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Guide to the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities Records of Facilities at 401 Wilshire, 1980-1994, and undated
IA20015  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative History
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Records of facilities at 401 Wilshire
    Date (inclusive): 1980-1994, undated
    Number: IA20015
    Creator/Collector: Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities
    Physical Description: 66.1 linear feet (12 boxes, 13 flat files, 2 oversize boxes, 4 oversize architectural roll boxes)
    Repository:
    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
    Abstract: The collection comprises architectural records, photographs, and ephemera documenting the development of the facilities and activities of the Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (GCHAH) of the J. Paul Getty Trust at 401 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California from 1980 to 1994. The architectural records consist of blueline prints, blueprints, drawings, architectural models, reports, photographs, slides and negatives, for and of 401 Wilshire Boulevard. The photographs and ephemera document the interior spaces of 401 Wilshire Boulevard and the various activities of the GCHAH.
    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 Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (GCHAH) was established in 1983 to advance and disseminate research in the history of art and the humanities. The GCHAH was one of the original programs established by the J. Paul Getty Trust, an international cultural and philanthropic organization serving both general audiences and specialized professionals. The Trust is a not-for-profit institution, educational in purpose and character, that focuses on the visual arts in all of their dimensions. As of 2009 the Trust supports and oversees four programs: the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Getty Foundation; the Getty Conservation Institute; and the Getty Research Institute, which, among other things, continues the work begun by the GCHAH.
    The GCHAH opened after two years of thoughtful planning on the part of the Trust. In 1981, soon after his appointment as the first president and CEO of the Trust, Harold Williams and his team of advisors made several proposals to the Board of Trustees for programs that could be created to further the Getty’s mission of "the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge," as directed by J. Paul Getty’s will. The establishment of an arts library had been proposed as early as 1977 by Museum director Stephen Garrett; in February 1982 Williams’ chief deputy, Nancy Englander, expanded upon Garrett's idea and outlined a proposed “Center for Advanced Study.” This proposed center would include a residence program for scholars, a major expansion of the library, a limited publications program, and an art photo archive. The activities of the center would also focus on preserving historic materials in the field of art history and the development of new reference tools for the field, using the latest in information technologies. The plan was approved, and the program known as the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities officially opened in July 1983.
    The GCHAH progressed quickly during its first few years. Architectural historian Kurt Forster became the first director; he was hired in October 1983 and began leading the GCHCH in the fall of 1984. In an effort to create a premier repository for manuscript collections related to artists and the field of art history at the GCHAH, Forster added the Archives of the History of Art. Not only did the Archives serve as a repository for materials on art history, but it also housed the historical records of the Museum and the Trust. In the fall of 1985 the GCHAH launched the Visiting Scholar Program, inviting 17 scholars and fellows to explore the theme “Aesthetic Experience and Affinities Among the Arts.”
    Due to expanded operations and limited space at the original J. Paul Getty Museum in Pacific Palisades, California, the various programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust were located at different sites throughout the Los Angeles basin during the 1980s and early 1990s. The Trust's vision was to bring together most of their programs at a single site, but until that vision became a reality, the GCHAH was "temporarily" located in the First Federal Building at 401 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. The construction of the new Getty Center in Brentwood took longer than originally anticipated and 401 Wilshire was occupied by the GCHAH from 1983 to 1997.
    In order to fulfill its commitment to the development and diffusion of research in the history of art and the humanities, the GCHAH supported a variety of activities in resource collecting, scholarship, publications, exhibitions, conferences, and public lectures. 401 Wilshire was a “run-of-the-mill office building” that required considerable renovation to meet the GCHAH's growing need for both public and working spaces. Batey & Mack, a San Francisco firm, designed the first renovation of the temporary quarters for the GCHAH on two floors (floors 4 and 7) of 401 Wilshire. In 1991, the GCHAH expanded to occupy two more floors (floors 8 and 9), and Richard Meier & Partners, who were concurrently working on the Brentwood project, were retained to renovate the new floors. Floors 5 and 6 were also utilized, though it is unclear when they were first occupied by the GCHAH.
    During its occupancy of 401 Wilshire Boulevard the GCHAH used the space as follows:
    • 4th Floor: Library, the Archives of the History of Art (later known as Special Collections), Museum curatorial offices (which later became the space for GCHAH Publications), Mailroom, Display space for collections
    • 5th Floor: Library
    • 6th Floor: Photo Archives (Photo Study Collection), Scholars, and Visual Media Services
    • 7th Floor: Administration, Museum Department of Photography, and Gallery (which was open to the public Monday through Friday at no charge)
    • 8th Floor: Trust offices
    • 9th Floor: Trust offices
    • 10th Floor: Museum Department of Sculpture (which later became the space for AccAcc – Accelerated Accessions), Provenance Index, Collection Development, and Vocabularies
    • 11th Floor: Art History Information Program and Information Technology Services
    Over the years the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities experienced several significant changes. In June 1992 Kurt Forster left the GCHAH, and Tom Reese was promoted to acting director while the Trust conducted a search for a new director. In January 1994 Salvatore Settis became director of the GCHAH. In 1996, in order to avoid confusion with the soon-to-open Getty Center in Brentwood, the GCHAH was renamed the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities. Three years later the program's name was shortened to the Getty Research Institute (GRI).

