In 2018, the Getty Foundation launched The Paper Project, a philanthropic initiative to fund the conservation of graphic arts held in museum archives across the country. “The permanent collections which include prints and drawings are the lifeblood of museums, archives and libraries,” said Heather MacDonald, senior program manager at the Getty Foundation, in a press release. “As the cultural sector moves towards post-pandemic reconstruction, institutions have a tremendous opportunity to refocus on their own assets while also investing in the professional growth of their staff. “
As part of this project, the foundation recently awarded more than $ 1.5 million in grants to 19 museums around the world, including the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology at the University of Oxford, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the National Gallery of Slovenia, which will allow them to showcase their collections of illustrated works both in person and online.
In particular, many of the institutions that received grants will produce exhibitions, publications and digital projects with an emphasis on historic architectural drawings. The City Palace Museum of India, for example, received 7,000,000 Indian rupees (US $ 94,000) to showcase its collection of over 2,000 unpublished maps, landscapes and architectural drawings that depict Udaipur, known as “City of Lakes”, over the course of four centuries. “Together, these media provide an opportunity for guest curator Shailka Mishra to study and present changes in the visualization of architecture and landscape over more than two centuries,” says the museum, “retracing how artists from Udaipur responded to transformations in cartographic practice ”.
Closer to home, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood will use the $ 75,000 received by the foundation to organize Drawings ready to print, an exhibition highlighting the innovative use of mechanical pasted documents developed between 1960 and 1980. “Escaping stable categorization as a drawing and not yet printed, the mechanical document is often overlooked despite its ubiquity in architectural practice. post-war period, ”wrote Sarah Hearne, curator of Drawings ready to print. In addition to the original artefacts, the MAK Center will include workshops that will provide a platform for architectural curators to share their knowledge with those of the graphic arts.
The Getty Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Los Angeles-based arts institution that operates the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty Villa in Malibu. The trust has regularly funded the advancement of architectural studies, including through its 2019 initiative which will invest $ 100 million over ten years in site-specific conservation efforts around the world, as well as its full exhibition on Notre Dame Cathedral held at the Getty Center the same year.