Getty Research Institute
The Getty Research Institute exists to bring together all the resources and activities required to advance understanding of the visual arts taken in their widest possible significance.
The Institute has developed special collections of original documents and objects from the Renaissance to the present and a superb general art library, both of them growing according to the changing needs of researchers. An international residential scholar program each year brings together some of the best minds from all disciplines to address and debate themes of particular intellectual urgency. Institute publications, both print and electronic, disseminate the work of the Institute and foster innovative research. The databases that the Institute produces provide comprehensive and accurate information for researchers, librarians, and museum professionals all over the world. Cataloging tools and personal assistance ensure the best access to information for both resident and extended communities. In addition, exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and lectures give compelling expression to innovative scholarship and thought.
The Institute uses STAR to provide web-based access to a number of publicly accessible databases.
The Provenance Index databases contain information related to the history of collecting and the provenance of individual works of art, primarily Western European paintings from the 16th to the 20th century. The databases, which contain indexed transcriptions of archival documents, sale catalogs, and museum provenance files from all over the world, help establish the history of ownership of works of art.
The Photo Study Collection database contains approximately two million photographs, primarily black and white, that document works of art and architecture. The database represents approximately half of the Institute's photographic holdings.
The Collectors Files database comprises about 20,000 folders with information on international collectors, dealers, auctioneers, and art institutions from the late Middle Ages to the present.
The Goupil & Cie Stock Books database contains more than 43,700 records corresponding to ledgers from the Parisian main office of Goupil & Cie, a central force on the French art market in the 19th century, and their successors Boussod, Valadon & Cie. The database provides such information as the dates of acquisition, dealer's costs, names of purchasers, dates of sales, and selling prices for about 30,000 works of art bought and sold by the gallery from 1846 to 1919. Each database record is linked to an image from the page of the stock book from which the data were taken.
The Payments to Artists database contains approximately 1,000 payments to artists recorded in Rome between 1576 and 1711. During the past few decades, art historians have increasingly recognized the importance of economic factors in the making, selling, and display of art. Data that documents payments to artists--as opposed to resale prices or inventory evaluations--is the primary means for analyzing the socioeconomic lives of painters in early modern Europe.