Sculpture & Decorative Arts

COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts oversees a rich collection of nearly 1,700 objects, spanning from the late-12th to mid-20th centuries. The European decorative arts holdings, which J. Paul Getty began acquiring in the 1930s, count among the world’s finest for their quality, rarity, and historical interest. Of particular importance are objects created in France under the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI. The decorative arts collection also features premier examples of furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, textiles, clocks, and gilt bronzes that date from the Renaissance to the early 1800s, as well as medieval and Renaissance stained glass.

Established in 1984, the European sculpture collection has grown significantly to include rare masterpieces made from the Middle Ages through the early 1900s. This ensemble was enriched in 2004 by a generous donation from Fran and Ray Stark, comprising of 28 pieces by prominent artists of the 20th century.

The department's holdings can be viewed mostly on the plaza level of the Museum’s permanent galleries, with a few pieces on the second level. The majority of the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Collection is exhibited at the lower tram station and at the top of the hill around the Getty Center.

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IN FOCUS

Uncovering the Past of a French 18th-Century Writing Table
Take a closer look and discover the story of this desk’s creation and its 200-year journey–told by markings on the desk itself.

An Enduring Icon: Notre-Dame Cathedral
Paintings, photographs, prints and rare books from the Getty collection offers a glimpse on the pivotal role in history and art history of the 850-year-old cathedral, ravaged by a massive fire on April 15, 2019. Admire depictions of Notre-Dame and the many treasures it houses.

China on Tapestry
Explore this magnificent tapestry from "The Story of the Emperor of China," part of a set commissioned and woven in France in the late 1600s. Hanging nearly 14 feet tall, weavers worked by hand for nine years to create the group of ten large textiles.

The Galle Chandelier
From its zodiac motifs to its fish bowl, the Galle Chandelier was considered modern for the early 1800s.⁠ This chandelier’s elaborate shape was inspired by a hot air balloon.

The Borghese-Windsor Cabinet
This magnificent display furniture owned by some of Europe's most important rulers hides many secret drawers behind its rich decoration in colorful stones, statuettes, and ornaments in gilded silver and bronze.

FEATURED VIDEO

Explore the process of tapestry weaving at the Gobelins Manufactory in Paris, where historical techniques dating to the time of Louis XIV are used to make contemporary works of art.

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CURATORIAL STAFF

Anne-Lise Desmas

Senior Curator / Department Head

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Amanda Berman

Curatorial Assistant

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Jeffrey Weaver

Associate Curator

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Anne-Lise Desmas

Senior Curator / Department Head

Bio +
Amanda Berman

Curatorial Assistant

Bio +
Jeffrey Weaver

Associate Curator

Bio +