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Ann Getty, Publisher and Bicoastal Arts Patron, Is Dead at 79

  • September 20, 2020

In 1985, she and George Weidenfeld, the eminent British publisher, created the Wheatland Corporation (named for her hometown in California) and bought Grove Press, which was famous for its audacity but which was ailing financially.

Under Barney Rosset, Grove had published avant-garde authors like Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Genet and Eugene Ionesco and successfully challenged bans on books that had been deemed obscene, among them “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” by D.H. Lawrence, and “Tropic of Cancer,” by Henry Miller.

Mrs. Getty bought Grove for $2 million, invested some $15 million more and, after ousting Mr. Rosset, folded the companies together as Grove Weidenfeld. In 1993, Grove became an imprint of Atlantic Monthly Press.

“I’m a publisher because it’s a cover for my indulgence,” Mrs. Getty told The New York Times in 1989, when she was president of Grove Weidenfeld. “I love to read all day. But I come from nice Puritan stock, and I grew up believing that you have to work all day, so I made reading my work.”

Ann Gilbert was born on March 11, 1941, in Gustine, Calif., in Merced County, to William Gilbert, who managed a dairy, and Anna (Bekedam) Gilbert. When she was 12, the family moved about 150 miles north to a peach and walnut farm in Wheatland, in the Central Valley.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/17/obituaries/ann-getty-dead.html

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