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Guide to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa Construction Records, 1960, 1964, 1968-1986 and undated (bulk 1971-1974)
IA10001  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative History
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Getty Villa construction records
    Date (inclusive): 1960, 1964, 1968-1986, undated (bulk 1971-1974)
    Number: IA10001
    Creator/Collector: J. Paul Getty Museum
    Physical Description: 41.4 linear feet (30 boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 3 photo albums, 6 flat file drawers)
    Repository:
    The Getty Research Institute
    Institutional Records and Archives
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    archives@getty.edu
    Abstract: Correspondence, reports from the architects and builders, legal and financial documents, blueprints and models, photos, printed matter and oral histories, dating 1960, 1964, 1968-1986, undated (bulk 1971-1974) concern the design and construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Villa).
    Request Materials: To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy . See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Administrative History

    After considering various options for expanding his ranch house in Malibu California which had served as a private museum since 1954, J. Paul Getty decided in the fall of 1968 to build a new museum on the same property, in the form of a first-century Roman country house, based primarily on the plans of the ancient Villa dei Papiri just outside of Herculaneum. The archaeologist Norman Neuerburg, who had studied the ruins of Herculaneum and was an authority on Roman domestic architecture, was retained as a consultant for the project. The Santa Monica firm Langdon & Wilson was hired as architect, and Stephen Garrett, who had served as Getty's consultant in the remodeling of a Getty home in Posillipo, Italy, was retained as overseer of the construction. Landscape architect Emmet Wemple designed the gardens, Garth Benton worked on the murals, and Bruce Ptolomy worked on the fountains. The construction itself was done by Dinwiddie Construction Co., with various subcontractors. Construction began on December 21, 1970, and the new museum opened to the public on January 16, 1974. Despite the enthusiastic public response, mixed critical response questioned the decision to recreate an ancient building.
    Upon the death of Mr. Getty and the subsequent establishment of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Getty Villa became part of a larger vision. The Villa was redesigned by architects Machado and Silvetti Associates and reopened in 2006. While most of the Museum's collections are housed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the antiquities collection is still housed at the Villa. The Getty Villa serves a varied audience through the permanent collection, changing exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research, and public programs in an intimate setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Public and scholarly programs at the Villa include lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, symposia, film series, musical concerts, and theatrical performances in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Outdoor Classical Theater.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    The records described in accessions 1986.IA.19, 1986.IA.36, 1987.IA.02, 1987.IA.03, 1987.IA.24, and 2009.IA.28 are available for use by qualified researchers.
    The records in accession 1986.IA.08, subject to review for permanently closed information, are open to qualified researchers. Requests for access will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    The following records are permanently closed: records containing personal information, records that compromise security or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors. The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the right to restrict access to any records held by the Institutional Archives.

    Restrictions on Use

    Contact Rights and Reproductions   at the Getty Research Institute for copyright information and permission to publish.

    Preferred Citation

    [Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Villa Construction Records, 1960, 1964, 1968-1986, undated, J. Paul Getty Museum. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA10001.

    Acquisition Information

    Assembled from the following acquisitions:1986.IA.08; 1986.IA.19; 1986.IA.36; 1987.IA.02; 1987.IA.03; 1987.IA.24; 2009.IA.28; and 2013.IA.35.

    Processing History

    In May 2003, Processing Archivists Phil Curtis and Jesse Rossa produced inventories of the original accessions relating to the J. Paul Getty Museum construction (1986.IA.08; 1986.IA.19; 1986.IA.36; 1987.IA.02; 1987.IA.03; and 1987.IA.24), overseen by Ian Johnston, Assistant Archivist. Phil Curtis produced a series outline and preliminary inventory of the combined collections in June 2003, and subsequently physically reordered the collection and produced the present finding aid, completed in July 2003. Nancy Enneking encoded the finding aid in EAD and completed the processing in the Fall of 2004. Katie Duvall processed accession 2009.IA.28 and added it to the finding aid in 2012. Cyndi Shein added 2013.IA.35 in 2013.

