Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.


with 3 comments

The Getty

There have been a lot of announcements from on high lately.  The critics have begun to weigh-in on the recent appointment of Timothy Potts as the new director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.  The Getty also disclosed a list of its highest paid personnel.  Here’s an infographic to help make things easier.

The Trust officers are google image search shy.


Unbeknownst to many is the fact that the Getty is much more than a museum.  The whole Getty is actually a four-armed trust, which is overseen by a board of trustees (the crew in the picture below), and run by the trust officers (the top two levels of the chart).  The Getty has four programs are the Getty Conservation Institute (headed by Tom Whalen), the Getty Foundation (headed by Deborah Marrow), and the Getty Research Institute (headed by Thomas Gaehtgens).

The Board of Trustees is easy to google image search.

Christopher Knight over at the LA Times is a huge opponent to the trust organization. He thinks the Director of the Museum should also be the President and CEO of the Trust.  (James Cuno recently took up this title, so Potts will answer to him.)  The Trust arrangement makes the museum “first among equals” as Knight calls it, but does not make the museum tantamount, which in my opinion is a good thing.  The three others programs’ initiatives and activities don’t need to be influenced by the activities of the museum.  Another argument Knight makes is that the Trust arrangement is not the vision of the original donor J. Paul Getty.  But I would argue that the Trust arrangement is not so far from the donor’s intent.  And come on, they had to figure out a way to spend all that Getty oil money.

– H.I.

I had to.

P.S. Govan remains the best paid (and sexiest) museum director in LA; LACMA pays him $915,000 to keep him around.

P.P.S. Speaking of LACMA, it’s finally happening!

3 Responses

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  1. oh he is not bad on the eyes!


    February 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

  2. I agree with Christopher Knight. The museum needs to be tantamount. The Getty is a mess and it’s this constant juggling of different departments which I suspect as the reason why the museum has let so many great masterpieces pass it by. The objective should be to first build a great museum, which was Getty’s intent, not to make all departments equal to one another. That’s an objective the museum should have reached about a decade ago. Why is it still languishing behind? And LA is still waiting for a world-class museum.


    March 12, 2012 at 9:37 PM

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