Local Couple Make Major Gift to Support Getty Villa Museum

Los Angeles philanthropists Anissa and Paul John Balson have made a landmark gift to establish the Balson Family Endowed Fund, a $5 million fund to support the Getty Villa Museum.

In recognition of the Balsons’ generosity, the title of the senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa will be the Anissa and Paul John Balson II Senior Curator of Antiquities at the Getty Villa Museum. The Fund is the largest to be established at the Villa and will enable ongoing study and display of the art of the ancient world.

The announcement was made earlier this month to guests at the opening of Rubens: Picturing Antiquity at the Getty Villa.

“This donation from Anissa and Paul Balson extends their outstanding record of support for Getty’s programs,” said James Cuno, Getty president and CEO. “We are extraordinarily grateful to Anissa and Paul for their friendship and for their decision to create the Balson Family Endowed Fund.”

The Balsons have been actively engaged in the work of Getty since 2014. Both Anissa and Paul serve on the J. Paul Getty Villa Council, where Paul was Chairman, and on the Museum’s Paintings Council. “We’ve been impressed Getty has placed a new emphasis on the diverse cultures of the ancient world that impacted and inspired the Greeks and Romans, including the Egyptians, Persians, Nubians, and Assyrians,” said Paul J. Balson. “We hope to see more exhibits and programs that bring in new voices and perspectives for these foundational cultures and peoples.” 

“In addition to supporting the excellent curators, conservators, exhibitions, and programs at the Villa,” adds Anissa Balson, “we also want to affirm the global mission of Getty, which funds conservation and scholarly programs around the world and provides grants to many arts organizations and museums.”

Along with their longstanding support of the Getty, Anissa Boudjakdji Balson serves as a trustee of the Hearst Family Trust, a director of the Hearst Corporation, and a director and vice president of the two Hearst Foundations. She is also a trustee of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and formerly a trustee of Marymount High School. Paul John Balson is formerly a director of the Los Angeles Library Foundation, where he chaired the Audit Committee, and formerly a director of the California Oncology Research Institute. In 2001 he founded Balson Capital Management. 

“This generous gift from Anissa and Paul will be truly transformative to the Villa as we deepen our exploration of the classical world and its connections with other ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East,” said Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This will give new impetus and focus to our ambition of providing visitors, both at the Villa and through digital platforms around the world, with a richer appreciation of the importance and legacy of the diverse cultures of antiquity. The research, scholarship, exhibitions, and educational and public programs that it enables will greatly enrich the lives of future visitors for generations to come.”

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have this distinction,” said Jeffrey Spier, who is the newly named Anissa and Paul John Balson II Senior Curator of Antiquities. “We have greatly valued the thoughtful support of the Balsons and enjoyed working with them on the Villa Council to advance this important work.”

Related Posts

It’s Time for the Annual Pacific Palisades HoHoHo!

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Local elves have been busy organizing for Santa’s arrival at the free and festive, all-community celebration on Saturday, December 11...

Gelson’s Annual Toy Drive Kicks Off

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Red bins return December 1-19 at Gelson’s in Pacific Palisades  By Sam Catanzaro Gelson’s annual holiday toy drive returns to...

Over $100K Raised in the Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

Nearly 350 participate in October 24 event at Santa Monica Pier By Sam Catanzaro Over 300 Westside participants raised $127,063...

Into the Labyrinth at the Annenberg Community Beach House This Weekend

November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

Lars Howlett to create two temporary site-specific walkable labyrinths Nov. 13-14 By Sam Catanzaro The Annenberg Community Beach House has...

Firefighters Save Kitten Stowaway

October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

Cat now up for adoption at the West Los Angeles Shelter By Sam Catanzaro LAFD firefighters in Brentwood helped a...

Tommy Kitahata of Palisades Station 69 Named LAFD’s 2020 Firefighter of the Year

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Longtimer firefighters named ​​  Los Angeles Firefighters Association’s 2020 “Firefighter of the Year” By Staff Writer Captain II Tommy Kitahata...

Biologists Tag 99th Mountain Lion in Santa Monica Mountains

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Young female mountain lion found in western part of range By Sam Catanzaro Biologist recently outfitted a young female mountain...

Glass Pumpkin Sale This Weekend Supporting Palisades-Malibu YMCA

October 6, 2021

October 6, 2021

Help Support SMC Art Department, Santa Monica Public Library, Palisades-Malibu YMCA By Staff Writer Santa Monica College will hold a...

Everything counts at Everything Counts for Kids

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Culver City camp combines all aspects of child development into programming By Susan M. Payne As Culver City went into...

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...

Friends of the Palisades Library Holding Summer Creative Writing Contest

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

Theme this year “Help!” By Chad Winthrop The Friends of the Palisades Library is holding a summer writing contest. According...

I Bet You’ve Never Heard Of Santa Monica’s Gambling Boats

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

LA Times reporter Daniel Miller talks about the history of Santa Monica’s infamous gambling boats in this video brought to...

Edify TV: LA County Parks’ Multi Million Dollar Grant Program

June 26, 2021

June 26, 2021

LA County parks stand to benefit from a $33 million grant program. Learn more in this video made possible by...

Edify TV: Westside Tourism Recovering?

June 26, 2021

June 26, 2021

A busy Memorial Day weekend in which local hotel occupancy rates reached their highest levels since the pandemic began has...