Now Open at the Getty – Brush & Shutter: Early Photography in China


Earlier this year, several of the leading art and photography shows in Los Angeles, including photo l.a. and LA Art Show 2011, featured galleries dedicated to Asian art, exposing visitors to the latest visual art trends in countries such as China, Taiwan and Korea, among others. Now comes an exhibition called Brush & Shutter, which is focused on the origin of photography in China and curated by the Getty Research Institute (GRI), a local institution known for the breadth and depth of its photography collection and dedication to advancing the understanding of the visual arts.

Portrait of Li Hongzhang in Tianjin, 1878, Liang Shitai (also known as See Tay) (Chinese, active in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, 1870s–1880s), albumen silver print. The Getty Research Institute, 2006.R.1.4

As the Getty explains, photography was brought to Asia by Europeans in the early 1840s and was both a witness to the dramatic cultural changes taking place in China and a catalyst to further modernization. Employing both ink brush and camera, Chinese painters adapted the new medium, grafting it onto traditional aesthetic conventions.

This exhibition features works by largely unknown Chinese photographers, hand-painted photographs, expansive panoramas, and rare gouache and oil paintings made for export. Images range from an 1859 portrait of a Chinese family made near Shanghai to glass slides of revolutionary soldiers created in 1911 in Shanxi province.


When: February 8–May 1, 2011

Where: The Getty Museum, West Pavillion
1200 Getty Center Drive Los Angeles, CA

Cost: Admission to the Getty Center and to all exhibitions is free, no reservations required.

Parking: $15 per car.

Public Transportation:
The Getty Center is served by Metro Rapid Line 761, which stops at the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard. To find the route that is best for you, call (800) COMMUTE or use the Trip Planner on, the Web site of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

See suggested bus and rail routes to the Getty Center. 

More Information:
Tel. 310.440.7300

Exhibition Catalogue: You may purchase a copy from Amazon via this link.