Message from the Director
For more than 30 years the Getty Foundation has been committed to philanthropy that increases the understanding and preservation of the visual arts. The Foundation has developed, awarded, and assessed nearly 7,000 grants in more than 180 countries on all seven continents. At the same time, we maintain a strong commitment to our home city of Los Angeles.
In fact, our highest priority in the year ahead is Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, another unprecedented collaboration of dozens of cultural organizations across Southern California including exhibitions and programs about Latino and Latin American art. Fueled by a series of Getty grants, the research and planning phase of Pacific Standard Time is drawing to a conclusion and the implementation period is just beginning. Everything is building to the culmination of the initiative with the opening of the majority of the exhibitions in mid-September 2017. Working together is key to the Pacific Standard Time process, and the Foundation convened grantees around five different topics over the past year (research teams for Latin American art, research on Latino art, the role of research assistants, education, and the complexity of international loans). In spring 2016, we will also host a meeting that looks at the relationship between Latino and Latin American art.
The grantmaking phases of several of our other initiatives are drawing to a close, while other new initiatives are in the early stages. For example, the grantmaking for two conservation initiatives—Panel Paintings and Mosaikon—is essentially complete. The same is true for the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). The eight participating museums have all published their catalogues, and they all maintain a commitment to online publishing. We will produce a final report on OSCI this winter. The grant to the British Museum for its East Africa Program is complete and provides a capstone to our nearly three decades of support for museum collections care in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As for the newer initiatives, this summer the Foundation announced the second year of Keeping It Modern architectural conservation grants, bringing the total to 24 buildings. The funded projects represent an outstanding international array of significant 20th century architecture. Grants ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Chicago to Erich Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower in Potsdam, Germany to Pierre Jeanneret's Gandhi Bhawan in Chandigarh, India all provide models for the conservation of modern architecture. The press announcement includes full descriptions of all fourteen new projects.
Our work in Digital Art History also continued with a second summer of workshops to train art historians to use computational technologies for the creation of new interpretive research. New this year were an increased focus on graduate students and an international workshop undertaken by Duke University in Venice, Italy. Learning extended beyond the individual university groups through lively discussion on social media.
As part of an ongoing initiative, Connecting Art Histories, Getty grants are bringing together established art historians along with younger scholars to promote a more international exchange of ideas. In the greater Mediterranean region, for example, several recent grant projects are redefining our understanding of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, overcoming the traditional division between the study of the West and the East, or the Christian and the Islamic worlds. In Latin America teaching exchanges at universities in Brazil have been instrumental in exposing a rising generation of younger scholars to new methods and research and connecting scholars across Latin America and between the Americas and Europe.
In the United States, the Foundation joined many across the nation in observing the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest and one of the most deadly natural disasters in our country's history. In the wake of the storm, we had created the Fund for New Orleans to help revitalize the city's cultural institutions as they recovered from Katrina's impact. A decade later after awarding $2.9 million in grants, we can report that relatively small grants in the face of a disaster of that magnitude, if well executed and planned, can make a real difference.
Last but not least, we implemented a new grants management system this past year which allowed us to create an online searchable grant database now accessible on the Foundation's website. You can also connect to a lot of content on our website. If you want to see how we compare to other foundations, have a look at Glasspockets, a service of the Foundation Center. If you haven't yet browsed the database, I invite you to visit today and dive into our thirty-one year history of grantmaking. Also check out our interactive grant map to see a sample of the diverse range of projects the Foundation has funded.
Director, The Getty Foundation
Director, The Getty Foundation