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Quick Takes: Getty gets Ruscha photos

The Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute have acquired two troves of photographs by Ed Ruscha that the Getty says will make its Brentwood hilltop a key repository for viewers and scholars to consider how photography — much of it showing grittier L.A. precincts — has fed the artist’s oeuvre.

“It makes the Getty a really rich place to understand the role of photography in Ed Ruscha’s work,” spokeswoman Amy Hood said Wednesday.

The museum bought 74 prints and two contact sheets from Gagosian Gallery for an undisclosed price; many of those images are street-level or overhead views of Los Angeles scenes that Ruscha incorporated in a series of books he self-published starting in 1962. Some of the shots became source material for signature Ruscha paintings.

The other acquisition is Ruscha’s personal archive, “The Streets of Los Angeles,” which the Getty Research Institute will house.

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Some of the photographs will be displayed in the spring of 2013 in two planned concurrent shows at the Getty Museum — one a broader survey, “Los Angeles Architecture, 1940 to 1990,” and the other focusing more narrowly on Ruscha’s photography.

—Mike Boehm

Actor boosts alma mater

Denzel Washington has donated $2.25 million to Fordham University, his alma mater.

The university said that Washington has given $2 million to endow the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre, and another $250,000 to establish a scholarship for a minority undergraduate student studying theater at Fordham.

Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” has joined the school’s faculty as the first Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre.

—Associated Press

Dudamel named artist of the year

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Gustavo Dudamel has won one of the highest honors in classical music: the artist of the year award from Gramophone magazine.

The 30-year-old music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic was one of 10 nominees for the annual prize, which was announced this week in London.

The award recognizes the “most outstanding recording artist of the past year,” according to Gramophone, the British monthly that organizes the prize.

Unlike other awards handed out by Gramophone, the artist of the year prize is voted on by the general public.

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—David Ng

Depp apologizes for comparison

Johnny Depp apologized Wednesday for comparing photography shoots to being raped.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor told Vanity Fair in an interview that he found being photographed a “weird” experience.

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“You just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped. The whole thing. It feels like a kind of weird … just weird, man,” the 48-year-old actor said.

Depp released a statement after objections were raised by a rape victims support group.

“I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling,” Depp said.

—Reuters

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