Mission: To make art available to the public for the purposes of education and enjoyment.
Background: J. Paul Getty, who built his fortune in oil, believed art was an important influence on society. A world-renowned collector, Getty established the J. Paul Getty Museum ("the Getty") in 1953 to make art available to the public for the purposes of education and enjoyment. When he died in 1976, a portion of his $2 billion estate was left to the J. Paul Getty Trust, which the oil tycoon had established in 1953. After the trust received Getty's full bequest in 1982, its trustees embarked on an expansion of its programming and began planning construction of the Richard Meier-designed Getty Center in Los Angeles as a new home for the museum and other trust-operated programs. One of those programs, Getty Publications, produces award-winning titles in the fields of art, photography, archaeology, architecture, conservation, and the humanities, for both the general public and specialists, that result from or complement the work of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), and the Getty Research Institute. In 2014, Getty Publications launched a Virtual Library with more than two hundred and fifty titles spanning its forty-year publishing history. The library has since grown to more than three hundred titles and has generated nearly four hundred thousand unique downloads of its PDFs. Looking to the future, the organization hopes that the Virtual Library will serve not only to facilitate the sharing of older titles in the collection, but as a model for other digital publishers.
Outstanding Web Features: The Getty Publications Virtual Library is a free digital backlist of titles from the Getty Publications Archives. Publications are searchable by title, author, and keyword, or visitors may opt to search via imprint/program, publication type, subject category (Asian Art, for instance), or series. The site also offers links for visitors who want to read a title online, purchase a print version of a title, find a title in a nearby library, or download a complete PDF for personal use. Entries include a full description of the title, a table of contents, and relevant information about the author(s), reviews, and/or any awards the book has won.