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Guide to the J. Paul Getty Trust Press Relations Records, 1954-2007
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative History
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Press relations records
    Date (inclusive): 1954-2007
    Number: IA10011
    Creator/Collector: J. Paul Getty Trust. Communications Department
    Physical Description: 45.1 linear feet (54 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Institutional Records and Archives
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The records comprise press releases and press clippings issued by and about the J. Paul Getty Trust and J. Paul Getty Museum, 1954-2007. The press releases document the events and activities the Getty wished to publicize to the media. The press clippings document the extent to which the Getty was covered by various news and media outlets.
    Request Materials: To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy . 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 English

    Administrative History

    The Trust's origins date to 1953, when J. Paul Getty established the J. Paul Getty Museum as a California charitable trust to house his growing art collections. Originally a small, private institution located in Mr. Getty's ranch house in Malibu, the museum moved to the newly constructed Villa in grounds adjacent to the ranch house in 1974. 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. Out of this resolve grew an expanded commitment to the arts in the general areas of scholarship, conservation, and education. This took the shape of new programs including the Center for the History of Arts and Humanities, Art History Information Institute, Conservation Institute, and Center for Education in the Arts as well as smaller programs such as the Museum Management Institute and Program for Art on Film. In 1983 the trust's name was changed from the J. Paul Getty Museum to the J. Paul Getty Trust to reflect its broader scope, with the museum becoming an operating program of the Trust.
    Although press releases were issued by the J. Paul Getty Museum dating back to 1954, press release production was not officially institutionalized until 1974 with the appointment of a Public Affairs Director. Although the name of the department went through subsequent iterations, from 1979-1997 museum press releases were consistently rendered as issuing from "Public Information."
    Concurrently, the Department of Public Affairs was created in 1983 to issue press releases on behalf of the J. Paul Getty Trust and its newly created programs. In 1997, the Public Information department ceased and the dissemination of press releases was centralized under the auspices of the Trust's Department of Public Affairs. In 2000, this name was changed to the Communications Department.
    Prior to 1983, press clippings were predominantly collected by Stephen Garrett and other individuals within the J. Paul Getty Museum. After 1983, collecting and dissemination became the responsibility of the various incarnations of what is now the Communications Department.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    The records described in all the accessions in this finding aid are available for use by qualified researchers.
    The following 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.

    Publication Rights

    Contact Library Rights and Reproductions  at the Getty Research Institute for copyright information and permission to publish.

    Preferred Citation

    [Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Press relations records, 1954-2007, J. Paul Getty Trust. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA10011

    Acquisition Information

    1986.IA.01, transferred by the J. Paul Getty Museum
    1986.IA.56, transferred by the J. Paul Getty Museum
    1988.IA.01, transferred by the J. Paul Getty Trust
    1993.IA.02, transferred by the J. Paul Getty Trust, Department of Public Affairs
    2001.IA.02, transferred by Public Affairs
    2001.IA.08, transferred by Stephen Garrett
    2003.IA.02, transferred by Information Center, Getty Conservation Institute
    2007.IA.06, transferred by J. Paul Getty Trust Communications Department
    2007.IA.10, accumulated by the Getty Institutional Archives
    2007.IA.11, transferred by the Communications Department
    2007.IA.34, transferred by the Communications Department
    2008.IA.48, transferred by the Communications Department
    2009.IA.31, transferred by the Communications Department (Legacy)

    Processing History

    Records inventoried and finding aid created by Nancy Enneking and Rebecca Fenning, March 2007, and Kyle Morgan, August 2008 and July 2009.


    The Institutional Archives receives press releases and clippings from the Getty Communications Department on a fairly regular basis, usually once a year.


    The press releases document the events and activities the Getty wished to publicize to the media. The press clippings document the extent to which the Getty was covered by various news and media outlets. The records warrant permanent retention in the Institutional Archives.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records consist of press releases, fact sheets, media advisories, schedules, press clippings in paper form and on microform, remarks made at the J. Paul Getty Muesum 1954 opening, and memorandums issued by and about the J. Paul Getty Trust and Museum, 1954-2007. The press release materials date from 1954-1959 and 1973-2006. The organization issued relatively few press releases until the construction of the Villa Museum in 1974 and it is uncertain if any exist from 1960-1972. An increase in press release production came in the early 1980s with the expansion of the Trust and its operations. Press release subjects include acquisitions, public events, exhibitions, high-level personnel appointments, collaborative projects, building projects, occasional matters regarding Trust administration, and others. The press releases are intended to inform both the media and, by extension, the general public of Getty events and activities. It is not clear whether the press releases for the years before 1984 are complete.
    The press clippings reflect the publicity and coverage the Getty actually received in various media outlets, 1954-2007. The press clippings from 1954-1984 were probably collected from various news sources by early Museum staff and later by Director Stephen Garrett. The press clippings from 1984-2007 were collected primarily by what is now the Trust Communications Department. The press clippings exist in paper form, 1954-2007, and on microfiche and microfilm, 1972-1990. Clippings on microfilm were accumulated in the Getty Trust offices in Century City (exact department unknown) and clippings on microfiche were collected, filmed and indexed by the Department of Public Affairs (now the Communications Department) before their transfer to the Archives. Press clipping subjects include J. Paul Getty's family and his associates, his bequest to the museum, acquisitions, building projects, events, exhibitions, Getty trustees, and others. As the press clippings were received at different times with different organizational schemes and occasionally from programs other than the Communications Department, duplication is to be expected.
    While the number of press releases and press clippings are extensive, this collection does not claim to contain the entirety of press releases and press clippings created by or about the Getty.


    These records are organized into two series: Series I. Press releases, 1954-1959, 1973-2006; Series II. Press clippings, 1954-2007.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    J. Paul Getty Museum
    J. Paul Getty Trust

    Subjects - Topics

    Art museums--Design and construction
    Art museums--Public relations
    Communication and education
    Museums--Press coverage
    Nonprofit organizations
    Special events

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Press releases


    J. Paul Getty Museum. Department of Public Information and Visitor Services
    J. Paul Getty Trust. Public Affairs Department