The Getty Center
February 25–June 7, 2020
Michelangelo (1475–1564) was one of the most creative and influential artists in the history of Western art. This exhibition explores the full range of his work as a painter, sculptor, and architect through more than two dozen of his extraordinary drawings, including designs for celebrated projects such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Medici Chapel tombs, and The Last Judgment. These studies and sketches enable us to witness Michelangelo at work, and to experience firsthand his boundless creativity and his pioneering representation of the human form.
March 10–May 31, 2020
Images drawn from the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the “Old Testament”) were among the most popular subjects for Christian illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages. This exhibition brings manuscripts that explore the medieval Christian understanding of Hebrew scripture into dialogue with the Rothschild Pentateuch, a masterpiece of the Jewish manuscript tradition. Together, these objects from different religious traditions demonstrate how the Hebrew Bible was a living document, its contents subject to interpretation dependent on time and place.
April 21–July 26, 2020
Enigmatic and endlessly fascinating, Dora Maar (French, 19071997) generated iconic surrealist photographs, engaged with political organizations, and established a commercial studio in Parisall before the age of thirty. Despite these achievements, her work remains overshadowed by her relationship with Pablo Picasso. This exhibition examines Maar in her own right, tracing her career from assignments and street photographs made in the early 1930soften the foundation for her surrealist photomontagesto postwar paintings. It also considers the rich historical context from which Maar emerged.
May 19–October 4, 2020
Fascination with botanical life has stimulated scientific and artistic imaginations for centuries. As botanists collected and documented local plants and faraway specimens, artists depicted blooms in gardens and bouquets. In black and white and in living color, images of blossoming flowers, medicinal herbs, and exotic flora evoke natural marvels.
Silk and Swan Feathers: A Luxurious 18th-Century Armchair
May 26, 2020–May 30, 2021
The product of several craftsmen including a joiner (woodworker) and an upholsterer, this extraordinary French armchair embodies the era’s refined sense of comfort and style. Made in Paris for an elite patron, its sumptuous appearance is striking, from its deep, brocaded-silk cushion stuffed with swan and goose feathers to the gold foil on its brass tacks. Despite its fragility, the chair has survived nearly unaltered over the centuries.
Artists as Collectors
June 2–September 6, 2020
Artists were the earliest and greatest collectors of drawings. Celebrated painters including Edgar Degas, Thomas Lawrence, and Giorgio Vasari were passionate collectors, and their appetites for drawings by old and contemporary masters compelled them to acquire exceptional examples of draftsmanship by artists such as Delacroix, Raphael, and Rembrandt. Not just a tool for the making of works of art, drawings were valued as intellectual property, coveted rarities, and powerful status symbols.
In Focus: Election Eve
June 16–November 15, 2020
Photographs play a powerful role in American politics. This exhibition features William Eggleston’s Election Eve, a two-volume photography book made as the country readied for the 1976 presidential race, alongside other photographs from past and present that prompt reflection on the democratic process. Images of politicians, protests, and patriotism offer a timely take on civic life and the public experience of anticipation just before an election.
June 23–September 13, 2020
Medieval power structures included royal courts, the church, city governments, and even universities. Although positions of authority were usually inherited, leaders were expected to embrace justice, a virtue associated with godly rule, and tyranny, a vice that ensured downfall and chaos. Social and legal hierarchies exposed in manuscript illumination underscore the tenuous place of women, the poor, and other "out-groups." Examples of good and bad government reveal the constant struggle between base human instincts and loftier ideals.
William Blake: Visionary
July 21–October 11, 2020
A remarkable printmaker, painter, and poet, William Blake (17571827) developed a wildly unconventional world view, representing universal forces of creation and destructionphysical, psychological, historicalthrough his own cast of characters. By combining his poetry and images on the page through radical graphic techniques, Blake created some of the most striking and enduring imagery in British art. This major international loan exhibition explores the artist-poet’s imaginative world through his most celebrated works.
Powder and Light: Late 19th-Century Pastels
July 28, 2020–January 24, 2021
In an age of formal experimentation, pastels offered artists a thrilling range of possibilities: an iridescent palette, a diverse array of textures, and a more immediate mode of working than oil paints. Late 19th-century pastellists achieved a range of effects, from the ethereal to the visceral. Tracing the evolution of pastels from Impressionism to Symbolism, this installation presents seldom seen works in the Getty collection by Degas, Redon, and others.
Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective
September 15, 2020–January 10, 2021
Imogen Cunningham (American, 18831976) enjoyed a long career as a photographer, creating a diverse body of work that underscores her vision, versatility, and commitment to the medium. The first major retrospective in the United States in more than 35 years, this exhibition brings together her insightful portraits, elegant flower and plant studies, poignant street pictures, and groundbreaking nudes in a visual celebration of Cunningham's immense contribution to the history of 20th-century photography.
Transcending Time: The Medieval Book of Hours
October 6, 2020–March 28, 2021
Manuscripts known as "books of hours" were among the most widely produced and used during the Middle Ages. These decorated prayer books not only structured time for their readers (over a day, a year, and a lifetime) but their creation reveals an increasing demand for private and personalized Christian devotion. Featuring masterpieces of medieval illumination from the permanent collection, this exhibition offers glimpses into the daily lives of their readers, the material features of luxury manuscripts, and the thriving late medieval book market.
Cy Twombly: Making Past Present
December 15, 2020–March 21, 2021
American artist Cy Twombly’s engagement with classical Mediterranean culture, especially the art and poetry of ancient Greece and Rome, played a central role in his creative process. This exhibition explores Twombly’s lifelong fascination with the classical world through evocative groupings of his paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture made from the mid-20th to the early 21st century, tracing an imaginative journey of encounters and responses to ancient texts and artifacts. The presentation includes ancient sculpture from the artist’s personal collection, on public display for the first time.
March 9–August 5, 2021
Pastels enjoyed a surge in popularity during the 18th century, when artists like Rosalba Carriera and Jean-Etienne Liotard carried the medium to new heights. Presenting works from the Getty collection by these pastellists and their contemporaries, this installation explores the physical properties of pastels and tells the story of their rising renown across 18th-century Europe.
In Focus: Writing for the Camera
March 16–June 13, 2021
By definition, the medium of photographya word that means "light writing"maintains a close relationship with writing. This one-gallery exhibition, drawn largely from the Getty’s collection, considers how various photographers active since the 1970s have represented the connection between writing and photography in images that showcase the performative nature of these mediums.
Grand Design: 17th-Century French Drawings
June 8–August 29, 2021
The visual arts flourished in 17th-century France during a period known as the Grand Siècle or golden age of France. Presenting works from the Getty collection made by French draftsmen across the century, this exhibition includes drawings made for many different purposes: designs for ceiling paintings, altarpieces, sculptures, and prints; sketches made outdoors; and academic studies drawn in the studio. Together they testify to an era of courtly splendor, intellectual striving, and political upheaval.
In Focus: Sound
June 29–September 26, 2021
By nature, photographs are silent images, yet photographers have long conjured sound through depictions of music-making, speaking, listening, and poetic insinuation. The photograph and the phonograph are both products of the 19th century that promised to record the otherwise ephemeral sensory perceptions of sight and sound. Drawn from the Getty’s collection, this exhibition includes works by known and unknown makers from the 19th century to the recent past that record the visual while also suggesting the audible.
The Getty Villa
March 18–July 27, 2020
Mesopotamia—the land "between the rivers” in modern-day Iraq—was home to the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. Among their many achievements are the creation of the earliest known script (cuneiform), the formation of the first cities, the development of advanced astronomical and mathematical knowledge, and spectacular artistic and literary accomplishments. The exhibition covers three millennia from the first cities in about 3200 B.C. to Alexander the Great’s conquest of Babylon in 331 B.C.
Organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Rubens: Picturing Antiquity
October 21, 2020–January 11, 2021
Passion for the art and literature of classical antiquity inspired the dynamic Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (15771640). Presented amidst the antiquities collection at the Getty Villa, this exhibition juxtaposes the artist’s exhilarating drawings, oil sketches, and monumental paintings with rarely shown ancient objects, including exquisite gems owned by Rubens himself. Heroic nudes, fierce hunts, splendid military processions, and Bacchic revels attest to the artist’s extraordinary ability to translate an array of sources into new subjects.
Persia and the Classical World
March 17–August 30, 2021
For over a millennium, from around 650 BC to AD 650, ancient Greece and Rome had a tumultuous relationship with their neighbors to the east: the Medes, Persians, Parthians, and Sasanians of ancient Iran. This exhibition explores the artistic and cultural connections between these rival powers through royal sculpture, spectacular luxury objects, religious images, and historical documents, assembled from major museums in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.