Return to the Finding Aid

Collected papers for biography of J. Paul Getty, Circa 1890s-1973, 1984, undated (bulk 1957-1973)

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.

Title: Collected papers for biography of J. Paul Getty
Dates: Circa 1890s-1973, 1984, undated (bulk 1957-1973)
Number: IA20012
Creator/Collector: Hewins, Ralph
Extent: 2.6 linear feet (5 boxes, 1 flat file)
Abstract: The collection comprises material created or collected by Ralph Hewins in the course of researching and writing the biography The Richest American: J. Paul Getty (1960). The material dates from around the 1890s to 1973 and includes correspondence that discusses Hewins' writings about Getty, a number of unpublished manuscripts, personal photographs given to Hewins by Mr. Getty, and other related photographs, clippings, and ephemera belonging to Hewins.
Request Materials 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.
Language: Collection material is in English
Repository: The Getty Research Institute
Institutional Records and Archives
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
archives@getty.edu
Author: Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein and Cyndi Shein

Biography

Ralph Hewins (d. 1984) was a professional journalist largely concerned with the very wealthy. He was the author of The Richest American: J. Paul Getty (1960). Hewins became a personal friend of Mr. Getty during the years he spent researching and writing Getty's biography.


Scope and Content of Collection

The collection comprises material created or collected by Ralph Hewins in the course of researching and writing the biography The Richest American: J. Paul Getty (1960). The material dates from around the 1890s to 1973 and 1984 and includes correspondence that discusses Hewins' writings about Getty, a number of unpublished manuscripts, personal photographs given to Hewins by Mr. Getty, and other related photographs, clippings, and ephemera belonging to Hewins. The collection has two main strengths: the unpublished material and the photographs.

The papers include a substantial body of correspondence between Hewins and Getty, as well as scattered letters received from Allene Ashby, Penelope Kitson and other Getty family members and associates. The manuscripts comprise Hewins' published and unpublished material about Getty, probably assembled as a potential update to the 1960 biography. These writings are mainly anecdotal in nature; some relate to Getty's friendships and others to his business or recreational activities. A large file of photocopied international clippings chronicle Getty's press coverage through the fifties, sixties and seventies, many of these concerning the kidnapping of Getty's grandson.

The photographic prints and negatives contain over 200 unique images, ranging from approximately the 1890s to the late 1960s, collected by Ralph Hewins. The images include an array of professional photographs and informal snapshots of Getty, his wives, children, friends, associates, businesses, properties, projects, and residences. Some of the images were published in Hewins' book.

Arrangement

These records are organized in three series:
Series I. Correspondence, 1957-1971, undated;
Series II. Manuscripts and background information, 1960-1973, 1984, undated;
Series III. Photographs, circa 1890s-1960s.


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

The records described in accession 1986.IA.10 are available for use by qualified researchers.

The following types of records are permanently closed: records containing personal information, records that compromise security or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors. The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the right to restrict access to any records held by the Institutional Archives.

Publication Rights

Contact Library Rights and Reproductions.


Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Ashby, Allene
Getty, J. Paul (Jean Paul), 1892-1976
Hewins, Ralph
Kitson, Penelope

Subjects - Topics

Art objects--Collectors and collecting
Billionaires--United States--20th century

Genres and Forms of Material

Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence
Ephemera
Manuscripts
Photographic prints

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the people, programs, and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Publications

Hewins, Ralph. The Richest American: J. Paul Getty. New York: Dutton, 1960.

Archival Materials

Getty Institutional Archives

Art and Real Estate Holding Companies Records, 1939-1982 and undated, J. Paul Getty. The Getty Research Institute (IA20011).

J. Paul Getty and the Ashby Sisters Papers, 1926-1992 and undated. The Getty Research Institute (IA20013).

J. Paul Getty Family Papers, circa 1880s-1989 and undated. The Getty Research Institute (IA20009).

J. Paul Getty Diaries, 1938-1946, 1948-1976. The Getty Research Institute (IA40009).


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Collected Papers for Biography of J. Paul Getty, circa 1890s-1973, 1984 and undated, Ralph Hewins. The Getty Research Institute (IA20012).

http://hdl.handle.net/10020/cifaia20012

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Getty by Ralph Hewins in 1984 and subsequently assigned accession number 1986.IA.10.

Processing History

In 2005 Sue Luftschein rehoused the materials and created this finding aid based, in part, on the preliminary inventory. In 2010 Cyndi Shein arranged and described the photographs, and revised the finding aid.


