Modern architecture is one of the defining artistic forms of the 20th century. Set free from traditional structural requirements, architects and engineers used experimental materials and novel construction techniques to create innovative forms and advance new philosophical approaches to architecture. The crowning achievements of modern architecture, from Walter Gropius's Bauhaus buildings to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building and Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia have come to symbolize the broader 20th century ideals of progress, technology, and openness.

Today this modern architectural heritage is at considerable risk. The cutting-edge building materials and structural systems that define the modern movement were often untested and have not always performed well over time. Heritage professionals do not always have enough scientific data on the nature and behavior of these materials and systems to develop the necessary protocols for conservation treatment.

To address these challenges, the Foundation developed Keeping It Modern, a grant initiative that continues our deep commitment to the conservation of historic buildings. Keeping It Modern will support grant projects of outstanding architectural significance that promise to advance conservation practices. Grants focus on the creation of conservation management plans that guide long-term maintenance and conservation policies and the testing and analysis of modern materials. In select cases, grants may support implementation projects that have the potential to serve as models for the conservation of other 20th century buildings.

The Foundation created Keeping It Modern to complement the Getty Conservation Institute's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI).

Above: Louis Kahn, Salk Institute, 1965. Photo: Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. Top: detail of Sydney Opera House Sails. Photo: Jack Atley, courtesy of Sydney Opera House Trust