Getty Research Institute Acquires Lewis Baltz Archive

The Getty Research Institute announced the acquisition of the archive of Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945). A distinguished photographer and author, Baltz and his wife, artist Slavica Perkovic, have generously donated his entire archive to the Getty Research Institute.

The Black Freighter (The Frunzanesti), Marghera, Italy, 1997. The Lewis Baltz Archive, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.A.112. © Lewis Baltz

The Black Freighter (The Frunzanesti), Marghera, Italy, 1997. The Lewis Baltz Archive, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.A.112. © Lewis Baltz


Baltz’s groundbreaking work gained early recognition in 1975 when the artist participated in New Topographics, a landmark exhibition instrumental in creating a paradigm shift in the history of photography. He stands out in his early career for crafting series of exquisite black-and-white prints that provoke thought because of their Minimalist aesthetic combined with a staunch conceptual approach. From 1967 to 1989, he produced 11 series of works, including The Tract Houses (1971) and The New Industrial Parks, Near Irvine, California (1974) that are seminal for bringing attention to the overlooked margins of our consumer economy.

The archive acquired by the GRI documents Baltz’s entire career. It includes a complete set of his negatives and contact prints with meticulous printing notes, numerous proof prints, examples of final prints, videos, hundreds of installation views, rare ephemera, and publications on and by him.

Baltz’s work has been exhibited in over fifty one-person exhibitions at venues including the Leo Castelli Gallery, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics, and the Albertina. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others.

Baltz has received numerous fellowships including National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1973 and 1976, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977, and the United States-United Kingdom Bicentennial Fellowship in 1980.

The extensive Lewis Baltz Archive will be cataloged at the GRI and made available to researchers in 2014. Additional information is available at www.getty.edu.

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