We are delighted to announce that the J. Paul Getty Trust has donated a $5 million endowment grant to The Courtauld Institute of Art to support our graduate programme in wall painting conservation.
The Courtauld is the only university in the English-speaking world where students can obtain a research-led education in wall painting conservation. The grant will specifically support scholarships and practical education on wall paintings in the field – both in Britain and abroad – for Master’s level students. The Getty Conservation Institute has been a partner with The Courtauld’s wall paintings conservation programme since its inception.
“The significance and importance of wall paintings to our understanding of art history and culture in general cannot be overstated,” says Tim Whalen, John E. and Louise Bryson Director of the Getty Conservation Institute. “The Courtauld’s programme plays an indispensable role in ensuring that new wall paintings conservators are trained and equipped with the critical skills necessary to meet the challenges of this discipline. No other organization has so comprehensively and rigorously embraced this responsibility.”
“The J. Paul Getty Trust is among The Courtauld’s longest standing advocates and supporters, and enabled The Courtauld to establish a unique programme of wall painting conservation 34 years ago,” says Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art. “Wall paintings form a major part of the world’s cultural heritage and our programme continues to set the gold standard for the training of wall paintings conservators worldwide. We are honoured to receive this visionary grant, which will support this important programme at The Courtauld for generations to come.”
The Courtauld’s MA programme in Wall Paintings Conservation is truly unique. Small and rigorous, the programme accepts just eight students from countries around the world. Its graduates have gone on to roles at leading institutions of global prominence including International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) China; the Getty Conservation Institute; and English Heritage. Field-based training is fundamental to The Courtauld’s training of wall painting conservators from the start and students gain experience on sites of global importance throughout their three-year degree. Over the past decade, students have working in India, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Malta, Georgia and in England.
Wall painting conservation has long been a focus of the Getty Conservation Institute. Its projects have relied on team members with specialized training in the conservation of wall painting, many of whom received their training at The Courtauld. The Getty Conservation Institute wall painting projects have included the tombs of Nefertari and Tutankhamen in Egypt, the Mogao Grottoes in China, the House of the Bicentenary at Herculaneum in Italy, and David Alfaro Siqueiros’ mural América Tropical in Los Angeles, California, among others.