Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Sally Hibbard: Forty Years of Change at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Hibbard, Sally
Tewes, Amanda
Sally Hibbard: Forty Years of Change at the J. Paul Getty Museum
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. In this interview, Hibbard discusses her early life and education; joining the staff of the Getty Museum; becoming registrar at the Getty Museum, including duties, on-the-job training, and the impact of the death of J. Paul Getty; building the Registrar’s Department, including developing collections management, rights and reproductions, and exhibitions teams; major exhibitions, including coordinating loans and couriers; participating in the development of emergency plans for the Getty and its collections; work-life balance at the Getty; digitizing registration records; creating organization-wide policies and procedures; coordinating the transfer of collections from the Getty Villa to the Getty Center in the mid-1990s; controversies regarding antiquities; contributing to the field of museum registration, including mentoring graduate students, attending and presenting at conferences, and teaching museum studies courses at University of Southern California and California State University Fullerton; and changes at the Getty, including finances, quality of collections, size of staff, sites of operation, and leadership.
Subject area(s):
Arts and Letters
Interview date(s):
Getty Trust
Sally Hibbard, “Sally Hibbard: Forty Years of Change at the J. Paul Getty Museum,” conducted by Amanda Tewes in 2018, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, under the auspices of the J. Paul Getty Trust, 2019.