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September 19, 2006

LOS ANGELES—From funding workshops for museum professionals in developing countries to aid for New Orleans visual arts organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Getty Foundation plays a critical role in strengthening the visual arts around the world.  Since its inception in 1984, the Getty Foundation has supported more than 3,800 projects in 175 countries on every continent to promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts.

In the United States, Campus Heritage Initiative Enters New Phase
Since 2002 the Getty Foundation has awarded grants to 71 colleges and universities to develop long-term preservation plans for their historic buildings and landscapes and to raise awareness about the importance of preservation planning.  From New York University and Bronx Community College to the University of California, Berkeley and Mills College, Getty grants have helped colleges evaluate their historic resources and integrate preservation planning into their campus master plans.
Not all of the grants went to protect ivy-covered brick arches; the initiative also helped identify significant modern buildings in need of preservation planning, including the world’s largest single-site collection of architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College, a small school founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida. The University of Cincinnati in Ohio, home to twenty signature buildings by architects such as Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Machado and Silvetti, received funding to examine the relationship of older buildings and landscapes to the newer ones on campus, and to develop guidelines for preserving both into the future.

This year the Campus Heritage initiative will award its last round of grants to individual campuses and will move into a new phase: sharing the results of the program more widely, providing electonic access to model projects, and supporting the development of campus preservation manuals.

“We feel it is time to extend our efforts beyond grants to individual schools and to focus on disseminating the lessons learned and best practices from the institutions we have supported,” says Joan Weinstein, Interim Director of the Getty Foundation.  “We remain committed to raising awareness about the importance of preservation on college campuses, which contain some of America’s great historic architecture and designed landscapes.”

Global Art in Translation and Museum Professionals Meeting Around the Globe
Groundbreaking art historical research goes on all over the world but often it reaches only a limited audience because of language barriers.  To assure that important research becomes accessible to scholars no matter what its original language, the Getty Foundation is providing support to the University of Edinburgh to launch a new journal, Global Art in Translation. This innovative venture will make available in English outstanding articles and essays originally published in other languages, thereby bringing new, cutting-edge research and classic art historical scholarship to a global audience. 
Many of the Foundation’s activities are aimed at broadening global dialogue and exchange among arts professionals.  Every year the Foundation provides support to professional service organizations in the arts to ensure that their conferences are fully international, facilitating attendance by participants from developing countries and Central and Eastern Europe. With Getty support, professionals from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe attended meetings in the past year in Munich, Paris, Sao Paulo, and Washington D.C., forging new relationships and bringing important information back to their colleagues at home.

This past summer, the Foundation supported an intensive three-week summer institute for museum professionals at NYU, which brought together participants from Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Central and Eastern Europe. The program provided an opportunity for them to increase their skills in strategic planning, leadership, and marketing, and also to develop a network of professional contacts outside of their home country. 

Fund for New Orleans
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Getty Foundation made an initial emergency grant of $100,000 to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to fund the first three months of the Trust’s recovery and outreach efforts to the damaged region.  With a view to sustaining long-term reconstruction efforts the Getty then established a $2 million fund to support not just preservation efforts but also visual arts organizations devastated by losses of audience, revenue, and staff. 

“The Fund for New Orleans will allow for the care of collections, archives, and historic buildings,” explained Weinstein, “but it will also support transition planning for organizations as they respond to the changed environment for the arts following the storm. We look forward to announcing the recipients of these grants in the very near future.”
Other notable projects supported by the Getty Foundation this past year include:

  • A grant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for research and planning for the pan-national exhibition Tesoros/Treasures/Tesouros: The Arts of Latin America, 1492-1820.  The exhibition, which opens September 20, 2006, features 260 exceptional works of art from Mexico, Central America, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

  • A grant to the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands to prepare a scholarly catalog of the 160 works in the Sculpture Garden Collection.  The garden contains outdoor sculptures by Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, David Smith, and Barbara Hepworth, among others, in an innovative natural setting.
  • A grant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the arrangement and description of the Oceanic works in the Museum’s Photographic Study Collection. This rare and important collection of approximately 40,000 photographs from the 19th-20th centuries includes images from Melanesia, Polynesia, Indonesia, and Micronesia.
  • A grant to the Brotherhood of the Monastery of St. Catherine for the implementation of a conservation plan for the Church of the Monastery of St. Catherine in Mount Sinai, Egypt. Funds will be used to support the treatment of the ornate mosaics within the church, including the central apse and the Burning Bush Chapel.

“We’re privileged to fund such exceptional projects throughout the world,” says Weinstein, “and to help connect our grantees with the other Getty programs. By supporting so many dedicated individuals and institutions, the Foundation hopes to contribute to the vitality of the international visual arts community.”

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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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