“I was there for the groundbreaking of the Getty Center. I was there for opening day of the Getty Center. I think for a lot of people, it said LA has arrived.”
After nearly 15 years in the making, the Getty Center opened to much fanfare on December 16, 1997. Perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of the surrounding city and coastline, the new campus quickly became an architectural and cultural landmark in Los Angeles. This year marks the Center’s 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, we asked our community to share their Getty memories.
In this episode, Jim Cuno’s last as host and Getty president, he reflects on his time there. We also hear from staff, docents, and members of our community about the opening of the Getty Center and other favorite memories of the site.
“There was a lotta negativity because there was just pictures of Black people. That was one of the critiques, that we just photographed Black people. Said, ‘Yeah. You photograph just white people.’ That was the argument.”
In New York City in 1963, a group of Black photographers came together, naming themselves the Kamoinge Workshop. Translated from the Kikuyu language, kamoinge means a group of people acting together. The artists indeed worked closely together, focusing on reflecting Black life through photographs and increasing Black representation in professional organizations like the American Society of Magazine Photographers (now American Society of Media Photographers). The exhibition Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop showcases members’ work from the 1960s and ’70s.
In this episode, artist Adger Cowans and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) curator Sarah Eckhardt discusses Kamoinge’s history and future as well as the exhibition Working Together. The exhibition is organized by the VFMA and is on view at the Getty Center through October 9, 2022.
“You know, everything is not just red, yellow, blue, and coming from a tube. It can be anything out there in the world. Grab it and use it.”
In 1956, artist Ed Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma and drove with his childhood friend to Los Angeles. Drawn to the city by its palm trees and apparent lack of an established art scene, Ruscha stayed to attend Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), where he aspired to be a sign painter. In the decades since, Ruscha has become a world-renowned artist, but much of his art continues to be informed by LA.
In this episode, Ruscha discusses how he became an artist, his thoughts on his career today, and his decades-long project documenting Sunset Boulevard.