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Over $220 million awarded to more than 3,600 projects in 175 countries

January 24, 2005

LOS ANGELES—To mark the milestone of 20 years of philanthropic activity, the Getty announces that its Grant Program will be renamed the Getty Foundation. From a modest start in 1984, the Getty Grant Program has grown to be among the largest and most highly respected international supporters of the visual arts. The name change to Foundation better reflects the expanded scope of the Getty's grant-making over the past two decades and reaffirms its commitment to philanthropy going forward.

Through its core program areas and special initiatives, the Foundation supports a diverse range of projects all over the world that strengthen the understanding and preservation of the visual arts.

"We are delighted to mark our 20th anniversary with this name change," says Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. "We take great pride in the work that has been accomplished by all of our grantees over the years. These are challenging times for cultural institutions, and as we look to the future we are strongly committed to supporting extraordinary projects locally, nationally, and internationally."

Over the past two decades, the Foundation has awarded nearly $220 million to over 3,600 projects in more than 175 countries, from Los Angeles to London, Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa. This past year, the Foundation provided more than $22.6 million in grants to individuals and institutions around the world, including museums, libraries, cultural organizations, and universities. Support is offered in three broad areas: Research grants promote scholarship in the history of art; Conservation grants fund the preservation of art in museum collections as well as historic buildings; and Education and Professional Development grants support internships, training, and educational projects at museums.

In addition, the Foundation encompasses the Getty Leadership Institute (GLI), the leading source for the continuing professional development of current and future museum leaders. GLI alumni include more than 900 professionals from over 25 countries.

In research, the Foundation has supported scholars working on topics as diverse as Indian temples, ancient Greek ceramics, Renaissance prints, Islamic books in the 15th century, and Pop Art. The fields of inquiry pursued are often multidisciplinary, with art historians working with colleagues from other humanistic disciplines. Research grants have also funded hundreds of print publications and databases.

Conservation grants over the past two decades have supported the treatment and study of a wide variety of works of art and historic buildings: from murals by Diego Rivera in California, to the historic Lower East Side tenement buildings of New York, church frescoes in Italy and the Republic of Georgia, traditional textiles in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the wooden hut in Antarctica from Sir Ernest Shackleton's historic expedition. These grants have also helped fund the conservation of individual objects and collections at museums around the world, from lacquer works at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco to European old master paintings at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.

In education and professional development, grants to local museums and visual arts organizations support internships for college students in Los Angeles to introduce them to careers in the arts. Grants help professionals, especially those from developing countries, to attend conferences and symposia, where they can learn about new findings and exchange ideas. They enable the development of innovative programs such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's "Making Sense of Modern Art" a multimedia, interactive program designed to address the needs of museum visitors.


Here in Los Angeles, the Foundation's support has made an enormous impact on the local arts community. This past summer marked the 12th anniversary of the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program. In that time, the Foundation has provided nearly $6 million to support more than 1,500 college students of diverse cultural backgrounds in positions at 126 visual arts institutions in Los Angeles County, helping to nurture a new generation of leaders in the arts. The program was so successful that five years ago the Los Angeles County Arts Commission partnered with the Getty to create a parallel program in literary and performing arts, together forming the largest arts internship program in the country.

Other successful local initiatives include Preserve L.A., which provided $4 million to support the preservation of 51 historic buildings including Frank Lloyd Wright's Freeman House, the art deco Fox theatre in the city of Pomona, the Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro, and the historic theatre district on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

In addition, the Foundation created the Los Angeles Electronic Cataloguing Initiative, which has provided nearly $5 million to 24 local museums and cultural institutions, putting Los Angeles in the vanguard of cities whose collections are accessible online. An important outgrowth of the initiative is the launch of the On the Record: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, which is working to uncover and archive documents that tell the story of modern art in Southern California.


From the Beaux Arts tradition of Dillard University to the stark modernist beauty of the University of Chicago, the design of a campus is often a key element of its identity and importance within a community. Since 2002, the Foundation has provided $7 million to more than 50 colleges and universities through its Campus Heritage Initiative in a nationwide effort to preserve these historic buildings, sites, and landscapes that provide a vital link to our past.

Across the country, some of the best-known cultural institutions have also received support from the Getty. They include the Smithsonian Institution, which has been awarded a number of grants from the Getty Foundation over the years, including one for the archiving of three major research collections at the Archives of American Art; the American Association of Museums, which was given funding to develop an internet portal to track issues of Nazi-Era provenance; and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which obtained funding for a conservation survey of their famous dioramas.

Among the many museums that have received grants for the cataloguing, conservation, and interpretation of their collections are the Seattle Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the New-York Historical Society.


Many European museums, for example the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin have received support for research and conservation of their collections over the years.

Since 1986, the Foundation has funded the training of over 400 African museum professionals in more than 40 African countries—including the directors of most major museums—through grants supporting courses in Rome and Africa. The long-term goal is to ensure a new generation of trained personnel who will be dedicated to the conservation of cultural heritage in Africa.

The Foundation's Summer Institutes, initially created for Eastern European scholars, most recently ventured to Turkey, where the four-week seminar, "Constructing the Past in the Middle East," fostered dialogue among participating scholars from around the world.

A related press release highlights grants awarded over the past 20 years, a selection of recent grants, and the Foundation's special initiatives.

For more examples of the Getty Foundation's work in the U.S. and around the world, and for information about applications and deadlines, please visit


Beth Brett
Getty Communications Dept.
(310) 440-6473

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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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