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J. Paul Getty Museum Getty Center public event recordings, 1998-2018, undated

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 Museum Getty Center Public Event Recordings, 1998-2018, undated

Administrative History

The J. Paul Getty Museum was established as a charitable trust in 1953 by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in order to house his growing art collections, with the original Museum opening in 1954 at his Malibu Ranch House. Upon Getty's death in 1976, he bequeathed almost his entire estate to the Museum with a mission to promote "the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge."

Today the J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic organization serving both general audiences and specialized professionals. The Trust is a not-for-profit institution, educational in purpose and character, that focuses on the visual arts in all of their dimensions. As of 2019 the Trust supports and oversees four programs: the Getty Foundation, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Research Institute, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Museum serves a wide variety of audiences through its expanded range of exhibitions and programming in the visual arts from two locations in the Los Angeles area: the Getty Villa near Malibu and the Getty Center in Brentwood.

The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Center, which opened to the public in 1997, houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs. The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, originally opened in 1974, underwent extensive renovation and expansion from 1997 to 2006 and reopened to the public on January 28, 2006. The Villa houses works of art from the Museum's collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. A reinstallation of the Villa's permanent collections began in 2017; the new, chronological presentation was opened to the public on April 18, 2018. The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to further knowledge of the visual arts by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of the highest quality. The Center and the Villa serve diverse audiences through the Museum's permanent collection, changing exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research, and public programs.

The history of public programming at the Getty dates to the Museum's earliest years, with public lectures regularly held at the Ranch House and the Getty Villa. The Museum offered a limited selection of other public events, including theatrical productions and music performances. The opening of the Getty Center in 1997 initiated a wide-sweeping, programmatic effort to integrate public events with the museum-going experience.

With the goal of broadening the Museum's audience, the institution developed a number of ongoing series, as well as regularly scheduled individual events, focusing on scholarly topics, gallery tours, and the performing arts. Series launched in 1998 that continue at the Getty Center include Sounds of L.A., Selected Shorts, Friday Nights at the Getty (which have since moved to Saturdays), and the Gordon Getty Concerts, named in honor of J. Paul Getty's son and former Trustee Gordon Getty. Since the reopening of the Villa in 2006, visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy theatrical performances in the classical tradition at the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Outdoor Classical Theater. As of 2019, the Museum offers a variety of events for children and adults, including artist projects, demonstrations, courses, tours, lectures, symposia, and a host of performances at both the Getty Center and Getty Villa. Many programs complement temporary exhibitions.

Public Programming responsiblities were historically undertaken by the Museum's Education Department, with a designated Performing Arts Manager joining the Getty in 1999. In 2001, the performing arts program moved to the renamed Exhibitions and Public Programs Department; by 2008, it had returned to the auspices of the Education Department. In 2016, Public Programs become a department within the newly expanded division of Education, Public Programs, and Interpretive Media (renamed Interpretive Content in 2018).

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