J. Paul Getty viewed art as a civilizing influence in society and strongly believed in making art available to the public for its education and enjoyment. Acting on this belief, he gave significant pieces to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art starting in 1948. In 1953, he decided to establish his own museum to provide public access to his personal collection. He opened the J. Paul Getty Museum to the public in 1954. This small museum, established in his ranch house in Malibu (today, Pacific Palisades), housed collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, 18th-century French furniture, and European paintings.
The J. Paul Getty Trust is a cultural and philanthropic institution dedicated to the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world’s artistic legacy.
Through the collective and individual work of its constituent programs—the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute—the Getty pursues its mission in Los Angeles and throughout the world, serving both the general interested public and a wide range of professional communities in order to promote a vital civil society through an understanding of the visual arts.
The Getty and its four programs are dedicated to the proposition that works of art are windows onto the world’s diverse and intertwined histories, mirrors of humanity’s innate imagination and creativity, and inspiration to envision the future.
To this end, the Getty works to:
-Enhance understanding of art through innovative, digitally driven research, shared for the benefit of the widest possible audience,
-Strengthen and broaden our collections to provoke the curiosity of scholars and visitors alike,
-Chart a new course for how art, humanities, and cultural and public policy can together foster a more inclusive, vibrant civil society,
-Serve as a convener and catalyst in the cultural life of Los Angeles, and
-Offer transformative experiences for visitors to our collections, gardens, and facilities at the Getty Center, the Getty Villa, and the Getty’s presences online, free of charge now and forever.