The collection comprises collected
materials related to art collector and oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and his parents, George F.
Getty I and Sarah C. Getty. The collected papers on J. Paul Getty include some of his
personal and business correspondence and other documents, dating from 1909 to 1976,
providing insight into his art collecting activities, his business concerns, and his
personal and family relationships. The materials also contain documents postdating Mr.
Getty's death (1977, 1980-1989) that concern the management of his estate and eulogize his
life and accomplishments. The George F. Getty I and Sarah C. Getty papers, dating from 1890
to 1939, primarily comprise family and oil business correspondence and offer researchers a
glimpse into the Getty household. The collection includes correspondence, art and furniture
inventories, financial records, legal documents, publications, ephemera, and photographs,
dating from around the 1880s to 1989.
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 (1852-1941). George was an attorney and insurance executive whose 1903 visit to Indian
Territory (a region that became part of the State of Oklahoma in 1907) inspired him to
purchase land and begin drilling, launching his career in the petroleum industry. In 1905
the Getty family moved to Los Angeles, but George maintained his oil business in Oklahoma,
traveling to the oil fields periodically. Jean Paul, called "Paul," attended a private
military school before going on to college. He first attended the University of Southern
California in Los Angeles and later transferred to the University of California, Berkeley
(1909 to 1911). In November of 1912 he began his studies at Magdalen College at Oxford
University in England and received a diploma in Politics and Economics in June 1913. He then
enhanced his education by means of a Grand Tour of Europe, viewing art collections and
ancient ruins that sparked his interest in art and antiquities. He also toured parts of the
Middle East and North Africa before returning to the United States in September of 1914.
21 Linear Feet
(30 boxes, 1 flat file)
Contact Rights and Reproductions at the Getty Research Institute for
copyright information and permission to publish.
The records described in accessions 1986.IA.22; 1986.IA.40; 1987.IA.05; 1987.IA.11;
1987.IA.16; 1992.IA.03; 1997.IA.08; 1998.IA.07; 2002.IA.02; 2004.IA.17; 2006.IA.05;
2007.IA.32; 2009.IA.36; 2012.IA.37; 2014.IA.02; 2018.IA.58; and 2019.IA.56 are available for
use by qualified researchers.