This month the Getty Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Three decades of grants that increase the understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. As for all thirty-year olds, it's a moment for reflection about our past accomplishments as well as what lies ahead.

The Foundation (initially called the Getty Grant Program) was established in 1984 in the belief that philanthropy in art history, conservation, and museum practice is a key ingredient in carrying out the mission of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Drawing on our unique position lodged within an operating Trust, we would utilize the expertise of all the Getty programs to identify areas where grants could act as a catalyst for change.

Since our launch, the Foundation's signature grant programs have made art history more interdisciplinary and international; created models for the practice of conservation emphasizing the importance of planning and training; increased access to museum and archival collections, most recently in digital form; and nurtured a generation of new leaders in the visual arts. In the process, these programs have created broad networks of grantees, advisors, and peer reviewers around the world; deepened the connection to our home city through special local programs such as Pacific Standard Time and the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program; and established a model for collaborative philanthropy by bringing together grantees to tackle shared challenges, as in the Online Scholarly Cataloging Initiative (OSCI) which recently passed a milestone with all of the grantees' digital catalogues freely available to all online.

The Foundation has developed, assessed, awarded, and monitored 7,000 grants in more than 180 countries. You can find highlights of these grants on our anniversary map which underscores our geographic range.

On this website, you can find descriptions of our very first grants (publication grants and postdoctoral fellowships). You can read about our international grants including the Museums in Africa program though which hundreds of museum professionals in sub-Saharan Africa have been trained in preventive conservation, and the Central and Eastern European Initiative that reached out to scholars in the region following the fall of the Berlin Wall to help them overcome decades of intellectual isolation. You can also read about our Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program through which nearly 3,000 college undergraduates of diverse cultural backgrounds have been introduced to careers in museums and visual arts organizations. Later this year, you'll be able to search all of this history when we launch an online searchable grants database.

In 2009 we switched from a system of largely "over the transom" grant-making to operating primarily through strategic grant initiatives. We've been pleased with the results of newer initiatives such as Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, thePanel Paintings Initiative, MOSAIKON, or Connecting Art Histories. We look forward to the results of our newest initiatives such as Keeping It Modern, Digital Art History, and Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA which will open in fall 2017 with exhibitions all across Southern California about Latino and Latin American art.

The Getty has been the only major foundation that supports art history and conservation on a fully international basis. We have always and will continue to define the term "art" very broadly, to encompass all times, all places, and all media. And we believe in the importance of the quiet work that goes on behind-the-scenes but is absolutely necessary for public projects to succeed: research, conservation and interpretation. I'm confident that these values will guide us well in the future, and we look forward to sharing our continuing work with you.

Deborah Marrow
Director, The Getty Foundation

October 2014