Many colleagues in the conservation community have contacted me to inquire about recent changes in the Getty's grants. These changes have resulted from a Getty-wide strategic planning process that identified priorities going forward. As we approach the Foundation's twenty-fifth anniversary in 2009, it is also a particularly appropriate moment to take a fresh look at our past accomplishments and to chart new directions.
Our general approach is to shift resources from our ongoing grant categories to more focused special initiatives carried out in collaboration with the other Getty programs. This approach builds on our successful experience with past initiatives, such as Campus Heritage, which supported preservation planning at American universities, or our grants for the training of sub-Saharan museum professionals in preventive conservation through the PREMA program. We are currently working hard to define the range of programs in the area of conservation and are preparing two new initiatives—in collaboration with the GCI and the Getty Museum—designed to advance the practice of mosaics and panel paintings conservation respectively.
To pursue these new directions, the Foundation had to make difficult decisions, including eliminating our long-standing architectural conservation grant category—although we will certainly develop other initiatives in this area. We are proud that these grants have contributed to the field since 1989, especially through their emphasis on conservation planning. At the same time, the field is clearly moving toward a more comprehensive approach, and therefore, future initiatives that focus on a specific region or issue may have greater impact.
As we develop new programs, we count on the participation of our colleagues in the field; it is only by drawing upon your experience that we will be able to create meaningful grants.
Director, The Getty Foundation