Famous Birthdays

J. Paul Getty: Industrialist, Art Collector, Philanthropist

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J. Paul Getty: Industrialist, Art Collector, Philanthropist

The Industrialist

John Paul Getty was born on December 15th, 1892, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

After graduating from Oxford University with degrees in political science and economics, he returned to the Unites States and made his first million by the age of 23. He began drilling for oil in California in the 1920’s and his fortune continued to grow. After his father’s death in 1930, he became president of the Getty Oil Company and began to purchase other oil companies which he later merged into the Getty Oil Company.

During the 1940’s, Getty invested part of his fortune in an extensive art collection, that he would later share with generations to come. Before we learn more about his love for art, watch his mini biography below.

Art Collector & Philanthropist

My love of fine art increased – the more of it I saw, the more of it I wanted to see.

J Paul Getty

J Paul Getty believed that “art is a civilizing influence in society”, and worked to make art available to everyone. In 1948, he donated pieces from his personal art collection to the Los Angeles Museum of Art, in 1953 he established the museum trust and in 1954 he displayed his collection in is Malibu home. Getty’s mission was to share the art he loved.

In my opinion, an individual without any love of the arts cannot be considered completely civilized.

J Paul Getty

The Museum

Living in Southern California has its perks. We’ve had the opportunity to visit The Getty Center a few times, and we have seen beautiful works of art. If you’re anywhere near the Getty Center or the Getty Villa, I highly recommend you pay them a visit, however if you’re too far, the museum’s website has thousands of images of artwork available for download, and a great deal of resources, including hundreds of videos of talks, and collections on their YouTube channel.

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Wether you visit the museum in person or virtually, be sure to check out the top 10 must see things at the Getty Center. On our last visit we spent some time admiring Van Gogh’s Irises, sketching in the gallery and walking through the gardens.

For Further Reading

Full biography

As I See It: The Autobiography of J Paul Getty

The J Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collection

The Roads of the Romans

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