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Getty Research Institute Acquires Frank Gehry Archive

The Getty Research Institute announced today that it has acquired architect Frank Gehry’s archive comprising materials from his days as a graduate student in the 1950s to his 1988 competition entry for the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

“Frank Gehry is undoubtedly the world’s most famous living architect,” Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute, said. “This extensive archive, covering the first three decades of his illustrious career, offers an in-depth look at the genesis of Gehry’s distinctive style and includes many of the projects for which he is internationally known.”

The Frank Gehry Papers, which was part purchase and part gift, includes one thousand sketches, more than 120,000 drawings, 100,000 slides, hundreds of boxes of office records, personal papers, and correspondence, and 280 architectural models. In addition, the collection also consists of digital files of designs for the Vitra Museum, the Disney Concert Hall, and the Grand Avenue Project.

“I’m honored by the attention of the Getty Research Institute delving into the history of my work, my beginnings, and other things that I never thought anybody would be interested in,” Gehry said. “I’m very moved that this great institution, with its resources to search for the best examples of creativity in our world, has found me an interesting party. I will be forever grateful.”

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is officially breaking ground on the architect’s 2014 masterplan for the expansion and redesign of the institution, which he began developing in 2006. Director Timothy Rub said, “It’s an extraordinary design and one that both respects the building, but makes it ready for the next one hundred years.”

Selections from the archive will be on view in the upcoming Getty Research Institute exhibition “Berlin/Los Angeles: A Space for Music” on view April 25 through July 30, 2017.