This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Getty Conservation Institute's full emergence as an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. In 1985 the Institute's first director was appointed, and the GCI moved to its present headquarters in the Marina del Rey section of Los Angeles. Since that time, the Institute has worked around the world—from the Gobi Desert to the Nile, from Prague to the jungles of Belize—promoting the conservation of cultural property and seeking to increase public awareness of conservation's importance.
We are devoting this special issue of Conservation, The GCI Newsletter, to a look back at the Institute's first ten years: the growth of its scientific research, training, and documentation programs; the development of its special projects; and the evolution of its philosophy. We are dedicated to conservation because we believe that conserving the artifacts and places of the past—and the values these represent for communities and nations—preserves the knowledge needed to guide us in the present and the future. The same principle prompts us here. We hope that reflecting back on our efforts to this point will help us and our colleagues and friends astutely focus our work in the years ahead.
This issue also includes a conversation with Harold Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Since 1981 Mr. Williams has led the Trust through a period of tremendous growth characterized by an expanded commitment to the arts and humanities, a commitment that includes addressing the international problems of conservation and the essential role conservation plays in preserving our cultural heritage. His vision and support have made possible the achievements of the GCI's first decade.
Later this year in the newsletter we will take a closer look at some highlights of the GCI's past work in the four categories that now constitute the Institute's areas of interest—objects and collections, archaeological sites and monuments, historic structures and cities, and public awareness and advocacy.
In the spring of 1996, the Institute will move to its permanent home in the newly constructed Getty Center. Located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, the Getty Center will serve as the headquarters for all the programs of the Getty Trust. In the years to come, the GCI will be working even more closely with its sister organizations on the vital task of preserving the cultural heritage that enriches us all.
Miguel Angel Corzo
The Getty Conservation Institute