This is a shocker. The press release is not online at this writing. [UPDATE: It’s now here.]
Here are the highlights:
GETTY MUSEUM DIRECTOR MICHAEL BRAND STEPS DOWN
LOS ANGELES – James N. Wood, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, announced today that Dr. Michael Brand has elected to step down as director of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the end of January. He will be available to serve as a consultant through the end of the summer. Brand joined the Getty in December 2005 with a five-year contract [which means he was intending to stay at least another year]. Wood said that David Bomford, associate director for collections at the Museum, will serve as interim director of the Museum until Brand’s successor is named.
“I am very proud of what I have been able to achieve in my four years as director of the Getty Museum, especially the successful conclusion of negotiations with Italy and Greece, the establishment of new relationships with sister institutions in Mexico, and opening up the Museum’s exhibition program to non-Western art and contemporary art, as well as an unprecedented level of collaboration with the Getty’s three other programs. I look forward to further pursuing such interests after a break in Los Angeles,” said Brand.
“I am very pleased at how the Getty Museum has continued to mature into a highly innovative and respected art institution since my appointment in 2005, and I want to pay tribute to the incredible professionals with whom I have been privileged to work at the Getty,” he added.
“Dr. Brand not only led efforts to settle issues impacting the Museum’s antiquities collection, he worked to frame a new acquisitions policy for the Getty that squarely addresses provenance issues, and he has been a leader within the profession in this regard. I have every confidence that he will excel in whatever he chooses to do in the years ahead,” said Jim Wood.
Wood said that a search committee to identify Brand’s successor will be formed shortly.
If and when I know more, you’ll know more. Now we know what they’ll all be talking about at the Association of Art Museum Directors’ meeting next week in Sarasota.
UPDATE: More CultureGrrl commentary on this here.