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Getty Museum acquires Herb Ritts photos

Getty Museum acquires Herb Ritts photos

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The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired 69 original photographs by noted fashion photographer Herb Ritts, a collection valued at nearly $1 million, the museum said Thursday. The trove of photos includes some of Ritts’s most well-known images, such as a portrait of Richard Gere wearing a white tank top and smoking in a California garage, an image that contributed to the rise of the actor’s sex-symbol status.

Another black and white photograph, “Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood” (1989), features the supermodels nude and intertwined in a group portrait.

Ritts, a Los Angeles native who died in 2002, was known for his black and white portraits of some of the biggest celebrities of the 1980s and 1990s, including Madonna, Tina Turner, Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson.

The collection, for which Getty paid a small amount of the $1 million price, was partly a gift from the Herb Ritts Foundation.

“We are happy to have this opportunity to acquire an important selection of prints by Herb Ritts, whose work in fashion blurred the lines between art and commerce,” said Judith Keller, Getty’s senior curator of photographs.

The museum’s collection also includes images by Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, William Klein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray and Louise Dahl Wolfe.

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