The safety systems at the Getty have always fascinated me. I am constantly discovering mounting systems and such which are so subtle – as they should be – that they don’t impact the enjoyment of the artwork at all. – Douglas
The Hidden Engineering Protecting Getty Art from Earthquakes
If you’ve ever watched a vase or picture frame shatter after an accidental bump, you can imagine how devastating an earthquake could be to an art museum.
Both the Getty Center and Getty Villa are located just a few miles from the Santa Monica, Sylmar, Inglewood, and Hollywood fault lines, and just over 40 miles from the San Andreas fault.
Our staff members have become experts in the field of museum earthquake safety. They’ve collaborated with cultural institutions from countries such as Greece and Italy to help protect art in earthquake zones. Other international efforts include the Getty Conservation Institute’s 10-year conservation project to help stabilize earthen buildings in Peru. Here at home, we continue to improve our own seismic safety techniques; for example, after the 1994 Northridge earthquake hit the Getty Center while it was under construction, Getty engineers quickly developed improvements that influenced building codes and inspection practices across the industry.
Here’s how we keep objects secure when the earth starts moving.
Read The Hidden Engineering Protecting Getty Art from Earthquakes