Message from the Director
For more than 30 years, the Getty Foundation has committed itself to philanthropy that increases the understanding and preservation of the visual arts around the world. The Foundation has awarded nearly 7,500 grants in 180 countries on all seven continents. At the same time, we have maintained a strong commitment to supporting initiatives in our home city of Los Angeles.
In fact, in September we launched one of our largest local initiatives to date, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Five years in the making, PST: LA/LA is now open to the public with over seventy exhibitions throughout Southern California—from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and Los Angeles to Palm Springs—that explore Latin American and Latino Art. Although most of the exhibitions feature modern and contemporary art, a few also delve into ancient or colonial history. More than 1,000 artists from more than 40 countries are featured in this massive collaboration, and their artworks represent a wide array of styles, themes, and media. The new initiative builds on Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, which featured exhibitions from more than sixty institutions in 2011-2012 that were fueled by a decade of Foundation grants that saved an endangered history and shared it with the public. This time we are expanding the scope of PST with more artists, countries, exhibitions, and programs, including robust performing arts and educational programs. LA/LA will also culminate in a performance art festival in January 2018.
Getty Foundation grants to cultural institutions both large and small across the region came in two phases, first planning and then implementation because we knew that the exhibitions would be better if the participating museums had the time and funding to develop international advisory teams and complete in-depth research, allowing for new scholarly networks and partnerships that cross numerous countries in North America, Latin America, and beyond. The resulting discoveries are presented in dozens of exhibition catalogues and related publications that will leave a strong legacy of new knowledge.
This summer, we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of our longest standing local initiative, the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program, hosting hundreds of former interns at the Getty Center in August and publishing a report, available online. The purpose of the program is to introduce students from communities that are underrepresented in art museums to careers in the visual arts. Since we announced the program in 1992 following the civil unrest in Los Angeles, we have funded over 3,200 internships at 161 organizations in our home region. We are pleased that many alumni have now gone on to successful careers. You can read several of their stories in the report, or on the Getty's blog, The Iris.
In terms of international grants, this summer we announced new Keeping It Modern grants, bringing the total to 45 grants over four years. The grants support the conservation of significant twentieth-century buildings around the world, and collectively underline the significance of research and planning for the preservation of modern architectural heritage. In order to increase the impact of the grants, we disseminate the results through reports and meetings, and we expect to debut a free online repository of all of the technical reports produced through Keeping It Modern in 2018. Keeping It Modern was created to complement the GCI's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative and two of the projects funded so far are directly allied to CMAI. Other active international grant initiatives in the conservation field include Panel Paintings and MOSAIKON, both of which focus on training programs to protect cultural heritage at risk.
In the field of art history, we are pleased to announce that we have brought back support for non-residential postdoctoral fellowships through a partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)—the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. These new Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships, made possible by a major grant from the Foundation, will be fully international and will support innovative research by art historians in the early part of their careers who show exceptional promise. The fellowships will be portable, allowing scholars significant latitude to visit the places necessary to conduct their research. Fellowships will prioritize projects that make a substantial and original contribution to the understanding of art and its history, an endeavor that now includes both "technical" and "digital" art history. We are also continuing our work to bring together scholars across regional or national boundaries through Connecting Art Histories. Looking ahead, our work will also progress in Digital Art History with a deeper commitment to training art historians in digital methods through advanced workshops that lead to model projects.
Later this fall we will turn our attention again to India, which is celebrating its seventieth year of independence. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai will launch India and the World: A History in Nine Stories, a collaborative exhibition in partnership with the British Museum which has received Getty support for planning and implementation. The ambitious show will feature significant pieces from the international collections of the British Museum in dialogue with important objects and works of art from collections across India and will highlight the connections India historically has shared with the rest of the world.
In the year ahead we expect to announce several new grant initiatives in our core fields of art history, conservation, and museums, so I encourage you to check our website, sign up for our e-newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get all of the latest updates.
Director, The Getty Foundation
Director, The Getty Foundation