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The J. Paul Getty Museum presents In Focus: The Tree, a survey of important technological and aesthetic developments in photographic representations of trees. The latest in the In Focus series of thematic exhibitions, this presentation of nearly 40 photographs provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the Getty Museum’s world-renowned permanent collection of photographs through the inspiring subject of trees.


Loosely organized into single tree portraits, trees in the landscape, abstract forms drawn from trees, and daily uses of the tree, the exhibition highlights photographers from different eras, juxtaposing their works to create an interesting dialogue, says Lyden. One of the earliest works in the exhibition is William Henry Fox Talbot’s iconic An Oak Tree in Winter (1842-1843), which captures the lace-like pattern of bare branches against a stark winter sky.


A daguerreotype by John Jabez Edwin Mayall from 1851 entitled The Crystal Palace at Hyde Park, London, captures the site as it appeared when new, an impressive glass structure built around existing Elm trees. Mayall’s image shows man’s progress in using modern materials such as glass and steel in an attempt to surpass nature and showcase science and industry.


In conjunction with In Focus: The Tree, a book by co-curator Reynaud entitled The Tree in Photographs will be published in January 2011, and will expand the theme of the exhibition. The book will include all of the images featured in the display, as well as many others. Click on the Amazon link on the right to search for it.


The full press release can be found here, and details of the exhibition here.

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