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Michael Rinehart to Retire as Editor-In-Chief of the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)

A Program of the J. Paul Getty Trust since 1981, the BHA Prepares to Move from the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts to the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles

April 18, 2000

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. and WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.-The J. Paul Getty Trust and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, today announced the retirement of Michael Rinehart, editor-in-chief of The Bibliography of the History of Art, a pioneering research database that has become an indispensable tool for scholars and students around the world. Rinehart's retirement concludes 28 years of service to the BHA, which began at the Clark in 1972 and was adopted in 1981 by the J. Paul Getty Trust. In 1985, the program was merged with a similar service of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and its Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique (INIST); since then the BHA has been a collaborative program of the Getty and CNRS. The American editorial office of the BHA is located at the Clark Art Institute, in offices contiguous with its renowned art library where Rinehart also served for two decades as chief librarian (1966-86). The French office is located in Paris, where it is affiliated with the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art.

In recent months, Rinehart has been working closely with Getty colleagues and the BHA managing committee to plan for the BHA's future. This planning process has resulted in a decision to relocate U.S. operations of the BHA to the Getty Research Institute in its new home at the 110-acre Getty Center in Los Angeles, designed by Richard Meier, which opened to the public in December 1997. The American office of the BHA will begin moving to Los Angeles later this year, with the move expected to be completed by December 2000; the French office will remain in Paris.

"The Getty and the Clark Institute have enjoyed an extremely close and fruitful partnership all these years, providing an invaluable service to the field of art history," said Deborah Marrow, interim director of the Getty Research Institute. "We are deeply grateful to the Clark and its director Michael Conforti for providing such a superb home for the BHA, and to Michael Rinehart for his outstanding and dedicated leadership as a scholar and administrator. During Michael Rinehart's tenure, the BHA has become the world's most comprehensive abstracting and indexing service for current literature on the history of art in Europe and North America. The Getty has strong relationships with many friends and colleagues at the Clark, with whom we have worked closely on various projects over the years, and we look forward to continued collaboration."

Rinehart has led a long and distinguished career in art history. Educated at Harvard University and the Courtauld Insitute of Art, he began his career working for Bernard Berenson as editor of the illustrated Phaidon edition of his Florentine "lists" (Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School, 1963). In 1962 he was the first librarian of the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa I Tatti when it became the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 1964 he was appointed director of the Witt Photographic Library of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. And in 1966 he became founding librarian of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library, where he served as chief librarian until 1986. He also served as lecturer in art at Williams College and assistant director of the Williams College Graduate Program in Art History.

In 1972, while serving as Clark's chief librarian, Rinehart became founding editor of RILA (International Repertory of the History of Art), sponsored at that time by the College Art Association and supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon, Kress, and Clark Foundations. In 1981 RILA was adopted by the Getty Trust and in 1985 merged with RAA (Répertoire International d'Histoire de l'Art) to become the BHA (Bibliography of the History of Art). Since 1985 Rinehart, maintaining editorial offices at the Clark Art Insititute, has served as joint director of BHA with Maryse Bideault in Paris. (Further details on the history and content of the BHA are available in a separate fact sheet.)

Many of the senior staff at the Clark Art Institute have had long associations with the Getty Trust, including director Michael Conforti who also served on the Getty Museum's Visiting Committee and the Getty Grant Program's Publications Committee in the 1980s and early 1990s; Michael Ann Holly, head of research and assistant director for academic programs; and John Onians, consultative chair for research and academic programs.

Said Conforti, "While we will miss Michael Rinehart and our colleagues in the BHA, all of whom have played such an important role in the intellectual and academic life of the Clark Art Institute, I have long been aware of the Getty Trust's desire to eventually consolidate operations in Los Angeles once the new Getty Center was completed. We look forward, however, to continued programmatic associations with the Getty. For example, we are planning a joint conference between our two research programs in 2001."

The BHA will join other research programs housed in the 201,000-square-foot Getty Research Institute building, circular in form and set along the western ridge of the Getty Center campus. The Research Library contains over 800,000 volumes as well as special collections of rare archival materials related to the history of art. "The Research Library has grown steadily since its beginnings as a small museum library and has now reached a point of maturity to be able, with its collections, to fully support the BHA," said the Getty's chief librarian Susan M. Allen. "The Research Institute now serves a global community of scholars and other users, both on- and off-site, through our extensive collections, scholars programs, exhibitions, publications, and most importantly our online research databases. The integration of the BHA into our library will enable us to serve the field of art history even better. We look forward to welcoming our BHA colleagues from Williamstown this fall, and to continued collaboration with our colleagues at Clark."

The BHA is available online and as a CD-ROM. For information contact Getty Trust Publications at or by calling (800) 223-3431.

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The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is one of a handful of institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a complex of research and academic programs, including a major art history library. As such, the Clark functions as an international center in the museum field for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history. The Clark was chartered in 1950 by Robert Sterling Clark and opened its doors in 1955, welcoming the public to a collection of artworks and books that he and his wife had assembled over the course of five decades. The collection is best known for Mr. and Mrs. Clark's extraordinary French Impressionist paintings, which take their place among a wider ensemble of masterworks that range from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. Among the highlights are works by Ugolino di Nerio, Piero della Francesca, Fragonard, Corot, Bouguereau, Turner, and an especially strong representation of American artists, including Homer, Cassatt, and Sargent. The Clark is also noted for its fine holdings of decorative arts and old master and 19th-century drawings and prints. Its library has grown to become one of the nation's premier resources for the study of European and American art, containing more than 200,000 printed books, bound periodicals, and auction sales catalogues.

The Clark Fellows Program brings leading scholars from universities and museums around the country and the world to Williamstown for up to a year to develop, discuss, and present their ideas and projects. The conference and symposium program presents one major Clark Conference a year on a topic of vital importance to the field, as well as smaller symposia and lectures. These activities further strengthen the Graduate Program in the History of Art, the country's foremost program of its kind, which is administered jointly with nearby Williams College.

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library - housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier - is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library's special collections include rare books, artists' journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.