The recent executive order barring entry into the United States from citizens of seven nations is antithetical to the values of the Getty, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
Curiosity, diversity, and tolerance are the core values of the humanities, values that require the free movement of people and ideas. That’s why, for years, the Getty has supported scholars, scientists, and other professionals from around the world—including from the targeted nations—in pursuing research and study here with us. It’s also why we are proud to welcome people of all faiths, colors, ethnicities, and nationalities into the Getty community.
If it continues, the travel ban will extract a high human cost in lost freedoms, livelihoods, and careers, as well as a high social cost in lost innovation and discovery. It may have a profoundly adverse effect on important work the Getty is pursuing in the Middle East, even in the midst of turmoil there, to protect and preserve the world’s cultural heritage. It will have a corrosive effect on scholarly exchange with the United States and on the stature of American cultural and educational institutions.
We believe the order is ill-advised, unnecessary, and destructive. The Getty stands against it and adds its voice in favor of established American principles of freedom and engagement.
Activism against policies that limit creativity and free exchange of ideas are always wrong. Humanity has always been a global melting pot, even when it might not seem so. There is no racial purity, only philosophical categories to help us better grasp concepts about how the human brain thinks and uses these to produce our concrete, material world which includes the visual arts. Just imagine, without the diverse, pluralistic, multi-dimensional colors of ‘pigments and hues’, no paintings or sculptures would exist and what a sad, mono-chromatic world this would be. Our leaders today are trying to ‘mono-fy’ our world right now. Let’s hope that they realize that there is not even only one shade of grey! Bravo, Jim!
I am proud to work at the J. Paul Getty Museum and your words are remarkable, encouraging, reassuring and outstanding. To be part of this very important community, what the Getty stands for, it’s work around the world and its exceptional value to Southern California is noteworthy. It’s unfortunate that we have a current administration that is so blinded, intractable and incorrigible that they can’t see the extraordinary forest that we have in our country through the trees.
It is fear and undisciplined words that come from the White House that create an environment that we now find ourselves faced with in a world that seems to have lost it’s humanity. I applaud you for speaking out and again so proud that you are the President and CEO of the Getty Trust.
I couldn’t agree more.
This is what real leadership looks like.
Thank you for the clear declaration of values so necessary to our pursuit of knowledge and cultural heritage and global culture. The Getty continues to inspire.
Thanks for this. 18th Street Arts Center shares these same sentiments.
I wholeheartedly support the above expressed views. It is heartbreaking to witness the current assault on the noble ideals that have made this country great and that have given hope to so many people around the world. We must resist the fear that has spawned the hateful and harmful attitude forced upon us by this new administration. That technology has resulted in a shrinking world, is a fact and no amount of “alternative facts” will change it. We should welcome and take advantage of the great potential offered by an increasingly global reality. Those among us who wish to stop this change, have caused a great deal of damage and suffering and will no doubt continue to do so. However, ultimately they will fail because there is no turning back the clock.
Thank you for making this statement.
Bravo, Jim. As Monet told Zola after “J’accuse,” “you have said what had to be said.” I applaud you wholeheartedly.
Dear Mr. Cuno,
Thank you for being so vociferous about this. It is important for institutions to take unequivocal stands at a time when there appears to be active movement to slowly chip away at their legitimacy.
Jim, thank you *so much* for posting this. It’s so important for an organization like the Getty to take a stand on this kind of outrageous and immoral action.
I applaud your statement and agree with my whole, wide open heart.
Our Los Angeles civic leaders, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Police Chief Charlie Beck, spoke out immediately after November 8, about this travesty, and their plans to resist any immigration policy demands from the new “administration.” I take heart, in hearing from the leader of our great art institution, The J. Paul Getty Museum, his profound pledge of inclusivity within The Getty community and their global collaborators, in solidarity. Bravo, Mr. Cuno!
Thank you so much for your bold and heartfelt statement praising inclusivity and condemning bigotry and exclusion. I’m proud to be a volunteer (public gallery docent) in an institution that values diversity of background and thought.
Amen. I am so heartened to read these words: you capture eloquently what has been disturbed in my heart since November (and beyond): “Curiosity, diversity, and tolerance are the core values of the humanities, values that require the free movement of people and ideas.”
Thank you for your commitment to these values. Strength in numbers!
–Louisa Castner (incidentally, a former student of yours at Vassar, class of ’84)