Film ex­ec­u­tive do­nates pho­tos

Bruce Ber­man of Vil­lage Road­show Pic­tures gives J. Paul Getty Mu­seum a bounty of im­ages.

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Deb­o­rah Vankin

The J. Paul Getty Mu­seum’s ro­bust pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tion is grow­ing even larger: A gift of 186 works by 26 artists is com­ing from film ex­ec­u­tive Bruce Ber­man. A large se­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary work by Camilo José Vergara is in­cluded, as well as his­toric im­ages by the likes of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange.

Ber­man, a found­ing mem­ber of the mu­seum’s Pho­to­graphs Coun­cil, had al­ready con­trib­uted dur­ing the last two decades about 550 pieces to a col­lec­tion with tens of thou­sands of works. In 2006-07, the Getty ex­hib­ited “Where We Live: Pho­to­graphs of Amer­ica From the Ber­man Col­lec­tion.”

Ber­man’s new­est gift con­sists of both black-and-white and color im­ages in the Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary tra­di­tion.

“As an avid pho­tog­ra­pher in my teenage years, my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for pho­to­graphs has evolved into col­lect­ing unique snap­shots of ur­ban life,” Ber­man said in the an­nounce­ment. “It gives me great pride to share these won­der­ful works with the Getty and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Los An­ge­lenos.”

The new gift from Ber­man, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Vil­lage Road­show Pic­tures (pro­ducer of “The Lego Movie” and “The Ma­trix” tril­ogy), in­cludes works by Harry Cal­la­han, as well as Evans and Lange. The largest body of work by any one pho­tog­ra­pher is 67 pho­to­graphs by Vergara doc­u­ment­ing pover­tys­tricken neigh­bor­hoods in Los An­ge­les, New Jer­sey and New York. They join 19 Vergara pho­to­graphs that the Getty al­ready owns.

Ber­man’s gift in­tro­duces seven artists to the Getty’s col­lec­tion: Alice At­tie, Esko Man­nikko, Michael C. McMillen, Henry Horen­stein, Julian Wasser, Al­fred Sei­land and John Vachon.

“This do­na­tion, cou­pled with his ear­lier con­tri­bu­tions, will trans­form the qual­ity and depth of our hold­ings of nu­mer­ous pho­tog­ra­phers, while also in­tro­duc­ing the work of im­por­tant new artists,” Getty Mu­seum Di­rec­tor Timothy Potts said. “By fo­cus­ing broadly on the theme of life in late-20th cen­tury Amer­ica, Bruce ef­fec­tively cre­ated a pho­to­graphic sur­vey of the land­scape, build­ings and life­styles of the era. We are very for­tu­nate in be­ing able to draw upon such a rich ar­chive for fu­ture ex­hi­bi­tions and look for­ward to show­cas­ing the works in up­com­ing shows.”

Im­ages from the J. Paul Getty Mu­seum / Bruce Ber­man and Lea Russo

STEVE FITCH’S “Greyhound Park Mo­tel, Tuc­son, Ari­zona, 12/30/80” is among Bruce Ber­man’s gifts.

CAMILO JOSÉ VERGARA’S “65 East 125th Street, Har­lem, Oc­to­ber 1980” is among 186 pho­to­graphs given to the Getty Mu­seum.

JOHN HUM­BLE’S “1317 Cabrillo Av­enue, Venice, 1998” is part of gift.

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