Container List

Series I. Correspondence, 1957-1971, undated 0.1 linear feet (1 box)
Records consist of correspondence, primarily to and from Ralph Hewins, a biographer and acquaintance of J. Paul Getty, 1957-1971 and undated. This correspondence largely relates to Hewins’ writings on Getty, and includes correspondence with Getty and other individuals, including Maxwell Balfour, president of Getty's Spartan Aircraft Company. The letters discuss the publication of Hewins' 1960 biography of Getty, The Richest American, as well as personal events in Hewins' life related to his work on the biography.
See also Series III. Photographs, for related photographs.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in general chronological order.
Box Folder
1986.IA.10-1 1-2 Correspondence, 1957-1966, undated [2 files]
1986.IA.10-1 3-4 Correspondence, 1967-1971 [2 files]
1986.IA.10-1 5 J. Paul Getty cards to Hewins, 1961-1968, undated
Series II. Manuscripts and background information, 1960-1973, 1984, undated 2.0 linear feet (3 boxes, 1 flat file)
Records consist of typescript manuscripts, clippings, ephemera, and photographs, 1960-1973, 1984, and undated, written and collected by Ralph Hewins about J. Paul Getty and comprising Hewins' published and unpublished material about Getty. Some of the material seems to have been assembled as an update to his book, The Richest American: J. Paul Getty (New York: 1960). The manuscripts are a set of short articles and two versions of the manuscript for The Zillionaire: Getty at 80 (unpublished); these contain Hewins' edits. The short works are anecdotal in nature; some relate to Getty's friendships and others to his business or recreational activities. The ephemera consists of cards, invitations and announcements relating to Getty and his companies.
Arrangement
These records are generally arranged in the order of accession. The larger manuscripts have been grouped together.
Box Folder
1986.IA.10-1 6-9 "The Zillionaire: Getty at 80, Part I: The Man," edited manuscript, 1971 [4 files]
1986.IA.10-1 10-13 "Getty at 80, Part II: The Businessman," edited manuscript, 1971 [4 files]
1986.IA.10-1 14 "Getty at 80, Part III: The Whole Man," edited manuscript, 1971
1986.IA.10-1 15-16 "Getty at 80," Hewins' notes and edits, 1971 [2 files]
1986.IA.10-1 17-18 The Zillionaire: early draft, undated [1-2 of 5 files]
Box Folder
1986.IA.10-2 1-3 The Zillionaire: early draft, undated [3-5 of 5 files]
1986.IA.10-2 4 Miscellaneous notes, manuscript pages, 1959-1960, 1963, 1966, 1973
1986.IA.10-2 5 "The Mystery Wife of J. Paul Getty," 1960
1986.IA.10-2 6 "Getty's 'Mystery House,'" undated
1986.IA.10-2 7 "The World's Richest Sportsman: J. Paul Getty," undated
1986.IA.10-2 8 "Mr. Getty to fly again," undated
1986.IA.10-2 9 "Mr. Getty economises," undated
1986.IA.10-2 10 "Mr. Getty's iron bars," undated
1986.IA.10-2 11 "A Murder Shakes the Arabian Oilfields," undated
1986.IA.10-2 12 "Rival Books About Paul Getty," 1973
1986.IA.10-2 13 "Mrs. Kitson's treat," 1960
1986.IA.10-2 14 "Mr. Getty's quick return," undated
1986.IA.10-2 15 "Tanker Sickness," undated
1986.IA.10-2 16 "Why I'm the Richest," 1961
1986.IA.10-2 17 "The New Mr. Getty," and letter, 1961
1986.IA.10-2 18 "What I Think of Howard Hughes," undated
1986.IA.10-2 19 Hewins letter to editor, London Daily Telegraph, re: Howard Hughes, undated
1986.IA.10-2 20 "The Unknown Giant," undated
1986.IA.10-2 21 Hewins' notes and notebook, undated
1986.IA.10-2 22 Notes, clippings, card from George Getty, 1971-1972
1986.IA.10-2 23 Getty-related ephemera collected by Hewins, 1960-1961, 1966, 1970
1986.IA.10-2 24 Papers found in autographed copy of "How to be Rich" with dedication, 1962-1971
1986.IA.10-2 25 Clippings, undated
1986.IA.10-2 26-30 Hewins' clippings file, undated [5 files]
1986.IA.10-2 31 Clippings (photocopies), ephemera, 1984, undated
Box
1986.IA.10-5 Program for ceremony conferring honorary law degree to J. Paul Getty from Ohio Northern University, August 21, 1966
1986.IA.10-5 "Herculaneum and the Villa of the Papyri," Instituto Geographico de Agostini, 1963
Flatfile
1986.IA.10-6 "J. Paul Getty's Worldwide Empire" map, undated
Series III. Photographs, circa 1890s-1960s and undated 0.5 linear feet (2 boxes)
