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Award to Be Presented Today at the AIC's Annual Meeting in Century City, Calif.

May 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES - The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) will be honored today by the American Institute of Conservation (AIC) with the highest award it bestows on conservation organizations - the Distinguished Award for the Advancement of the Field of Conservation. 

The award is being presented at the AIC's annual meeting in Century City, Calif.

"The Getty Conservation Institute is well deserving of this award.  From its establishment, the GCI has supported professional development in conservation in so many ways-from education, to projects in the field, to conservation science research. Given the broad range of professional development opportunities they continually provide to the conservation profession, its very appropriate that the GCI be honored in this way," said Eryl Wentworth, executive director of the AIC.

"I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Getty Conservation Institute," said GCI Director Tim Whalen.  "At its core, the GCI's strength is and always has been the depth of its intellectual capital and the dedicated professionals and organizations with which it has had the privilege to work for so many years. This award is an important validation of our ongoing efforts and we are very pleased to accept it."

The GCI works internationally to advance conservation practice, and carries out its work in scientific laboratories at the Getty Center and in the field.  In its laboratories, its projects include exploring ways to reduce the damaging effects of light on sensitive works of art while sufficiently illuminating these works for the museum visitor. In another initiative, GCI scientists are researching modern paint materials in order to better preserve modern works of art.

With field projects from Los Angeles to China, Egypt, and Tunisia, the GCI works with a wide range of local, national, and international partners.  Currently involved in more than twenty field projects worldwide, the GCI focuses on creating and delivering knowledge that will benefit professionals and organizations responsible for cultural heritage conservation. 

Conceived in 1996, the AIC's Distinguished Award for the Advancement of the Field of Conservation recognizes vital and longstanding support of the professional development activities of conservators, and has been given only seven times since its inception.  Previous recipients include the Mellon Foundation, Stanford University Libraries, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. 

The Getty Grant Program, now known as the Getty Foundation, also garnered the award in 1996.

Honored recipients are selected by the AIC Award Committee, which solicits recommendations from members and from its board, and which also tracks noteworthy developments in the field before making its decision.

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Melissa Abraham
Getty Communications Department

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.

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The Getty Conservation Institute works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts-broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. The Institute serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field. In all its endeavors, the GCI focuses on the creation and delivery of knowledge that will benefit the professionals and organizations responsible for the conservation of the world's cultural heritage. To learn more, subscribe to the GCI's E-Bulletin by visiting