Today in History: Getty Museum Receives Largest Endowment

| February 28, 2019

Aerial_Getty_MuseumOn February 28th, 1982 the J. Paul Getty Museum received the largest endowment in the history of funding for the arts — a whopping $1.2 billion from the late Minneapolis-born billionaire, Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976), who made his fortune in oil and art. His wealth was fiercely contested by family and ex-family members — allowing it to increase as it set in probate with instruction for it to be used “for the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge”. Getty’s personal collection of artwork, which included Renaissance and Baroque paintings, as well as French furniture, led to a much larger challenge — finding and buying enough art to satisfy the requirements of the expanding museum, originally a villa on Getty’s Malibu home, while not appearing too greedy in the eyes of the art world.

Today The Getty in Los Angeles includes includes a large museum, research institute and library, art conservation institute, digital information institute, arts education institute, museum management school, and grant program center — a six building, modernist complex designed by the famous American architect Richard Meier.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


Curious about archival materials held by the Gottesman Libraries pertaining to the Getty Museum? See select entries in Pocketknowledge, the digital archive of Teachers College, Columbia University; you’ll find curriculum, correspondence, and more.



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