J. Paul Getty Trust Receives $5 Million Gift for Conservation Efforts

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • November 09, 2017

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John and Louise Bryson at the Mogao Grottoes, the site of a Getty Conservation Institute project, in 2008.

The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today an unprecedented $5 million gift from philanthropists John E. Bryson and Louise Henry Bryson to establish a new endowed fund supporting the important global work of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). 

The new fund, to be known as the John E. and Louise Bryson Fund for the Getty Conservation Institute, will support all aspects of the Getty Conservation Institute’s work. In recognition of the Brysons’ generosity, the title of the position of the Director of the Getty Conservation Institute will be renamed as the John E. and Louise Bryson Director, Getty Conservation Institute. This is the Getty’s first named directorship.

The Brysons are longtime supporters of the Getty.  Louise Bryson served on the Board of Trustees for the J. Paul Getty Trust for twelve years, including four as Chair of the Board.  She was made Chair Emerita in 2010. The Brysons are active members of the Trust’s President’s International Council and Getty Conservation Institute Council, of which she is chair.

“As the former chair of the Getty Board of Trustees and a founding member of the GCI Council, Louise Bryson knows firsthand the critical work that the GCI undertakes to advance the field of cultural heritage conservation,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, current chair of the Getty Board of Trustees. “The Brysons’ gift will make a major impact that will be felt around the world.”

Getty President and CEO James Cuno said the gift is a leading example of the importance of the Getty’s recent development efforts.  “The Getty has ambitious aims across all four of our Programs; and we simply can’t do everything we’d like to do without significant gifts like this one from the Brysons,” he said. “John and Louise’s support affirms the world leadership of the Getty Conservation Institute and of its Director, Tim Whalen.”

Louise Bryson has had a 34-year career in media, serving as president of distribution for Lifetime Television, executive vice president and general manager of Lifetime Movies, and senior vice president at FX Networks. Ms. Bryson is a trustee of seven Capital Management Funds and Pomona College and is on the board at Huntington Memorial Hospital and California Community Foundation. She was chair of KCET in Los Angeles, and a former member of the PBS National Board.

John Bryson served as U.S. Commerce Secretary under President Barack Obama, and was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change. Earlier in his career, he helped found the National Resources Defense Council and served as the chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board and president of the California Public Utilities Commission before leading Edison International for nearly 20 years.

“John and I are deeply committed to the mission of the Getty, and passionate about the work of the Getty Conservation Institute in particular,” said Ms. Bryson. “We are pleased to make this gift to allow the GCI to pursue its conservation work in a world where cultural heritage is increasingly at risk.”

The Getty Conservation Institute works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts.  It serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the dissemination of conservation knowledge and information. The Institute works with partners worldwide to identify, address, and develop answers to significant questions that further cultural heritage conservation practice.  From conserving ancient Roman mosaic pavements in the Middle East, to developing treatments for Louis Kahn’s iconic Salk Institute in La Jolla, to improving the scientific understanding and conservation of twentieth-century artists materials, to identifying more sustainable environmental methods of storing and presenting collections, the work of the GCI seeks to benefit those responsible for preserving the world’s cultural heritage. 

“John and Louise’s remarkable gift will extend the reach of this Institute in ways we had not imagined,” said Tim Whalen, John E. and Louise Bryson Director, Getty Conservation Institute,  “Their commitment to our work is stalwart!  I am honored that the GCI is connected to the consequential activities and interests they have shaped, led, and supported over the decades.  They understand the importance of what we do and its connection to advancing civil society.  I am grateful to them both for their vision and generosity.”  


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