    Related Archival Materials Note

    The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.
    Contributing Institution: Getty Research Institute Special Collections
    Collection of Norman Neuerburg's documents relating to the construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970-1987 (call number 870517).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Records consist of correspondence, memoranda, reports, legal and financial documents, drawings, blueline drawings, minutes, architectural models, photographic images, notes, printed matter, audiocassette tapes, lists, articles, clippings, indexes, contracts, drafts, amendments, permits, deeds, oral histories, and a bond, dating 1960, 1964, 1968-1986, undated (bulk 1971-1974), pertaining to the conceptual development and construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Villa). Norris Bramlett, Stephen Garrett, Langdon & Wilson, Norman Neuerburg, are especially prominent in the collection. Much of the correspondence consists of copies of outgoing letters and original incoming letters maintained by either Bramlett or Garrett; discussions concern Villa design, construction, maintenance, landscaping and irrigation, boundaries and easements, security, and various administrative and staff issues. Reports include material produced by Garrett for J. Paul Getty, site studies submitted to Langdon & Wilson, Architects, and "Specifications for Construction of the J. Paul Getty Museum" (and additional bulletins) produced by Langdon & Wilson. Legal documents include permits, permissions, and inspections required by the City of Los Angeles, a performance bond, guarantees and warranties, and contracts with the consultants and companies. Architects and consultants budgets record the budget estimates, invoices, and expenses of the architects and consultants who worked on the Villa construction project.
    Dinwiddie Construction Co. records include minutes and supporting documentation summarize meetings held by Dinwiddie Construction Co. and attended by various contractors and consultants, job diaries filled out by the Dinwiddie site superintendent to document the ongoing construction, schedules, and budget, billing, and payroll files. An incomplete set of blueline prints and architectural drawings were created for the Villa construction project by Langdon & Wilson, the primary architects, and by Stephen Garrett, John S. Gregory Co, Emmet Wemple, Garth Benton, and David Wilkins. The drawings were used to describe, in technical detail, various aspect of the Villa building, from the overall site plan to cross-sectional views and to details of both mosaic floors and plumbing schematics.
    Additional records include models representing the Decorative Arts Period Rooms of the Villa museum, photographs documenting the entire construction process, oral histories describing the development of the Villa, and a few printed materials.

    Organization

    The collection is organized into ten series: Series I. Correspondence, 1968-1981; Series II. Reports, 1968-1974; Series III. Legal, 1968-1975; Series IV. Architect and consultant budgets, 1968-1976; Series V. Dinwiddie Construction Company records, 1970-1975; Series VI. Blueline prints and architectural drawings, 1964, 1968, 1970-1977, undated; Series VII. Models, 1972-1973, 1987, undated; Series VIII. Photographs, 1969-1974, 1976, undated; Series IX. Oral and written histories, 1972, 1980, 1986; Series X. Printed matter and notes, 1960, undated.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Frel, Jiří
    Neuerburg, Norman

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Getty Villa (Malibu, Calif.)
    J. Paul Getty Museum

    Subjects - Topics

    Architecture--Decision making
    Architecture--Designs and plans
    Architecture--Roman influences
    Art museum architecture
    Art museums--Design and construction
    Art--Exhibition techniques
    Building materials
    Building sites--Planning
    Building--Details
    Building--Equipment and supplies
    Building--Estimates
    Buildings--Environmental engineering
    Buildings--Specifications
    Contractors' operations
    Landscape construction
    Museums--Security measures
    Nonprofit organizations--Buildings
    Servitudes
    Zoning

    Subjects - Places

    Malibu (Calif.)

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Amendments (administrative records)
    Architectural records
    Audiocassettes
    Blueline prints
    Bonds (legal records)
    Building permits
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Contracts
    Correspondence
    Deeds
    Drafts (documents)
    Drawings (visual works)
    Financial records
    Indexes (reference sources)
    Legal documents
    Lists
    Memorandums
    Minutes
    Models (representations)
    Notes
    Oral histories (document genres)
    Photographs
    Reports
    Reprographic copies

    Contributors

    Bramlett, Norris
    Dinwiddie Construction Company
    Fredericksen, Burton B.
    Garrett, Stephen, 1922-
    Getty, J. Paul (Jean Paul), 1892-1976
    Langdon and Wilson Architects
    Wilson, Gillian, 1941-