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The Joys of Collecting

  • J. Paul Getty

    In 1965, shortly after founding his namesake museum in Malibu, California, J. Paul Getty (1892–1976) penned a reminiscence about "the romance and zest―the excitement, suspense, thrills, and triumphs―that make art collecting one of the most exhilarating and satisfying of all human endeavors."

    Newly republished, this book offers a fascinating portrait of an idiosyncratic and highly personal passion for art. In the late 1920s, Getty writes, "It appeared to me that the days of collecting were just about over. The men who had made their millions...before I'd started in business...had swept up just about everything worthwhile." The onset of the Great Depression changed the landscape dramatically; Getty recounts how his serious acquisitions began in the early 1930s and continued for more than three decades. The text, adorned with revealing anecdotes, covers paintings, antiquities, and decorative arts and furniture, with conversational asides discussing Getty's philosophy of collecting. This personal chronicle reads like an intriguing postcard from a vastly different―and increasingly distant―era.

    J. Paul Getty made his fortune in the oil business and was named the richest living American by Forbes magazine in 1957. He is the author of How To Be Rich (Playboy Press, 1965), The Golden Age (Trident Press, 1968), and As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty(Getty Publications, 2003).

    80 pages
    5 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches
    15 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-1-60606-087-2

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum