Director of the Getty Museum steps down

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Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Brand, director of the famed Getty museum in Los Angeles. File photo.

The Getty Museum announced Thursday that its director is leaving the job at the end of this month.

Four years into his five-year contract, Michael Brand has decided to resign from daily operations at the museums in Brentwood and Malibu.

As director, Brand oversaw acquisitions, exhibitions and outreach at the two museums. He steered the Getty through negotiations over the ownership of Greek and Italian antiquities in its collections, and opened one of this country’s largest exhibition spaces devoted to photography.

But in the economic downturn, the Getty Trust’s $6 billion endowment lost more than a quarter of its value. That meant that Michael Brand also had to preside over dozens of staff layoffs, higher parking fees for visitors and program cuts

He told museum staff in a memo that he’s pleased to have created an atmosphere in which robust debate shaped the creative process. Brand plans to work as a consultant to the Getty through the summer as the institution locates his successor.

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