sunday, February 22, 2015
2:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall, The Getty Center

Following a screening of Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy's avant-garde film Ballet mécanique (1924, 16 minutes), art historian Gordon Hughes will discuss Léger and Murphy's film through the lens of Léger's traumatic experience as a French soldier in World War I. Historian Paul Lerner will then situate the massive wave of debilitating trauma that afflicted combatants on all sides of the war within the context of competing early-20th-century psychiatric theories, as scientists, doctors, and military commanders attempted to stem the tide of this sudden and unexpected epidemic.

Gordon Hughes is Mellon Assistant Professor in art history at Rice University.

Paul Lerner is an associate professor of history at the University of Southern California.

photograph of the bombing on Reims Cathedral
Bombing the Cathedral of Reims
Thursday, March 19, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall, The Getty Center

In the last lecture of the series, Thomas W. Gaehtgens examines the bombardment of Reims Cathedral by German troops on September 19, 1914. The French decried this attack as an act of barbarism, after which all cultural relations between the two nations were cut and not reestablished until long after the war.

Thomas W. Gaehtgens is director of the Getty Research Institute.