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December 27, 2010

J. Paul Getty's Diaries

Getty_diaries_march29

The diaries, which have just been made available online, cover almost four decades of the oilman's life, from 1938 until just before his 1976 death.

I'm thinking a person could learn an awful lot from them and I'm going to bookmark the site on my iPad for reading whenever and wherever I happen to have a few minutes.

Up top, entries for March 29-30, 1952.

Hugh Eakin's December 24, 2010 New York Times story features excerpts from the diaries.

Wrote Eakin, "While no one has ever quite pinned down Citizen Getty, his journals — he kept a daily record of his activities and thoughts that eventually spanned thousands of single-spaced pages in 29 black ring binders — suggest there was a good deal more to the man than the bargain-hunting oil baron of legend. 'I don’t think there is any other record to this extent of a major 20th-century collector,' said Inge Reist, director of the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Collection in New York."

"For many years the diaries were inaccessible, caught in a legal tug of war between Getty heirs and a manuscripts dealer. With that dispute resolved, however, the Getty Trust was able to buy them this year, and the Getty Research Institute, the art research arm of the trust, is posting them on the Getty’s Web site."

"Though few of the diary entries may challenge the view that Getty 'hated soul-searching personal revelations,' as a biographer wrote, much can be read into his offhand comments about people, politics, business dealings and favorite artworks, as well as about the prices he paid (usually too high in his view) for everything from a haircut to dinner at Maxim’s. By turns affectless and opinionated, they offer a glimpse into the mind of one of the last great exponents of the robber-baron era."

You can look inside

Getty_diaries_cover

one volume here.

December 27, 2010 at 04:31 PM | Permalink


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Comments

Yee! Similar to panning for gold. It'll have to be dug out.

Posted by: Kay | Dec 28, 2010 11:11:41 PM

And, that he was OCD....

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Dec 28, 2010 12:27:51 PM

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