Getty Research Institute Acquires Frank Gehry Archive

Frank Gehry, model for Sirmai-Peterson House, 1983–88.FRANK GEHRY PAPERS AT GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Frank Gehry, model for Sirmai-Peterson House, 1983–88.


The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles has acquired the archive of the architect Frank Gehry. The acquisition is part gift, part purchase, and includes 30 years of materials related to Gehry’s designs.

Gehry’s archive features some 120,000 working drawings, 100,000-plus slides, and 1,000 sketches, as well as personal correspondence, office records, and the digital files the architect used while designing some of his most famous buildings.

Gehry is one of the world’s most important postmodern architects. His designs, which were the subject of a 1988 Whitney Museum retrospective, are considered reactions to the harsh functionalism of modernist buildings. He is known for his buildings that feature giant geometric forms that appear smashed together, so as to create a hodgepodge of forms that serve virtually no purpose, and also for flipping off the press in 2014.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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