Happy New Year! As 2015 begins, I’m delighted to acknowledge a significant milestone in the Getty Conservation Institute’s history. This year, the Conservation Institute turns thirty, and throughout 2015 we will celebrate this anniversary by looking back at some of the accomplishments, work, and events that have shaped the GCI since its founding in 1985.
For the next twelve months, our social media channels, Facebook and Twitter, will include thirtieth-anniversary posts, which will be accompanied by periodic posts here on The Getty Iris. In addition, the fall issue of Conservation Perspectives, The GCI Newsletter will reflect on the work of the Institute and its relation to the conservation field over the last thirty years.
In the early 1980s, the Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust was in the throes of deciding how Mr. Getty’s remarkable and generous bequest would most benefit the visual arts. In its earliest proceedings, the Board recognized that conservation should be made a priority for the Trust, given the needs of the conservation profession and the challenges and threats facing humankind’s extraordinary legacy—its millennia of cultural heritage. In 1985, the Conservation Institute’s founding director Luis Monreal was appointed and later that year the Institute moved into its first headquarters in Marina del Rey, California.
With continued and strong support of the Getty’s Trustees, the Conservation Institute has been able to carry out work of consequence with distinguished partners worldwide. Over the past three decades we have addressed important problems related to the conservation and care of collections, buildings, and sites. We have delivered education and training on a broad range of issues and for a broad range of media. We have pursued scientific research that has answered questions that benefit conservators and other professionals. And, finally, we have built a world-class conservation library and have actively disseminated our work, and that of others, by publishing books, online materials, and a variety of research resources.
None of our work has been accomplished alone, but rather in partnership with committed professionals and organizations around the world. We are grateful for your support and engagement over these past decades. All of us together contribute to preserving the world’s cultural heritage, and we each have a privileged and essential role in its care.
I hope you follow us on our social media channels as we look back over the last thirty years. Each of us at the GCI is pleased to share our work with you and hope you’ll enjoy this tour through our short, but rich, history.