The Joys of Collecting by J. Paul Getty: the New Book of the Cahiers Series

Le gioie di collezionare by J. Paul Getty is the latest volume of the Cahiers series – a project born in collaboration with the publishing house Johan & Levi. This book series is dedicated to themes dear to Fondazione Luigi Rovati, such as the collection of art, as well as historical and archaeological research and studies. The book is a collection of anecdotes narrated by one of the most famous American oil entrepreneurs and above all an insatiable collector of art and antiquities, defined in 1957 by Fortune magazine as “the richest man in the United States”.  


J. Paul Getty, fully convinced of the civilizing impact of artworks and the importance of sharing them with the public, enthusiastically describes his “victories”. These memoirs, published for the first time in 1965, offer a brilliant testimony of the collector’s modus operandi, ranging from the study to the selection and acquisition of art masterpieces around the world. They also represent a favored point of view about how J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu was born.


In this compact volume, J. Paul Getty recounts personal anecdotes selecting a series of symbolic artworks ranging from antiquities to furniture and paintings. The author articulates his philosophy of collecting by providing advice and recalling his greatest successes while also encouraging neophytes to face with tenacity the difficulties of art collecting, regardless of the available capital, to follow the lure of an adventure that he himself experienced.


The book is available in Italian on the website of Johan & Levi.