The J. Paul Getty Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Joint ownership of the Mapplethorpe collection: Best practices in learning how to share

In 2011, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) jointly acquired a collection of over 2,000 works by Robert Mapplethorpe from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (RMF). This historic acquisition is unique in many ways: not only is this one of the largest single artist gifts of the last decade[1], but the joint ownership of an entire collection by two institutions is unusual. The Getty and LACMA, both Gallery Systems clients, use The Museum System (TMS) for their collections management. By using TMS, they found a way to share and access digital records, assign object numbers and locations for both museums, and properly track insurance and copyright for each individual object.


In planning for the acquisition, the museums identified the main concerns with joint ownership, which included numbering, cataloguing, access, and conservation. Carole Campbell, Former Registrar for Collections Management at the J. Paul Getty Museum, explains, “Since we were taking the lead in this project, we needed to start developing processes and sharing with LACMA, as well as incorporating LACMA’s procedures and policies into ours. As far as cataloguing the collection, it had to be done in a very short time period: one year.” The two museums also needed to establish loan requirements and documents, exhibition procedures, and a system to keep the collection documentation accurate and updated in the future.


Self-Portrait, 1980. Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989). Gelatin silver print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation


During project preparation, the collections teams at both the Getty and LACMA were pleased to see they utilized the TMS collections management system. “TMS made the acquisition easier because we were both using it. The Getty has been managing our collection with TMS since 1999 so we know it inside and out,” explains Carole. By using TMS to mass upload and share data between the organizations, develop workflows needed for loans and exhibitions, and produce reports on the collection, the Getty and LACMA were able to accomplish their goals while meeting their tight deadline.


During the acquisition, the Getty and LACMA generated many solutions for their joint ownership questions. While they both use TMS, they catalogue in slightly different ways and needed to make their data compatible. Carole explains, “We discussed the differences in how we catalogue, and where we put information in TMS. There were certain things we agreed to do in the same way. For example, ensuring object numbers, object IDs, and constituent IDs are in each other’s system.”

To accession the collection, Carole used a custom Microsoft Access upload program developed by the Getty to mass upload to TMS, rather than entering each object individually, saving considerable time. The museums established that the Getty would be the primary data site, so once the collection data was in place, it needed be exported from the Getty’s database and uploaded to LACMA’s. Carole explains the process, “I worked together with LACMA, and accessed a test database at the Getty to match LACMA’s version of TMS…I created the table in Excel, which emulated LACMA’s data structure, so data was exported in a format that made it easy for them to upload.”


Poppy, 1988. Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989). Dye imbibition print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

To solve the challenges with loan processes, Carole worked with the team at LACMA to design a workflow for lending agreements. “We put a loan moratorium in place for a full year and agreed not to send out any loans,” explains Carole, “During that time period, we worked to adjust our forms in TMS for joint ownership and to include specific wording for the Mapplethorpe loans.”

Similar to loan issues, the Getty and LACMA also had to make decisions about handling exhibitions. Carole explains that the established workflow  simplifies the process for shipping objects and pulling objects lists for the collection:

We use our TMS List views to do exports for exhibitions, and because TMS recognizes co-ownership objects, it actually prints the LACMA numbers automatically. List views and reports in TMS are essential for us. We can export data to different formats for LACMA, we can generate reports when people need them, and we can post statistics from TMS to track workflow. Additionally, we can see how many requests we’ve had for loans from the Mapplethorpe collection, and their current status.

The Getty and LACMA are prepared to periodically swap data changes to keep their respective object records consistent. To date, the Getty has provided data to LACMA by exporting the Getty’s current data out of TMS, to Excel, then comparing the export to the last export sent to LACMA. Changes between the two exports are automatically highlighted, and only those changes are sent to LACMA for input. “The exchange of data has really improved how we work back and forth to manage the collection,” says Carole.

TMS has also helped both institutions in ways they hadn’t originally anticipated. The methods of communication utilized by the Getty and LACMA have not only smoothed the complexities of joint ownership, but have helped to develop relationships among the staff at the two institutions. “I can’t tell you how much we communicate with each other now!” laughs Carole. By sharing best practices, the Getty and LACMA are learning from each other, making solid multi-institutional partnerships, and working together to preserve a historic collection. “We’re sharing the same system and the data between the two of us: we can communicate well together in TMS, so we set each other to be in sync…having the same database and communicating in the same data language is really helpful.”

[1] James Crump, “LACMA, Getty to share Robert Mapplethorpe artwork” Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2011.





