Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Current Press Releases


Dr. Michael Brand to Head the J. Paul Getty Museum

August 15, 2005

Michael Brand


LOS ANGELES—Barry Munitz, president and C.E.O. of the J. Paul Getty Trust, announced today that Michael Brand, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, has accepted the position of Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. In this capacity, he will be the first museum director to oversee two open Getty sites: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the new Getty Villa in Malibu, scheduled to debut in early 2006. Brand will assume responsibility for the acquisition, education, exhibition, service and outreach responsibilities of the Museum and work closely with the directors of the Trust's other three Programs: the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute.

Commenting on the appointment, Munitz expressed his strong support and enthusiasm for the selection. "When the committee began this comprehensive international search several months ago, we were seeking an inspiring and dynamic leader with a commitment to excellence; a strategic thinker, and someone who will be a strong colleague with all the Trust's activities. While there were several very qualified candidates, the governing board unanimously endorsed the selection of an individual who has a deep passion for the visual arts, with extensive museum experience, and demonstrated scholarly expertise.

Munitz continued: "Michael is a creative individual with the proficiency, energy and intelligence to represent all of us in our local and global commitments. We are especially impressed with his commitment to community outreach. I look forward to working closely with him as a partner to strengthen even further this remarkable institution."

"I greatly look forward to leading the Getty Museum as it prepares to add the magnificently renovated Villa to its operations," says Brand. "The institution's educational mission, from highly focused academic research to outstanding services and programs for visitors, makes it a unique cultural asset. I am very excited to have the opportunity in my new position to help Los Angeles realize its potential as a greater art center and to help promote the role of art museums internationally.

He adds: "I am also looking forward to further building the Getty's renowned collection and to further expanding the way we use it as the central part of our mission of outreach and service to our various communities. I will be working tirelessly with museum staff to increase our impact through partnerships in Los Angeles, nationally and internationally. This will include the continued development of dynamic exhibitions featuring cutting-edge scholarship and inspiring didactic programs."

Brand joined the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in August 2000 where he has been the driving force behind an extremely successful capital campaign, which was initiated to fund the upcoming museum expansion. To date, this campaign has raised $158 million. Prior to his tenure at VMFA, Brand was the assistant director of the Queensland Art Gallery (1996-2000) in Brisbane, Australia, and the founding head of Asian art at the National Gallery of Australia (1988-1996). He has also been co-director of the Smithsonian Institution Mughal Garden Project in Lahore, Pakistan (1988-1993), a research fellow at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian (1987), and a curator of Asian art at the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design (1985-1987).

Majoring in Asian studies, Brand graduated with honors from the Australian National University in Canberra in 1979. He earned his M.A. in 1982 and his Ph.D. in 1987 from Harvard University.

A native of Australia, Dr. Brand will be joined in Los Angeles by his wife Tina Gomes Brand and their two daughters, ages ten and 13.

The international search for the Getty's new director was managed by Korn/Ferry International.

# # #

Note to editors: Image available on request.
Download Michael Brand's biography (PDF, 44Kb)


John Giurini
Getty Communications Dept.

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. 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 Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.