October 04, 2018

Dr. Tessa Murdoch Receives Getty Rothschild Fellowship

Media Contact(s):

Alexandria Sivak
(310) 440-6473
Getty Communications


Fellowship provides housing and resources to one scholar each year


Dr. Tessa Murdoch

LOS ANGELES – The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation today announced Dr. Tessa Murdoch will be the third recipient of the Getty Rothschild Fellowship. The fellowship supports innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting and conservation, using the collection and resources of both institutions. It offers art historians, museum professionals or conservators the opportunity to research and study at both the Getty in Los Angeles and Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, England.

For 40 years, Dr. Murdoch has specialized in the history of decorative arts with a focus on clocks, furniture, jewelry, sculpture, gold and silver. She has particular expertise in Huguenot artists, designers and craftsmen, and the influence of the Louis XIV style beyond France. She has held various positions, including curator, keeper, lecturer and writer at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the Museum of London, and the Smithsonian at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design in New York City, among other institutions.

One focus of Murdoch’s work during the fellowship will be a publication about Huguenot refugee art and culture from the Reformation to the 18th century. Through the lens of the Huguenot silversmiths established in Northern Europe and North America, this publication will focus on the extraordinary international networks resulting from the diaspora of an estimated 500,000 refugees from France in the late 17th century.  The political, economic and social context for this historical phenomenon is relevant for the 21st century, when the scale of the current refugee crisis is of international concern. The book is scheduled for publication in 2020, and is funded by the Gilbert Trust and produced by the V&A.

The study of silver will extend to other luxury trades in which the Huguenots excelled, in particular the watch and clock making industry.

 “This is a once in a life time opportunity to revisit four decades of research,” said Murdoch.  “Building on the knowledge of world-class collections, I will present the artistic achievements resulting from the Huguenot diaspora for the widest possible readership.”

The selection process for the Getty Rothschild fellowship considers a number of criteria, including whether the applicant’s work would benefit from proximity to the collections and resources of the Getty and the Rothschild Foundation. Fellowships are for up to eight months, with the time split equally between the Getty and Waddesdon Manor. Fellows also receive a stipend during their time at both locations. The fellowship is administered by the Getty Foundation.

Past recipients of the fellowship include Dr. David Saunders and Dr. Thomas P. Campbell.

In 2014, Lord Jacob Rothschild received the Getty Medal for his contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts.




# # #



The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.


The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through strategic grant initiatives, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. It carries out its work in collaboration with the other Getty Programs to ensure that they individually and collectively achieve maximum effect. Additional information is available at


Rothschild Foundation
The Rothschild Foundation is a UK charity chaired by Lord Rothschild.  In addition to its ongoing commitment to Waddesdon Manor, it undertakes major projects and provides financial and other support across a range of interests, in particular arts and heritage.


Additional information is available at

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild from 1874 to display his outstanding collection of arts and to entertain the fashionable world.  It combines the highest quality 18th-century French decorative arts, magnificent English portraits and Dutch Old Master paintings with one of the finest Victorian gardens in Britain, famous for its parterre and ornate working Aviary.  Bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957, Waddesdon is managed by the Rothschild Foundation on behalf of the National Trust.


Additional information is available at

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.