Sally Hibbard is the former chief registrar at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She grew up in San Diego, California, and studied art history at Occidental College in the 1960s and 1970s. Hibbard joined the Getty Museum in 1974 as the secretary to the curator of decorative arts, Gillian Wilson. She became the registrar at the Getty Museum in 1975, leading the Registrar’s Department until her retirement in 2014.
Sally Hibbard’s oral history interview opens a window into the early years at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the effect of Mr. Getty’s passing, and the various ways the organization has grown and changed over the years. Indeed, Hibbard was herself a changemaker at the Getty. She oversaw the development of the Registrar’s Department from a department of one to the backbone of the Getty Museum, with teams specializing in rights and reproductions, collections management, and exhibitions. She also directed the transition from paper to digital records for better management of the Getty’s collections and data.
In her role as chief registrar, Hibbard led the monumental task of moving collections from the Getty Villa to the new Getty Center in Brentwood in the 1990s. This initiative took several years and much planning. Listen as Hibbard recounts the first of these moving days:
Given its locations in the Los Angeles area, the Getty’s sites routinely face natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires. Hibbard participated in discussions about how best to protect collections in the face of these emergencies. Listen as Hibbard recalls emergency preparedness at the Getty:
Explore Sally Hibbard’s oral history and gain important insight into the history of the J. Paul Getty Museum!