Oilman J. Paul Getty opened a small antiquities museum in 1954.
Today, the Getty Trust operates the $1 billion Getty Center, a
hilltop haven that focuses on art and humanities. Among the world's
wealthiest art institutions, it is best known for the J. Paul Getty
Museum, which primarily displays pre-20th-century works of art by
Rembrandt and van Gogh, among others. The center also houses the
Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and
institutes dedicated to art history and museum management. In
addition, the trust supports the arts through grants made by the
Getty Foundation. The trust received $1.2 billion from Getty's
estate in 1982 and has more than tripled that figure in recent
Based in California, The J. Paul Getty Trust and the Getty
programs are housed in the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the
Getty Villa in Malibu.
The trust consists of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty
Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty
In recent years, the trust has expanded its collection.
Its 2013 purchases include the Lewis Baltz archive, the rare
first edition of Times of Day by Philip Otto Runge, a rare
set of Chinese battle prints, and two European paintings: a
rediscovered self-portrait of Rembrandt and a Canaletto painting of
the Grand Canal.
Through an agreement with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
the pair in 2011 acquired 2,000 photographs taken by the late
Robert Mapplethorpe, including the artist's archives. The
collection is valued at more than $30 million. The museum
also acquired the Abbey Bible, an Italian illuminated manuscript
that exemplifies the highest achievements of the Gothic era.
The Getty Museum adopted stringent new policies designed to
prevent acquisitions of ancient art without solid
The foundation sources its income from revenues, other support,
and investment income. Sales and other income rose some 6% in
fiscal 2012 as compared to 2011, despite its $17 million net
realized and unrealized loss on investments.