J. Paul Getty Museum

J. Paul Getty Museum | paintings in chronological order

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J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles

J. Paul Getty Museum established by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty as a home for his collections of artworks. It comprises two locations in Los Angeles: the Getty Villa and the Getty Center. The former houses a collection of antiquities, while the latter exhibits European art and international photography. The museum is located in Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, on a hill top above the west side of the Sepulveda Pass and I-405 freeway. Its collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The secondary museum, the Getty Villa, is in the Malibu neighborhood and displays art from Ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

The original museum opened in 1954 and occupied a wing added to Getty’s ranch house in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles. His collections eventually outgrew that location, however, so in 1974 they were moved to a new building nearby. This museum, known as the Getty Villa, was a lavish re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri, an ancient Roman home uncovered at Herculaneum.

n the 1970s and 1980s, the curator, Jiří Frel, designed a tax manipulation scheme which expanded the museum collection of antiquities, essentially buying artifacts of dubious provenance, as well as a number of artifacts generally considered fakes, such as the Getty kouros. In 1984, Frel was demoted, and in 1986, he resigned.


The Getty is involved in a controversy regarding proper title to some of the artwork in its collection. The museum’s previous curator of antiquities, Marion True (hired by Frel), was indicted in Italy in 2005 (along with famed dealer Robert E. Hecht) on criminal charges relating to trafficking in stolen antiquities. Similar charges have been addressed by the Greek authorities. The primary evidence in the case came from the 1995 raid of a Geneva, Switzerland, warehouse which had contained a fortune in stolen artifacts. Italian art dealer Giacomo Medici was arrested in 1997; his operation was thought to be “one of the largest and most sophisticated antiquities networks in the world, responsible for illegally digging up and spiriting away thousands of top-drawer pieces and passing them on to the most elite end of the international art market”.

In 2005 True was forced to tender her resignation by the Board of Trustees, which announced her early retirement. Italy allowed the statute of limitations of the charges filed against her to expire in October 2010.


1200 Getty Center Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90049-1687

Phone: +1 (310) 440-7330

more information:

official website


J. Paul Getty Museum | paintings in chronological order

1876 – 1900

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, spring

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, spring, 1894

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