Materials consist of over 200 photographic prints and negatives, ranging from around the 1890s to the late 1960s, collected by Ralph Hewins, depicting J. Paul Getty, family, friends, business associates, properties, and a reception for Hewins' book The Richest American: J. Paul Getty (1960). The records also include photocopies of all photographs. Some of the photographs were published in Hewins' book. The vast majority of the photographs are black-and-white.
See also Series I. Correspondence, for related items.
Arrangement
The photographs have been roughly arranged by subject. Within each subject the images are arranged numerically accoring to the creator's original numbering system (some prints have numbers written in pencil on the verso). Some of the photographic prints are accompanied by negatives, which are housed in neighboring sleeves.
Box
1986.IA.10-4 J. Paul Getty, 1890s-1960s (approximately 42 images)
Material comprises formal portraits and casual snapshots featuring J. Paul Getty, including photographs of him as a child, with family, with a couple of his wives, with friends, with business associates, with his Spartan aircraft staff, with English Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and with his lion cub. Material also includes shots of Getty receiving the Legion of Honor, receiving an honorary academic degree, standing in oil fields, standing on deck the tanker "George F. Getty," and visiting archaeological sites. All but one of the photos is in black-and-white.
1986.IA.10-4 Getty family and family history, circa 1890-1960s (approximately 23 images)
Material comprises images of J. Paul Getty's parents, George F. Getty I and Sarah C. Getty; sister, Gertrude Lois Getty; wives, Jeannette McDermot, Allene Ashby, Ann Rork, Fini Helmly; children, Eugene Paul Getty II, Gordon Getty, George F. Getty, and Timmy Getty; and young grandchildren, Anne, Caroline, Claire, and J. Paul Getty III. Photos of wife, Teddy are located with the photos of J. Paul Getty. Photos of Ronald Getty are located with Ralph Hewins' book signing images. Persons listed above may also appear in images of various events listed below. Images are black-and-white except for one hand-tinted photograph of Allene Ashby.
1986.IA.10-4 Getty residences, 1908 and undated (12 images)
Material comprises images of Getty residences: South Kingsley Drive (Los Angeles); Sutton Place (England); exterior of the Getty Ranch House (near Malibu, California) and its zoo; and La Posta Vecchia (Gaeta, Italy).
1986.IA.10-4 People, circa 1950s and 1960s (approximately 12 images)
Material includes photographs of Ralph Hewins, Penelope Kitson, President Eisenhower, and others.
1986.IA.10-4 Museum gallery and art objects, undated (3 images)
Materials include images of a museum gallery within the Getty Ranch House, the "Ardibil Carpet," and the "Medalllion and Tree Carpet."
1986.IA.10-4 Business: Japan, 1965 and undated (approximately 20 images)
Material includes images of Japanese business associates, an oil tanker, Ralph Hewins, and others.
1986.IA.10-4 Business: Spartan, circa 1940s (7 images)
Material includes an aerial view of the Spartan facility, and Spartan mobile home interiors, William F. Humphry, Maxwell W. Balfour, and British Royal Air Force (RAF) student pilots at the Spartan School of Aeronautics. See also images of J. Paul Getty for an additional photograph of Spartan employees.
1986.IA.10-4 Business: various, circa 1930s-1960s (approximately 82 images)
Material comprises exterior shots of various Getty buildings and models of buildings; refineries; filling station; interior of the Cotillion Room (Hotel Pierre, NY); aerial view of Hotel Pierre Marques (Alcapulco); and oil tankers, derricks, drilling sites, pipelines, employees and other shots related to the petroleum business.
1986.IA.10-4 Hotel Pierre event, March 1960 (26 8 x 10"; 27 3 x 5"; and 2 3 x 5" color)
Materials comprise professional photographs stamped "Hotel Pierre Public Relations, Fifth Ave. & 61st Street, New York, N.Y." and "Please credit Irwin Dribben, New York" on verso. Photographs feature Ralph Hewins, George F. Getty II, and Gloria Getty.
1986.IA.10-4 Hewins' book signing, 1960 (approximately 18 images)
Material documents a reception held at the J. Paul Getty Museum (galleries and courtyard of the Ranch House) to commemorate the publication of Ralph Hewins' biography of J. Paul Getty. Material includes images of Ralph Hewins; George F. Getty II and his wife, Gloria Getty; Ronald Getty, and his mother, Fini Helmle; and others.
Box Folder
1986.IA.10-3 1-7 Annotated photocopies of prints in the collection, undated