The Getty Research Institute has established a Department of Architecture and Design as part of its Research Library to emphasize its vast architecture-related collections and to encourage scholarly and public discourse. The Getty's architectural holdings include more than 30,000 original drawings, 750,000 photographs, nearly 100 models, and various letters, notebooks, records, and posters spanning from 1500 to the present.
Architectural historian Wim de Wit heads the department, with urban designer and practicing architect Christopher James Alexander as associate curator. Under de Wit and Alexander's guidance, the department will explore innovative, contemporary design concepts through exhibitions, publications, lectures, and programs.
"It is the department's goal to continue to play a seminal role on a regional, national, and international level in the worlds of architecture, design, architectural history, and preservation," de Wit said in a statement announcing the new department. Added Alexander, "The department sets an exciting new course for the Getty, which will engage the public's growing interest in all areas of design, from mid-century modernism to the ambitious, computer-aided forms of the 21st century."