The collection comprises twenty-nine handwritten diaries (1938-1946, 1948-1976) of billionaire J. Paul Getty. The diaries
focus on his travels, business dealings, art collecting, and interests, providing insights into his personality, priorities,
politics, relationships, tastes, and values. They contain daily accounts of Getty's activities, briefly describing social
events, business meetings, museum visits, historical and archaeological sites, art objects, and the various people with whom
he interacted. They reveal his business practices and philosophies, his passion for history and art, and his cultivation
of friendships with influential people. The diaries also illustrate Getty's relations with people in the art world and contain
his personal opinions on particular art objects, demonstrating how he developed the collections of decorative arts, antiquities,
paintings, and sculpture that evolved into the J. Paul Getty Museum.
American oil tycoon and art collector Jean Paul Getty was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on December 15, 1892 to George Franklin
Getty (1855-1930) and Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher Getty. Around 1906 the Getty family moved to Los Angeles. Jean Paul,
called "Paul," attended a private military school before going on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles
and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1911, Paul went to Oxford to study economics and political science, completing
his diploma in 1913. Afterwards he embarked on a year-long Grand Tour of Europe, which no doubt sparked his interest in
art and antiquities.