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    The records described in accessions 1986.IA.20, 1986.IA.21, 1986.IA.25, 1986.IA.34, 1995.IA.01, 1997.IA.06, 1998.IA.02, 2003.IA.01, 2009.IA.40, 2009.IA.48; 2009.IA.52; and 2010.IA.47 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.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    [Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Records of Facilities at 401 Wilshire Boulevard, 1980-1994 and undated, Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA20015.

    Acquisition Information

    The items in this finding aid originated in accession numbers 1986.IA.020 (transferred by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities); 1986.IA.021 (transferred by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities); 1986.IA.025 (transferred by Susan Malkoff Smith, J. Paul Getty Museum Library); 1986.IA.34 (transferred by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities); 1995.IA.01 (transferred by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities); 1997.IA.06 (transferred by J. Paul Getty Trust); 1998.IA.02 (transferred by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities); 2003.IA.01 (transferred by the Getty Research Institute, Andrew Werner, GRI Operations Manager); 2009.IA.40 (accessioned as part of the Legacy Appraisal Project); 2009.IA.48 (transferred by the Getty Research Institute, Wim de Wit, Head of the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art); 2009.IA.52 (gift from Mary Sackett); and 2010.IA.47 (transferred by a former staff member).

    Processing History

    Some items were rehoused and a preliminary inventory was created by Institutional Archives part-time staff prior to 2005. In 2005 Sue Luftschein rehoused the remainder of the items and encoded this finding aid. In 2009 Cyndi Shein added accessions 1995.IA.01, 2009.IA.40, 2009.IA.48, and 2010.IA.47, which introduced new subject matter and formats to the collection, requiring substantial revision of the finding aid.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection comprises architectural records, photographs, and ephemera documenting the facilities and activities of the Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (GCHAH) of the J. Paul Getty Trust at 401 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California from approximately 1980 to 1994. The architectural records consist of blueline prints, blueprints, drawings, models, reports, photographs, slides and negatives (1980-1984, 1991, and undated) related to the 401 Wilshire building. This location was the temporary headquarters of the GCHCH, which grew out of the library at the Getty Ranch House and the Getty Villa. Plans from three architectural firms can be found in the records: Batey & Mack; Neptune & Thomas Associates; and Richard Meier & Associates.
    The photographs and ephemera include a set of materials assembled to describe the role of the 401 Wilshire Boulevard building as a space for museum objects and activities while the new Getty Center in Brentwood was under construction. These materials include photographs of exhibitions and other events, event programs, event fliers, and a letter written by Musick, Peeler & Garrett (attorneys) on behalf of the J. Paul Getty Trust to the California State Board of Equalization that describes how the space at 401 Wilshire Boulevard was used for the various activities of the GCHAH. Additional photographs depict the former library at the Getty Villa; the new library, reading room, and office space of the GCHAH at 401 Wilshire Boulevard; The interiors of the facility following the Northridge earthquake (1994); and a site inspection of the Brentwood location, the site of the new Getty Center and future home of the GCHAH program. Some photographs also include staff and researchers at the GCHAH.

    Arrangement

    These records are arranged in two series: Series I. Photographs and ephemera, 1981, 1983, 1987-1994, and undated Series II. Architectural records, 1980-1984, 1991, undated

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    J. Paul Getty Trust

    Subjects - Topics

    Architecture--California--Los Angeles
    Buildings--Specifications
    Northridge Earthquake, Calif., 1994

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    Architectural models
    Blueline prints
    Blueprints (reprographic copies)
    Color negatives
    Color slides
    Fliers (printed matter)
    Photographic prints--20th century
    Reports

    Contributors

    Batey & Mack
    Neptune and Thomas Associates
    Richard Meier & Associates