The Getty Villa
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2010
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Past Event

Portrait of J. Paul Getty / Brockhurst
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How does a captain of industry build one of the finest art collections in the United States? J. Paul Getty (1892–1976) launched his collecting career in the 1930s, when works of art in European private collections were on the market for an affordable price. Over the next four decades he and his advisors assembled a remarkable group of classical antiquities—the heart of the collection now held at the Getty Villa—as well as decorative arts and Old Master paintings that suited both his budget and his taste.

In conjunction with the exhibition Collector's Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities, Getty Museum director Michael Brand welcomes three previous Getty Museum leaders for a lively discussion about their experiences knowing, working for, and collecting with J. Paul Getty during the 1960s and 1970s. Former director Stephen Garrett and former curators Gillian Wilson and Burton Fredericksen share anecdotes and insights about how Getty formed his art collection and reflect on his fascination with Greek and Roman antiquities.

Stephen Garrett, an architect by training, worked for J. Paul Getty in Italy in the late 1960s. During the design and construction of the Villa, he served as a consultant and liaison between Getty, who was then living in Great Britain, and the team of architects and contractors working in Malibu. He was appointed the Museum's first director in 1977, a post he held until 1982.

Gillian Wilson, an expert in French furniture, became the Museum's first curator of decorative arts in December 1971. Getty once said that the finest works of French furniture were as great as any Old Master painting—and during Wilson's tenure, the Museum expanded its collection of French furniture into one of international renown.

Burton Fredericksen was Museum Curator from 1965 to 1971 and Chief Museum Curator from 1972 to 1977. A specialist in Italian Art, Fredericksen used his far-reaching knowledge of western European painting to help transform the Museum's paintings collection both in size and in quality.

Michael Brand has been director of the J. Paul Getty Museum since December 2005 and is the first director to oversee the Getty Museum at two locations—the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. Brand's recent priorities have included strengthening collaboration with the Museum's sister programs at the J. Paul Getty Trust, building upon existing partnerships with art institutions in London and Dresden, and initiating new long-term partnerships with institutions in Italy that will bring masterpieces from ancient Mediterranean cultures to the Getty Villa over the next five years. Brand has also overseen key acquisitions in all six of the Museum's collecting areas: antiquities, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, manuscripts, drawings, and photographs.

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How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.