J. Paul Getty Trust. Building Program.

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The Getty Center opened in 1997 as a multifaceted campus located in Brentwood, California, including modern architecture, gardens, and fountains. The Getty Center is owned and operated by the J. Paul Getty Trust, a cultural and philanthropic organization. The Trust is a not-for-profit institution, educational in purpose and character, that focuses on the visual arts in all of their dimensions. The Center is home to the Trust and its four programs: the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Museum and the Conservation Institute also maintain operations at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, the original site of the Museum.

Due to a lack of space at the original J. Paul Getty Museum site the Trust and its program offices were scattered throughout the Los Angeles basin in the 1980s and 1990s. The Trust required a larger and more unified main campus facility to accommodate its growing programs and Museum collection. In 1983 the Trust purchased 750 acres in Brentwood, California and in 1984 the architectural firm Richard Meier & Partners was chosen to design the Getty Center. After three years of design, discussions, and approvals, construction began in 1987 under the guidance of the Dinwiddie Construction Company (which had also built the Getty Villa in the early 1970s). A decade later, and forty-three years after the original J. Paul Getty Museum had opened in Mr. Getty's Ranch House, the Getty Center officially opened to the public on December 17, 1997.

From the description of Getty center site planning and construction documentation, 1947, 1958, 1963, 1978, 1982, 1984-1987, and undated, bulk 1984-1997. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 81971072

Administrative History

The Getty Center opened in 1997 as a multifaceted campus located in Brentwood, California, including modern architecture, gardens, and fountains. The Getty Center is owned and operated by the J. Paul Getty Trust, a cultural and philanthropic organization. The Trust is a not-for-profit institution, educational in purpose and character, that focuses on the visual arts in all of their dimensions. The Center is home to the Trust and its four programs: the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Museum and the Conservation Institute also maintain operations at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, the original site of the Museum.

The decision to build the Getty Center was a defining moment in the history of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The reasons for that decision were both practical and philosophical. Originally established in 1953, the Trust was the result of J. Paul Getty’s desire to open a "small, private museum" in the house he had purchased, which was nestled in the hills near Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The museum opened in 1954 and in 1968 Mr. Getty decided to build a Roman style villa to house his growing collection of art work. The new J. Paul Getty Museum, otherwise known as the Getty Villa, opened six years later.

When most of Mr. Getty's personal estate passed to the Trust in 1982, the Trustees decided that, given the size of the endowment, it should make a greater contribution to the visual arts and humanities than the museum could alone. A proposal was formulated that, in addition to an expanded museum, called for a group of independent but related programs devoted to scholarship, conservation, and education. The original programs, some of which have since dissolved or evolved into other entities, were the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (now the Getty Research Institute), the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Center for Education in the Arts, the Getty Art History Information Program, and the Getty Grant Program (now the Getty Foundation). Due to a lack of space at the original J. Paul Getty Museum site the Trust and its program offices were originally scattered throughout the Los Angeles basin.

It soon became clear that these new programs, along with the expansion of the Museum's collections, required a larger and more unified main campus facility to accommodate what the Trust envisioned for its extended mission. Expanding the Villa site for this purpose was impossible. A roughly 750-acre property in Brentwood (in west Los Angeles) was purchased by the Trust in 1983 and the following year Richard Meier & Partners was chosen to design the Getty Center, which would house the Trust, its newly created programs, and an additional space for the Museum. In 1984 Steve Rountree was appointed Director of the Trust's Getty Center Building Program, which included responsibility for all aspects of the project development, design, and construction of the Getty Center campus in Brentwood. After three years of design, discussions, and approvals, construction began in 1987 under the guidance of the Dinwiddie Construction Company (which had also built the Getty Villa in the early 1970s). A decade later, and forty-three years after the original J. Paul Getty Museum had opened in Mr. Getty's Ranch House, the Getty Center officially opened to the public on December 17, 1997.

From the guide to the Getty Center site planning and construction photographs, 1947, 1958, 1963, 1978, 1982, 1984-1997, undated (bulk 1984-1997), (The Getty Research Institute Institutional Records and Archives 1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688 (310) 440-7390 archives@getty.edu)

Relation Name
associatedWith Bourassa, Bruce person
associatedWith Bourassa, Bruce. person
associatedWith Deal, Joe, 1947-2010. person
associatedWith Dinwiddie Construction Company corporateBody
associatedWith Dinwiddie Construction Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Irwin, Robert, 1928- person
associatedWith Keeley, Dennis person
associatedWith Keeley, Dennis. person
associatedWith Meier, Richard, 1934- person
associatedWith Richard Meier & Partners. corporateBody
associatedWith Warren Aerial Photography, Inc. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Getty Center Gardens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Getty Center Gardens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Subject
Architectural photography--20th century
Museum buildings--Planning
Museum architecture--California--Los Angeles
Art museums--Design and construction
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1947

Active 1987

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