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Deborah Marrow, a Getty Leader With Global Reach, Dies at 70

Deborah Marrow in 2012 leading a celebration of interns. She created the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program to help address a lack of racial and economic diversity in the arts.

LOS ANGELES — Deborah...

LOS ANGELES — Deborah Marrow, who as the longest-serving executive at the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the only woman to serve as its president, started far-reaching programs to promote scholarship and diversity in the arts, died on Oct. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 70.

Her husband, Michael McGuire, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

From 1989 until her retirement in 2018, Ms. Marrow led the grant-making arm of the trust, now known as the Getty Foundation. In that role, she shared the Getty’s enormous wealth with cultural institutions around the world, issuing $410 million to art scholars, museums, universities and more by drawing on an endowment now approaching $7 billion.

Most notably, she directed grants of about $28 million to nearly 100 California arts institutions for a research and exhibition project she spearheaded called Pacific Standard Time[1]. The first edition of the project, established to expand scholarship on the growth of the arts in Los Angeles after World War II, culminated in dozens of museum shows and catalogs in 2011. The second edition, in 2017, focused on another underexamined field: Chicano and Latin American art[2].

In the wake of the rioting after the verdict in the Rodney King[3] police-brutality case, Ms. Marrow, in 1993, created the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship[4], a program designed to address a lack of racial and economic diversity in the cultural sphere. The program has paid for some 3,400 undergraduates to work at local art museums and other nonprofit organizations, allowing students who can’t afford unpaid internships to get a foot in the art world.


  1. ^ Pacific Standard Time (
  2. ^ Chicano and Latin American art (
  3. ^ Rodney King (
  4. ^ Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship (

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