Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle make transformative gift to Getty Museum

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Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle make transformative gift to Getty Museum
Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle. Photo by Sean Twomey / 2me Studios.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- A transformative gift from Los Angeles philanthropists Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle will establish a permanent endowment fund for the Getty Museum, and will name the Museum directorship the Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty announced today.

The gift, along with the couple’s previous gifts to Getty, make Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle among the most generous donors to Getty since its founding.

Maria Hummer-Tuttle and her husband, Robert Tuttle, are longtime supporters of Getty. Hummer-Tuttle has served on the Getty Board of Trustees for over a decade, including four years as chair of the Board. She has been a strong advocate of the importance of the visual arts throughout the Los Angeles region, and of the significance of Pacific Standard Time, Getty’s regional arts initiative. Hummer-Tuttle served as co-chair and a founding member of the PST Leadership Council at the launch of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945–1980, and again co-chaired the Leadership Council for PST: LA/LA, which highlighted Latino and Latin-American art in Los Angeles.

As Getty Board chair, Maria Hummer-Tuttle oversaw the growth of the annual Getty Medal Dinner and championed the expansion of Getty’s fundraising efforts, including the establishment of the Patron Program and the J. Paul Getty Founder’s Society. Together, the Tuttles have been stalwart supporters of the Getty Museum, sponsoring exhibitions and the Museum Arts Access education program, as well as strong supporters of the Getty Research Institute's African American Art History Initiative. They were founding members of both the Getty Conservation Institute Council and the President’s International Council, the latter of which Maria chairs.

“Maria Hummer-Tuttle helped establish a tradition of philanthropic giving to Getty, and this generous endowment gift will be a fitting legacy,” said David Lee, chair of the Getty Board of Trustees.

Getty President and CEO James Cuno said the gift was another example of the couple’s leadership. “Maria and Bob have been generous supporters for many years. Maria’s passion for Getty, coupled with her astute leadership, has advanced Getty in cultivating broad support and recognition of our work. With this gift they are once again bringing Getty forward.”

Beginning in the 1980s, when she was one of the first women to lead a major law firm, Maria Hummer-Tuttle has had a major impact as a leader and philanthropist, focusing her efforts in the arts, education, sciences, and international affairs.

Among her prolific service on boards and commissions, she is a trustee of Caltech, and a board member of the W.M. Keck Foundation, the International Rescue Committee, and the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies. She is a former board member of the Hammer Museum, the Music Center of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Children's Institute Inc., Mount St. Mary's College, and Scripps College, as well as the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Legal Aid Foundation, among others. Hummer-Tuttle is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Council of MOMA.

With her husband, Robert Tuttle, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s (United Kingdom), she represented the U.S. from 2005 to 2009. During their service in London, Maria wrote a history of Winfield House, the Ambassador’s residence.

Maria Hummer-Tuttle joined the Getty Board of Trustees in 2007 and served as chair from 2015 to 2019. Her Getty board service will conclude in May 2021.

“Bob and I have been honored to help the Getty pursue its global mission to advance understanding, appreciation, and conservation of art,” said Ms. Hummer-Tuttle. “With this gift we hope to strengthen the Getty Museum’s ability to create world-class exhibitions for the Los Angeles region, to advance our work in critical K-12 education programs, particularly for those children most in need, and to enhance our programs in scholarship and conservation.”

With two locations, the Getty Villa in Malibu and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the J. Paul Getty Museum engages diverse local and international audiences through programs of exhibitions, publications, scholarly research, public education, and the performing arts. The Museum also helps conserve artworks around the world and advance innovative conservation treatment and mount-making techniques. Approximately 160,000 local students visit the Museum each year, with nearly three-quarters of them coming from Title 1 schools through Museum Arts Access, the Getty-funded program to provide professionally supported student visits at no cost to schools or students.

“Maria and Bob’s extraordinary generosity will help the Museum to extend significantly its important work in arts education, exhibitions, and other aspects of our mission,” said Museum director Timothy Potts. “We are deeply grateful for the support they have provided to the Museum over the past decade, and I am personally delighted and honored to be the first to serve as the Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director. I know that the staff too will greatly appreciate the confidence that this gift expresses in their ability to set even higher ambitions for the Museum into the future.”

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