The Getty Foundation, based in Los Angeles, California, at the Getty Center, awards grants for "the understanding and preservation of the visual arts". In the past, it funded the Getty Leadership Institute for "current and future museum leaders", which is now at Claremont Graduate University. Its budget for 2006-07 was budget of $27.8 million. It is part of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
The Foundation was originally called the "Getty Grant Program," which began in 1984 under the direction of Deborah Marrow. The J. Paul Getty Trust can spend up to 0.75% of its endowment on gifts and grants; by 1990 the Getty Grant Program (then based in Santa Monica) had made 530 grants totaling $20 million to "art historians, conservators and art museums in 18 countries". Among notable grants of the Program were grants to partially fund the publication of books, for example to "provide for additional illustrations or allow a book's purchase price to be lowered". Some books "published with the assistance of the Getty Grant Program" were:
Hamburger, Jeffrey F. The Rothschild canticles: art and mysticism in Flanders and the Rhineland circa 1300. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-300-04308-2
Nesbit, Molly, and Eugene Atget. Atget's seven albums. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. ISBN 0-300-03580-2
Jones, Amelia, and Laura Cottingham. Sexual politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in feminist art history. [Los Angeles, CA]: UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in association with University of California Press, Berkeley, 1996. ISBN 0-520-20565-0
In 1998, the Program granted $750,000 for electronic cataloging to art museums in the Los Angeles area. The program awarded $180,000 in 1999 to the National Gallery in Prague to digitize images of works of art in its collections. In 2005, the program awarded the University of California, Los Angeles and to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston almost $400,000 to "support the documentation nd preservation of Latino and Latin American art".
The name of the Getty Grant Program was changed to "Getty Foundation" in 2005 to "better reflect the expanded scope of the Getty's grant-making over the past two decades and reaffirm its commitment to philanthropy going forward". Grants made by the Foundation include funding the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program, begun in 1993, "seeks to increase staff diversity within visual arts organizations" in Los Angeles County. Between 2002 and 2007, the Foundation expended over $13.5 million to fund "plans to care for, maintain, and preserve... historic resources" at 86 United States colleges and universities. In 2006, the Foundation committed $3.5 million to restore an 80 by 100 foot "America Tropical" mural on Olvera Street in Los Angeles that was painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 2006, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation announced a $2 million fund "to aid New Orleans's visual arts organizations".
As of June 2008, the Foundation has four priorities for grants:
"Strengthening art history as a global discipline"
"Promoting the interdisciplinary practice of conservation"
"Increasing access to museum and archival collections"
"Developing current and future professionals and leaders"
In the summer of 2011, the foundation is funding Multicultural Undergraduate Internships at 70 Los Angeles-area museums and visual arts organizations. The internships seek to attract into museum and visual arts organizations students from historically underrepresented groups: people of African American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander descent.
A major Getty initiative for 2011-12 is Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, is an unprecedented collaboration that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.