Getty acquires items from artist Ruscha's archives

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The Getty announced Thursday that it’s acquired thousands of items from the archives of renowned L.A. artist Ed Ruscha.

Most of the photographs, negatives and ephemera Ruscha donated and sold to the Getty are from his 1960s artist's books. Before Ruscha, the “livre d’artiste,” as the books were known, were lavish, beautifully illustrated books — usually commissioned by a publisher.

In 1963 Ruscha published the artist’s book “Twentysix Gasoline Stations.” Two years later he issued “Some Los Angeles Apartments,” and a couple of years after that, “Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles.” All featured black and white photographs of the objects in the titles. The conceptual artist’s book was born.

The Getty announced the acquisition a week after it inaugurated the region-wide “Pacific Standard Time” arts festival. Until February, it’s displaying Ruscha’s seminal 1968 painting, “Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Fire,” and a painting derived from his gas station photographs at its Brentwood museum.

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