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Grants for Research, Conservation and Education Help Local Arts Organizations

September 12, 2006

LOS ANGELES—From the art of the Chicano rights movement to the Riverside home of the first Japanese family to legally own land in the United States, the Getty Foundation plays a critical role in the study and preservation of the Southland’s artistic and architectural heritage.

One of the largest international supporters of the visual arts, the Getty Foundation funds projects throughout the world that promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts.  But Los Angeles holds a unique place in the scope of the Foundation’s work. Since 1980, the Getty has awarded more than 1,500 grants in support of local research, conservation, education and professional development. “We have a special commitment to the L.A. area,“ says Foundation interim director Joan Weinstein. “About one-third of all of our grants each year go to local institutions and individuals.  We’re always looking for special projects in our hometown.”

At its home base in Los Angeles, the Foundation has a special opportunity to work closely with the other Getty programs—and with local organizations—to strengthen and preserve the arts in the city. 

One example is the Foundation’s special initiative, “On the Record: Art in Los Angeles 1945-80,” a collaboration with the Getty Research Institute to document the history of Los Angeles’ vibrant postwar art scene. (See separate release, attached detailing “On the Record.”) As part of this initiative, the Foundation funded the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center to survey archival materials from the Chicano art movement beginning in the 1960s. The material, which reflects the generation’s dedication to social change, was largely inaccessible to scholars and haphazardly preserved. With the Getty’s help, researchers are gathering information on artists, organizations, publications and art collectives, from Plaza de la Raza to ADOBE LA and from VIVA to Slanguage.  The project also includes oral histories with seminal individuals, and will create web-based links to other Latino art collections.

The Foundation has also helped to conserve significant symbols of the Southland’s built environment. A recent grant to the Riverside Municipal Museum is funding preservation planning at the Harada House, a key site of Japanese-American history in the 20th century.  The Victorian-style home, built in the 1880’s and purchased by Jukichi Harada in 1915, was the object of one of the first tests of the constitutionality of the Alien Land Law. During World War II, the Harada family was forcibly uprooted and relocated to an internment camp.  After 1945, the house became a temporary hostel for displaced Japanese-American families returning to Riverside.  Now a museum, the Harada House features a large archival and artifact collection, along with most of the original features of the house from the 1910s.

Recognizing that the region’s arts organization will need good leadership to survive and flourish in the future, the Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program continues to nurture the next generation of arts professionals.  Designed to increase staff diversity in museums and visual arts organizations, the program has supported over 1,800 internships at 137 arts organizations throughout Los Angeles County over the last fourteen years.

Other recent Foundation grants support a variety of important arts-related projects throughout the Southland, including:

  • A grant to Art Center College of Design to create a conservation plan for the Craig Ellwood building (1976), an icon of Southern California modernism and the last completed building by the Los Angeles-based architect who helped lead the Case Study House program.
  • A grant to USC in February 2006 to support a conservation survey of the interior furnishings of the Gamble House in Pasadena, widely considered to be a masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts movement and the finest survivng example of the work of local architects Charles and Henry Greene
  • A grant to the Orange County Museum of Art to develop interpretive materials for three long-term installations highlighting the Museum’s historic role in promoting California art since the 1960s.
  • A grant to the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery for the publication of a catalogue of nearly 300 pieces of French furniture, sculpture, paintings, portraits and tapestries, including masterpieces by Houdon, David, Fragonard, Greuze and Watteau.

“Our local grant making is particularly gratifying,” says Weinstein. “We have the privilege of working closely with the amazing arts organizations and professionals throughout the Los Angeles area, and to draw extensively on the resources of the other Getty programs. Together we are uniquely positioned to support and encourage the visual arts in the Southland.”

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Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications

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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