The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through strategic grant initiatives, it strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. It carries out its work in collaboration with the other Getty Programs to ensure that they individually and collectively achieve maximum effect.
The Getty Foundation (initially called the Getty Grant Program) was established in 1984 in the belief that philanthropy is a key ingredient in carrying out the mission of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Trust is an international cultural organization that includes the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and J. Paul Getty Museum. Drawing on its unique position as a grant-making entity within the larger Getty Trust, it utilizes the expertise of all the Getty programs as well as colleagues in its fields to identify areas where grants can make a difference.
Since its inception, 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. To date, the Foundation has developed, assessed, awarded, and monitored over 7,000 grants in more than 180 countries.
The Getty has been the only major foundation that supports art history and conservation on a fully international basis. It have always defined the term "art" very broadly, to encompass all times, all places, and all media. And it believes 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. These values have guided it well, and it looks forward to sharing its continuing work.