2017-02-07T13:53:06+00:00 By |Case Studies, Registrars|27 Comments

About the Author:

Cat Bradley
Cat Bradley became part of the Gallery Systems team in 2016, and has a background in art museums and diversity policy for nonprofits. Cat holds an MA from the University of Oregon in Arts Administration for marketing, a grad certificate in Nonprofit Management, and a BA from the University of Central Florida in Art History, specializing in public art and 20th Century Mexican Art. When she’s not writing case studies or analyzing market data, you can find her wandering the art museums and galleries of New York City, squeezing veggies at the Union Square Famers Market, or playing the ukulele at open mic night on the Lower East Side.


  1. Gabriella September 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    You have made some decent points there. I checked
    on the web for more info about the issue and found most people will go
    along with your views on this web site.

  2. szybkie chwilůwki online nowe September 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this.
    You should proceed your writing. I’m confident,
    you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  3. Jkosrah September 20, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    comprare cialis visa electron

    [url=]cialis price[/url]


    politique de cialis now

  4. Fredrick September 20, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I know this website gives quality dependent articles and other data, is
    there any other site which gives such data in quality?

  5. nts jobs September 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a material!

    existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.

  6. szybkie chwilówki na 60 dni za darmo September 20, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your
    weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it
    yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a
    great blog like this one these days.

  7. tarot gratuit argent aufeminin September 20, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    signification tarot indien femme actuelle tarot gratuit argent aufeminin carte tarot gitane astro
    tarot gratuit regle tarot 5 meilleur site tarot divinatoire gratuit fft tarot forum tarot mariage 2016 gratuit tirage tarot runique
    tarot oracle belline amour signification carte tarot persan carte tarot verite tarot gratuit en ligne immediat tarot oui et non astro tarot femme actuelle tarot tarot rtl televizija
    tarot croix celtique interpretation tirage tarot amour gratuit serieux
    tarot multijoueurs en ligne apprendre a jouer aux tarots tirage tarot en ligne lambert voyance et tarot
    carte tarot verite tarot feminin marie claire tarots marseille avenir
    avec le tarot tarot 3 bouts dans le meme pli amour tarot marie claire regle du
    jeu tarot a 6 tarot wikipedia regle tirage tarot en ligne gratuit lambert tirage tarot belline
    amour marcio lambert tarot tarot travail gratuit 2011 tarot 1 carte
    gratuit fox tarot 4.2.1 gratuit comment tirer le tarot divinatoire tirage tarot amoureux gratuit en ligne tirage tarot tzigane amour tarot cartomancie
    en ligne gratuit voyance gratuite avec carte tarot tirage tarot amour
    immediat tarot sans email gofeminin tarot jeu carte tarot en ligne tirage tarot marseille gratuit
    aufeminin signification lame tarot justice tarots tirage tarot gratuit travail 2015

  8. cheap auto shipping September 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    If you are going for most excellent contents like
    myself, just go to see this site all the time as
    it provides feature contents, thanks

  9. Zetia Coupon September 20, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Hey nice post! I hope it’s alright that I shared this on my Facebook, if not, no
    problem just let me know and I’ll remove it.
    Either way keep up the great work.

  10. September 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Andy enables you to use smartphone and pill in conjunction with your desktop and also you play Subway Surfers on your COMPUTER.
    From any desktop browser, apps will be simply downloaded directly to Andy OS.

  11. Maryellen September 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you’re
    utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must
    say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price?

    Kudos, I appreciate it!

  12. Jkosrah September 21, 2017 at 12:10 am

    online apotheke cialis levitra

    [url=]buy cialis online[/url]

    buy cialis

    cialis angine

  13. Renegade 2018 September 21, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Fantastic website. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending
    it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.

    And certainly, thank you for your effort!

