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 our unique position as a grant-making entity within the larger Getty Trust, we utilize the expertise of all the Getty programs as well as colleagues in our fields to identify areas where grants can make a difference.
Since our 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. You can find highlights of these grants on our anniversary map which underscores our geographic range, and browse these records in our online grant database.
For more than two decades, the Foundation practiced "over the transom" grantmaking according to defined program categories with regular submission deadlines. Then in 2008, partially in response to the economic downturn but also in accordance with shifting institutional priorities, we switched to strategic philanthropy and have since made our grants according to initiatives designed to address defined problems in art history, conservation, and museums. While economic conditions can affect our annual budget as was the case after 2008, the Foundation's grantmaking is guided primarily by the Getty's strategic priorities.
The Getty has been the only major foundation that supports art history and conservation on a fully international basis. We have always defined 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. These values have guided us well, and we look forward to sharing our continuing work.