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Guide to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa Construction Records, 1960, 1964, 1968-1986 and undated (bulk 1971-1974)
IA10001  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Correspondence, reports from the architects and builders, legal and financial documents, blueprints and models, photos, printed matter and oral histories, dating 1960, 1964, 1968-1986, undated (bulk 1971-1974) concern the design and construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Villa).
Background
After considering various options for expanding his ranch house in Malibu California which had served as a private museum since 1954, J. Paul Getty decided in the fall of 1968 to build a new museum on the same property, in the form of a first-century Roman country house, based primarily on the plans of the ancient Villa dei Papiri just outside of Herculaneum. The archaeologist Norman Neuerburg, who had studied the ruins of Herculaneum and was an authority on Roman domestic architecture, was retained as a consultant for the project. The Santa Monica firm Langdon & Wilson was hired as architect, and Stephen Garrett, who had served as Getty's consultant in the remodeling of a Getty home in Posillipo, Italy, was retained as overseer of the construction. Landscape architect Emmet Wemple designed the gardens, Garth Benton worked on the murals, and Bruce Ptolomy worked on the fountains. The construction itself was done by Dinwiddie Construction Co., with various subcontractors. Construction began on December 21, 1970, and the new museum opened to the public on January 16, 1974. Despite the enthusiastic public response, mixed critical response questioned the decision to recreate an ancient building.
Extent
41.4 linear feet (30 boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 3 photo albums, 6 flat file drawers)
Restrictions
Contact Rights and Reproductions at the Getty Research Institute for copyright information and permission to publish.
Availability
The records described in accessions 1986.IA.19, 1986.IA.36, 1987.IA.02, 1987.IA.03, 1987.IA.24, and 2009.IA.28 are available for use by qualified researchers.