Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Getty Center site planning and construction photographs
Date (inclusive): 1947, 1958, 1963, 1978, 1982, 1984-1997, undated (bulk 1984-1997)
J. Paul Getty Trust. Building Program
108.09 linear feet
(113 boxes and 4 flat files)
The Getty Research Institute
Institutional Records and Archives
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
Records comprise photographic prints, snapshots, contact sheets, slides, and negatives, dating 1947-1997 (bulk 1984-1997),
that were created and maintained by the J. Paul Getty Trust Building Program. Images document the planning and building of
the Getty Center in Brentwood, California by Richard Meier & Partners and the Dinwiddie Construction Company.
To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the
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. See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described
below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
Language: Collection material is in
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.
The records described in accession 1997.IA.10 are available for use by qualified researchers. The exception being box 3, which
may contain restricted material that must be removed prior to access by researchers.
The records described in accessions 1997.IA.02, 2007.IA.43 and 2008.IA.58 are available for use by qualified researchers.
The following types of records are permanently closed: records containing personal information, records that compromise security
or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors. The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the
right to restrict access to any records held by the Institutional Archives.
Researchers must wear cotton gloves when handling photographic materials.
[Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Getty Center Site Planning and Construction Photographs, J. Paul Getty Trust
Building Program. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA40001.
The materials described in this finding aid originated in accessions 1997.IA.02, 1997.IA.10, 2007.IA.43, and 2008.IA.58.
Processing Information note
Inventory list started circa 2003. Physical processing and finding aid completed by Michael Beck in February 2010. Image counts
are an estimation. The terms "prints" and "snapshots" are interchangable. Katie Duvall added accession 1997.IA.02 to the finding
aid in 2012.
Two copies, maximum, of each photograph have been retained. Photocopies have been discarded.
Getty Research Institute, Research Library
Hackman, William & Greenburg, Mark.
Inside the Getty. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008.
Between nature and culture: photographs of the Getty Center. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, circa 1999.
Getty Institutional Archives
Image Library, J. Paul Getty Trust Communications Department. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute,
Finding aid no. IA30004.
Scope and Content of Collection
Records comprise photographic prints, contact sheets, slides, transparencies, and negatives, dating 1947-1997 (bulk 1984-1997),
that were created, collected, and maintained by the J. Paul Getty Trust Building Program. The images document the planning
and building of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California by Richard Meier & Partners and the Dinwiddie Construction Company.
The photographic records cover ground and aerial views of the Getty Center site before, during and after construction; the
design of the Central Garden; visits to other art and cultural institutions; events related to planning and construction;
images of both architectural drawings and models; and documentation of the stone materials used in the construction. Photographers
represented include Vladimir Lange, Joe Deal, Dennis Keeley, Bruce Bourassa, Paul Slaughter, Charles Pasella, Tom Bonner,
Dave Margolf and Jock Pottle along with Getty Staff members Steve Rountree, Tim Whalen, Ellen Wirth, Gloria Gerace, and Don
Williamson. The majority of the aerial images can be attributed to Warren Aerial Photography, Inc.
Fairly precise counts of images have been provided for each file based on the total number of images in each format including
duplicates. Dimensions are related in inches unless otherwise noted.
The records are organized into eight series:
Series I. Views of the Getty Center site and surrounding area, 1947, 1958, 1963, 1978, 1982, 1984-1997, and undated (bulk
Series II. Central Garden, circa 1995, 1996, and undated;
Series III. Visits to other sites, 1984-1992, 1994, and undated;
Series IV. Events, 1984-1997;
Series V. Photographs of architectural models, 1982, 1986-1994, and undated;
Series VI. Photographs of architectural drawings, 1987-1988, 1990-1994, and undated;
Series VII. Stone and quarries, 1990-1994;
Series VIII. Miscellaneous images, 1982-1997, and undated.
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Getty Center (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Archives
Subjects - Topics
Architectural photography--20th century
Art museums--Design and construction
Museum architecture--California--Los Angeles
Subjects - Places
Getty Center Gardens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Genres and Forms of Material
Contact sheets--20th century
Negatives (photographic)--20th century
Photographic prints--California--20th century
Slides (photographs)--20th century
Deal, Joe, 1947-
Dinwiddie Construction Company
Irwin, Robert, 1928-
Meier, Richard, 1934-
Richard Meier & Partners
Warren Aerial Photography, Inc.