In case it wasn’t “interesting” already, this just in from David Ng of the LA Times (who couldn’t get departing Getty director Michael Brand to comment about his reasons for leaving):
Brand, who turns 52 on Saturday, said he would continue to receive his salary until December, when his contract expires.
He said he would also have access to the Getty-owned museum director’s residence, where he lives rent-free.
Did he receive any other concessions from the Getty, in exchange for which he perhaps promised not to discuss what prompted him to leave a post that, from all appearances, he loved? Inquiring minds what to know.
In particular, we want to know why it is deemed a nonprofit institution’s appropriate expense to pay a year’s worth of salary and free housing to an official who has (if we are to believe the public statements) elected, of his own accord, to quit. Did he have cause? The “cause,” if any, may have been as simple as another proposed salary cut, due to the Getty Trust’s financial constraints, which he refused to accept. We just don’t know.
My own feverishly imaginative mind has started having traumatic flashbacks to the departure from the same post of Deborah Gribbon, now interim director of the Cleveland Museum. Like Deborah, Michael has always struck me as a person of principle. I could be wrong. We just don’t know.
What I do know is that someone needs to tell us more than “no comment” about what’s going on at the Getty.