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Getty Oral History Program interviews, overseen/conducted by Martin Meeker, University of California, Berkeley, 2015-2018

To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy. See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Oral History Program Interviews Overseen/Conducted by Martin Meeker, University of California, Berkeley, 2015-ongoing

The J. Paul Getty Trust

The J. Paul Getty Trust is a cultural and philanthropic institution dedicated to the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world's artistic legacy. Through the collective and individual work of its constituent programs-the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute-the Getty pursues its mission in Los Angeles and throughout the world, serving both the general interested public and a wide range of professional communities in order to promote a vital civil society through an understanding of the visual arts.

The origins of the J. Paul Getty Trust date to 1953, when J. Paul Getty established the J. Paul Getty Museum as a California charitable trust to house his growing art collections. Originally a small, private institution located in Mr. Getty's ranch house near Malibu, the museum moved to the newly constructed Getty Villa in grounds adjacent to the ranch house in 1974. When most of Mr. Getty's personal estate passed to the trust in 1982, the trustees decided that, given the size of the endowment, it should make a contribution to the visual arts and humanities that would reach even beyond the museum. Out of this resolve grew an expanded commitment to the arts in the general areas of scholarship, conservation, and education. Harold M. Williams was the first president and CEO of the Trust, serving from 1981 through 1998. Williams supervised the Trust's development of new programs, with the advice and recommendations of advisors such as Lani Duke and Nancy Englander. The programs included the Center for the History of Arts and Humanities, Art History Information Institute, Conservation Institute, and Center for Education in the Arts, as well as smaller programs, such as the Museum Management Institute and the Program for Art on Film. In 1983 the Trust's name was changed from the J. Paul Getty Museum to the J. Paul Getty Trust to reflect its broader scope, with the museum becoming an operating program of the Trust. As of 2010 the Trust supports and oversees four programs: the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Foundation, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute.

Due to expanded operations and limited space at the original J. Paul Getty Museum in Pacific Palisades (near Malibu), the various programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust were located at different sites throughout the Los Angeles basin during the 1980s and mid 1990s. The Trust's vision was to bring together most of their programs at a single site. A roughly 750-acre property in Brentwood (west Los Angeles) was purchased by the Trust in 1983 and the following year the architectural firm Richard Meier & Partners was chosen to design the Getty Center, to house the Trust, its newly created programs, and an additional space for the Museum. Currently, the J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from both locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa near Malibu, California.

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