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Getty Institute Receives Frank Gehry’s Archives Spanning 30 Years

Los Angeles-based Getty Research Institute has recently received “The Frank Gehry Papers”, a vast archive collection of sketches, drawings, models, slides, and ephemera by architect Frank Gehry. The archive reviews the architect’s earliest works since his graduation, the Romm House, in 1958 up till the Walt Disney Concert Hall competition which gained him international fame in 1988. Gehry Partners LLP provided the Getty Research institute with 30-year-worth of work as a part gift and part purchase.

“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,” said Frank Gehry. “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.”

Frank Gehry, Greber Studio, Sketch1967, unbuilt, Beverly Glen, California, Frank Gehry Papers at the Getty Research Institute, © Frank O. Gehry.

The collection acquired by the institute includes about 1,000 sketches, 120,000 working drawings, 100,000 slides, 168 partial models, and 112 presentation models associated with 283 projects conducted by the architect. It also includes 100s of boxes containing office records, personal papers and correspondence, and digital files which document Gehry’s work in the development of design software platforms.

“Frank Gehry is undoubtedly the world’s most famous living architect. 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,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Institute of Research.

Frank Gehry, Sirmai-Peterson House, Model, 1983-1988 Thousand Oaks, California, Frank Gehry Papers at the Getty Research Institute, © Frank O. Gehry.

Gehry is a Canadian-born American architect. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1954 and then studied City Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He established his firm in 1962, in collaboration with Greg Walsh, and they became famous for their superior utilization of digital software. Among the firm’s most remarkable project are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris. In 1989, Gehry was granted the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious award in the field of architecture. Gehry’s archival collection will be joining those by other notable architecture figures like Zaha Hadid, Philip Johnson, and Pierre Koenig.

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