Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Current Press Releases


The new Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Center will feature works by the 20th-century's greatest sculptors

April 20, 2005

LOS ANGELES—The J. Paul Getty Trust has received a major gift of modern sculpture from the collection of the late legendary film producer Ray Stark and his wife, Fran.  The donation of 28 modern masterpieces made possible by the generosity of Fran and Ray Stark through The Ray Stark Revocable Trust will usher in a new era for the Getty, complementing existing contemporary art commissions and transforming the site with the creation of the new Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Center.

Many of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors are represented, including Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Aristide Maillol, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, and Isamu Noguchi. The large-scale sculptures will be installed throughout the Getty Center site.  Integrated with the environment and architecture, the sculptures will offer a dramatic outdoor art experience, creating a truly unique landscape for the appreciation of these works in Los Angeles, where the Starks made their home for over 60 years.

"We are deeply gratified that the trustees of The Ray Stark Revocable Trust recognize the special strengths that have made the Getty a leader among arts institutions, and worthy of the great generosity of Fran and Ray Stark," remarked Barry Munitz, President and CEO, the J. Paul Getty Trust. "The expertise of our curators, conservators, educators, and other staff across the Getty will ensure that the collection is cared for and made accessible to generations of visitors."
In a statement released by The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, the Trustees stated, "We are delighted that the Getty has welcomed the collection, offering it such an appropriate home, and sharing Fran and Ray Stark’s lifelong passion for art with the public. This gift continues the Stark family’s long and substantial legacy of philanthropy to the Los Angeles community. We are gratified that the collection will remain in the city they loved, and continue to bring joy and inspiration to so many."

"This is a remarkable gift. The Fran and Ray Stark sculpture collection comprises many extraordinary works and we are thrilled to receive it," notes William Griswold, acting director and chief curator, the J. Paul Getty Museum. "With its strong representation of important 20th-century sculptors, many of them American, the Stark collection expands the chronological and geographical range of the Getty’s holdings.  It complements not only the Museum’s photographs collection and site-specific commissions, which already include 20th-century and American works, but also the contemporary materials in the special collections of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute." 

The gift also inaugurates a new period in the history of the Getty’s sculpture and decorative arts collection, under the direction of Antonia Boström, recently appointed curator of the merged departments. She has accepted the responsibility for creating an integrated, cohesive approach to building and exhibiting the Getty’s holdings of sculpture, decorative arts, and furniture, with a strong focus on building the sculpture collection.

The Stark collection will be seen by over one million visitors to the Getty Center each year, including approximately 80,000 students and teachers, and over 125,000 families. The Getty will work with Richard Meier and Partners, the architects of the Getty Center, and with the Olin Partnership, the site’s landscape designers, to develop the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden and prepare outdoor areas throughout the Getty Center for the sculptures. The installations will create a discovery tour that begins upon entry to the Getty Center at the lower tram level, and continues during the journey up the hill, and into the Museum Courtyard and public areas. 

Installation of the works will be carried out using state-of-the-art technology, relying on the Getty’s leadership in the field of seismic mitigation. The Getty’s conservation specialists will provide expert care for the works with regular inspections, condition reporting, maintenance and repairs as needed. The Stark collection will provide an opportunity for in-depth research by Getty conservation and research staff, whose work will advance the specialized fields of the conservation of outdoor sculpture and the on-going study of modern and contemporary art for the scholarly community. 

A special brochure and tour will be created, and the sculptures will also be included in the Getty’s roster of educational programs that serve all audiences, from schoolchildren to scholars to the general public. A gallery course devoted to the history of figural sculpture is being planned, and, in the long term, the works will be used in school lessons, classroom aids, and other materials. The sculptures will also feature in many of the Museum’s drawing courses, which take place outdoors.

Ray Stark is perhaps best known as the legendary producer of such classic films as The Night of the Iguana, The Way We Were, The Goodbye Girl, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Funny Girl, based on the life of pioneering comedienne Fanny Brice, the mother of Stark’s wife Fran. Together, Fran and Ray Stark had a passion for art that led to a fine collection of modern works, with sculpture as its focus. Ray Stark died in January 2004, twelve years after Fran Stark died in May 1992, leaving an extraordinary legacy of art, much of which the Getty will now preserve and continue to nurture.

# # #

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.