  14. tarot magazine September 21, 2017 at 1:19 am

    tarot cartomancie tarot magazine tirage tarot gratuit cartomancie tirage tarot gratuit et immediat persan tarot voyance gratuit tirer carte
    tarot apprendre accurate tarot dring voyance tarot tarot avenir famille tirage tarot gratuit en ligne immediat numerologie tarot avenir gratuit tarot divinatoire comment lire le tarot persan tirage
    tarot iza pierre tarot virtuel astuce tarot gratuit 2012 tarot signification carte justice le mat
    tarot logiciel tarot divinatoire tarot du jour prenom tarot cancer mai 2015 association soleil diable tarot tarot
    gratuit sur l amour tarot carte 3 carte tarot voyance gratuite jeu
    tarot divination tarot gratuit en ligne sans inscription association tarot philippe camoin tarot tarots gratuits travail avenir tarot gratuit
    ligne poignee atout tarot 3 tirage carte tarot en croix atout tarot signification tirage tarot gratuit marie claire tarot mat et maison dieu
    tarot argent comptage point tarot a 3 objectif tarot jeu en ligne tarots marie claire gratuit tarot amour marie
    claire gratuit tarot gratuit d’amour tarot reponse
    immediate gratuit mat et ermite tarot tarot 12 mois gratuit tirage tarot gratuit
    travail 2016 tarot finance oui non tarot egyptien tirage gratuit tirage tarot 32 tarot femme actuelle 2013

  15. pma long course 141 September 21, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Undeniably imagine that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the internet the easiest factor to take into account of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked whilst folks think about
    concerns that they just do not recognise about. You managed to hit the
    nail upon the top as well as outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , other people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  16. Read Full Report September 21, 2017 at 1:34 am

    All poker players desire to find the simplest way to
    make money playing poker online. Some players hope that you do have a secret
    “Grail” that may help win. Others believe fortunate. But I
    want to tell that there’s no an smart way in poker on-line.

  17. Corina September 21, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of then its up to
    other visitors that they will assist, so
    here it takes place.

  18. Lebron James shoes September 21, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Nike not too long ago bought off two manufacturers within the division: Bauer Hockey and
    the Starter Brand.

  19. forex auto trade managed missions September 21, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Thanks in faor of sharing such a fastidious idea,piece of witing is nice, thats why i
    have read it entirely

  20. good quality massage chairs September 21, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I really love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you
    make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying
    to create my very own site and want to learn where you got this from
    or exactly what the theme is called. Cheers!

  21. online payday loans September 21, 2017 at 3:17 am – payday loans
    payday loans online
    payday loan

  22. 74715 September 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of info.
    I’m happy that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  23. AIDS conference September 21, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.

    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Many thanks
    Humana People to People is going to work within Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to aid to lower diabetes- related morbidity and death
    rate, and therefore keep the onset of diabetes mellitus within persons at increased
    danger to the disease, by way of early treatments and home-dependent diabetes mellitus treat.
    This project will aim to improve the ways to access healthcare by developing
    the existing process to native wellness laborers
    called ASHAs together with ANMs.

  24. feminin tarot September 21, 2017 at 7:05 am

    tarot multijoueur en ligne feminin tarot tarot gratuit divinatoire marie-claire meilleur tarot amour gratuit tarots belline amour tarot
    marseille interpretation tarot sans email fox tarot
    5 gratuit tarot gratuit du jour asiaflash partie tarot gratuite tarot oui non gratuit
    immediat tarot ange aline pasqui tarot ff gratuit tarot gratuit ligne tarot en ligne immediat tarot gratuit tirage en croix association carte tarot
    le pape tirage du tarot reponse par oui ou non tirage tarot amour gratuit semaine tarot une carte tirage tarot gratuit avenir jouer tarot a 5 gratuit signification carte justice
    tarot marseille tarot pendu et arcane sans nom tarot gratuit en ligne 123 tarot web tirer tarot gratuit en ligne avenir tarot en ligne tarot diable signification tarots gratuits amour tarot le pendu jouer tarot a 5 gratuit tarot trefle gratuit regle
    tarot excuse au bout tirage tarot explication le tarot lenormand tarot gemeaux 2015 tarot gratuit 2016 en ligne tarot tirage gratuit en croix
    tarot gratuit travail 2015 tirage tarot grtuit art nouveau
    tarot osho satori zen tarot aufeminin tarot tarot youtube tirage tarot divinatoire oui non tirage tarot ton avenir tarot sans tete tarot marie poignee tarot 4 joueurs

  25. webpage September 21, 2017 at 8:09 am

    As the design director for basketball shoes in Nike
    Australia, Leo Chang told us above.White and pure black are two choices for sports activities soles
    that are impressed by the color of dwelling subject
    and visiting subject and the inspiration of the gold particulars in total sequence is from the golden trophy.

  26. موقع لحجز الفنادق September 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Higher to highlight them and cope with them!!

  27. subway surfers hack tool September 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

    If you wish to use other android functions like Whatsapp
    , BBM ,Wechat,Fruit Ninja then most suitable choice is Bluestacks.

Leave A Comment


Join Our Community

Get our best collection management tips, trends and articles in your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thanks for signing up to get industry news and resources delivered straight to your inbox.