Getty Research Institute Acquires Allan Sekula Archive

March 14, 2017

Allan Sekula, Koreatown, Los Angeles. April 1992., 1988-1993

Allan Sekula, Koreatown, Los Angeles. April 1992., 1988-1993

Allan Sekula, Dear Bill Gates, 1999

Allan Sekula, Dear Bill Gates, 1999

The Getty Research Institute has announced their acquisition of the Allan Sekula Papers ca. 1960-2013. Comprised of four hundred boxes of correspondences, illustrations, photographs, notebooks and research materials, the papers give insight to Sekula's socially engaged practice as an artist, writer, filmmaker and critic.


Sekula’s photographic work is meticulously archived in the papers, with over 156,000 exposures organized chronologically in 450 binders, as well as 2,200 non-editioned prints. Audiovisual materials related to his film and video work, including cassette tapes and DVDs of lectures and exhibitions, are also part of the collection. The papers also include 143 notebooks, which date from 1970 to 2012 and include more that 1,740 pages of illustrations. Sekula catalogued most of his major bodies of work in these notebooks, tracking their conceptualization and evolution to fruition. He also recorded moments from his personal and professional life, logging the books he was reading, the places he was traveling, and the world he was experiencing.


The Allan Sekula Papers are currently being processed and catalogued by the Getty Research Institute. Once catalogued and available for study the archive will serve as an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers to piece together the behind-the-scenes development of Sekula’s rich and complex practice.