Arts & CulturePress Release

Getty and Frank Gehry collaborate on dual exhibitions celebrating iconic LA landmark

CALIFORNIA, USA — Cultural and philanthropic institution Getty has introduced a physical and a digital exhibition, both developed in collaboration with Frank Gehry and the LA Phil. Together, Modeling Sound and Sculpting Harmony celebrate the design and realization of this iconic Los Angeles landmark. The exhibitions offer a momentous public debut of the Frank O. Gehry papers held at the Getty Research Institute (GRI).

Sculpting Harmony, the digital exhibition developed together with digital experience agency Resn, presents sweeping views of over 150 models, sketches, and photographs from the Frank O. Gehry papers. Viewers can explore new interviews with Frank, interactive 3D media, and novel scholarship. The digital exhibition provides a captivating glimpse into the innovative work that went into the design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

On view at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the in-person exhibition Modeling Sound showcases six architectural models drawn from the extensive GRI archives, highlighting the critical role of modeling in the building’s design process.


“Getty is reimagining how our art collections and archives can be experienced online and in Los Angeles,” said Mary Miller, director of the GRI.

“It is important to us to bring our archives to a broader audience, perhaps a different audience, and to give them a chance to experience something they might never experience otherwise.”

In Frank’s practice, modeling is a key architectural technique used to develop and test ideas; negotiate physical, spatial, and budgetary constraints; and prove technical feasibility. In designing and constructing Walt Disney Concert Hall, Frank and his studio produced hundreds of physical and digital models, many of which pushed the limits of what was architecturally and technologically possible. This collaboration reveals pivotal moments in the concert hall’s design, as various aspects of the building’s organization, form, and materiality were worked out by hand, eye, and computer in concert with these models. They therefore offer an intimate window into Gehry’s architectural process and the critical role of physical modeling in architecture.

“Despite their importance in the design process, the architectural models in Getty’s collection remain difficult to access and have been rarely seen by the public,” said Maristella Casciato, Senior Curator of Architecture at the GRI. “Following Getty’s acquisition of the Frank Gehry archive, the GRI and Getty Digital have partnered to develop innovative ways to foster access to our vast models collection, including 3D digitization, to provide new opportunities for research, scholarship, and study.”

Sculpting Harmony is jointly produced by Maristella Casciato, Gary Riichirō Fox, and Emily Pugh of GRI, and Serena Parr Cline and Todd Swanson of Getty Digital, with project management by Linda Han and Ian Webb. Web design was developed with Resn.

Modeling Sound is curated by Maristella and Gary. The exhibition layout is designed by Gehry Partners, which also designed the podiums on which the models will be showcased.

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