For several decades, Getty Foundation grants to individual scholars and research teams strengthened the field of art history by supporting international and interdisciplinary research projects. Here are a few examples of such work through the years.

Postdoctoral Fellowships
From 1984–2009, the Getty Foundation provided over 350 Postdoctoral Fellowships to emerging scholars in the history of art and related humanities, allowing them to carry on their research wherever necessary in the world and to prepare their first books for publication. The fellowships prioritized cross-disciplinary research, new modes of interpretation, and projects that would have an impact on the larger field of art history. Getty postdocs are widely recognized for shifting the field of art history to a more interdisciplinary position, and for broadening the areas of inquiry that merited consideration to encompass a wider range of cultural objects from all times and places. The fellowships also supported a generation of the most talented emerging scholars, the majority of whom are leaders in the field today.

Curatorial Research Fellowships
From 2000–2009, the Foundation offered Curatorial Research Fellowships (CRFs) to support the professional scholarly development of curators by providing them with time off from regular museum duties to undertake short-term research or study projects. Individual grants resulted in award-winning exhibitions and new publications, such as Cornelia Butler's seminal 2007 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (CRF, 2001); and Susan E. Bergh's 2012 exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes.

Collaborative Research Grants
From 1988–2008, the Foundation provided opportunities for teams of scholars to pursue interpretive research projects through Collaborative Research Grants. The program encouraged cross-fertilization of ideas and methodologies between art history and other disciplines, with topics that covered the breadth of art historical inquiry, from archaeology to contemporary art. The resulting grants fostered new, interdisciplinary interpretations of the history of the visual arts.

One such project was The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820, a 2006 exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) that also traveled to the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition grew out of a Collaborative Research Grant to the PMA that brought together a team of scholars from the Americas and Europe to develop a more comprehensive understanding of colonial art in Latin America. Looking beyond national borders and spanning the centuries from the arrival of Columbus in the New World to the emergence of national independence movements in present-day Mexico, Central America, and South America, the exhibition highlighted the diversity of colonial art and the sophisticated exchange that took place between European, Asian, African, and indigenous artistic traditions.

Another example was the groundbreaking 2001 exhibition Mies in Berlin, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition was the first in-depth look at the early career of seminal architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, featuring new research fueled by a Collaborative Research Grant that brought together museum and university-based scholars and included a strong teaching component.

Art History in Argentina
With a relatively new Ph.D. program in art history and only a limited number of advanced seminars offered each year, graduate students at the University of Buenos Aires had previously often waited years to complete their degrees. To help enhance the University's art history program, from 2000–2003 the Getty supported visiting professorships at the University's Instituto de Teoría del Arte Julio E. Payró. Leading European, North American and Latin American scholars came to Buenos Aires to teach graduate seminars in a variety of subjects, significantly expanding the course offerings. Extending over several years, the program had a dramatic impact on both the visiting and Argentine faculty, as well as the graduate students. Many of the Argentinean scholars went on to publish important new research and win prestigious international fellowships, becoming respected voices in the international dialogue about art. Buenos Aires is also becoming an important regional center for art history in South America, attracting graduate students from other countries and serving as a resource for other departments throughout the region.

Constructing the Past, Istanbul
Growing out of a series of summer institutes supported through the Central and Eastern European Initiative, the Getty provided grants for two intensive research seminars in Istanbul in 2004 and 2006. These summer institutes brought together scholars and cultural heritage professionals from throughout the Middle East to examine issues of national patrimony—a timely topic in the region. Istanbul, a major cultural center since its founding in the 4th century and a World Heritage City, was an appropriate site to investigate how art and architecture shape our understanding of the past, and how that understanding influences the ways we manage heritage resources today. Led by a group of distinguished international scholars, participants examined the region's monuments from classical antiquity to the present, and how they have been conserved and presented to the public. Participants forged strong ties during their time together, resulting in ongoing collaborations and research projects in the region.

Residential Fellowships
The Getty has also offered Residential Fellowships at the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Conservation Institute. Additional information about past and current scholars for the Research Institute and the Conservation Institute is available online.