J. Paul Getty Medal

Getty Medal

The J. Paul Getty Medal, the J. Paul Getty Trust’s highest honor, is given annually to recognize extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts and humanities.

Since the Medal was established in 2013, it has been awarded to 17 distinguished individuals:

2020: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martin Puryear, Alice Walton
2019: Mary Beard, Ed Ruscha, and Lorna Simpson
2018: Thelma Golden, Agnes Gund, and Richard Serra
2017: Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa
2016: Ellsworth Kelly and Yo-Yo Ma
2015: Frank Gehry
2014: Lord Jacob Rothschild
2013: Harold M. Williams and Nancy Englander

2020 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Alice Walton, Martin Puryear, and Kwame Anthony Appiah

The 2020 Getty Medal will be awarded to philanthropist Alice Walton, artist Martin Puryear, and scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Philanthropist Alice Walton is dedicated to illuminating American art and to expanding access to the arts and arts education to communities throughout the country.

Martin Puryear is one of today’s most influential sculptors, with powerful work that expresses a respect for and mastery of craft traditions from all over the world.

Through his scholarship, thought leader Kwame Anthony Appiah deepens our understanding of identity and cosmopolitanism, helping to define what it means to be a citizen of the world.

See the announcement.

2019 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Mary Beard, Ed Ruscha, and Lorna Simpson

Classicist Mary Beard and artists Ed Ruscha and Lorna Simpson were presented with the 2019 J. Paul Getty Medal at a dinner in Los Angeles on September 16, 2019.

Learn more in the press release.

2018 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Thelma Golden, Agnes Gund, and Richard Serra

Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem; Agnes Gund, arts philanthropist and president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA); and sculptor Richard Serra were presented with the 2018 J. Paul Getty Medal at a dinner in Los Angeles on September 24, 2018.

Learn more in the press release.

2017 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa

Artist Anselm Kiefer and writer Mario Vargas Llosa were presented with the 2017 J. Paul Getty Medal at a dinner in New York City on November 13, 2017.

Learn more in the press release.

Middle-aged white man with glasses (artist Anselm Kiefer) sits on a large cushion, interlocking his fingers as he looks off-frame to his left.
Artist Anselm Kiefer



2016 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Ellsworth Kelly and Yo-Yo Ma

The J. Paul Getty Trust awarded the 2016 J. Paul Getty Medal to cellist Yo-Yo Ma and artist Ellsworth Kelly at a celebratory dinner at the Getty Center on October 17, 2016.

Learn more in the press release.






2015 J. Paul Getty Medal Award:

Frank Gehry

The J. Paul Getty Trust awarded the Third Annual J. Paul Getty Medal to Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry at a gathering of arts and community leaders at the Getty Center in Brentwood on Monday evening, September 28. Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel introduced Gehry, who was honored for transforming the built landscape with buildings such as Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.




2014 J Paul Getty Medal Award:

Lord Jacob Rothschild

The J. Paul Getty Trust awarded the Second Annual J. Paul Getty Medal to Lord Jacob Rothschild at a gathering of international arts leaders held at the Getty Center in Brentwood on Sunday, November 9. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow introduced the British investment banker and distinguished arts leader, who was honored for his influential leadership in the preservation of built cultural heritage.




Inaugural J. Paul Getty Founder's Award:

Harold M. Williams and Nancy Englander

On Monday, December 2, 2013, Harold M. Williams and Nancy Englander received the inaugural J. Paul Getty Founder's Award. They were honored for their leadership in creating today's Getty, a global leader in art history, conservation, and museum practice.