Getty Trust gets new CEO

The board of the Getty Trust announced today that it’s chosen veteran art historian and current director of the Art Institute of Chicago, James Cuno, to take over as Getty Trust president and CEO.

When he takes over in August, Cuno will oversee the Getty’s four branches – its museum, research and conservation institutes and grant-making foundation. The Getty’s nearly $5 billion endowment is the largest of any arts institution in the United States.

“Jim’s background as a scholar and arts leader, and as a proven executive at major arts institutions in the United States and Great Britain, made him an ideal candidate to lead the J. Paul Getty Trust,” said Getty trustee Mark Siegel in a written statement.

“I have the highest regard for the many contributions the Trust has made to the presentation, preservation, and study of works of art and architecture in Los Angeles and around the world," Cuno said in a statement released by the Getty. "There is no other institution like it. Its staff, facilities, and collections are justly renowned and I look forward to working with the Board and senior staff to advance the Trust’s important, groundbreaking work.”

Cuno takes over at a pivotal point in the organization’s history. Stability has returned to the hilltop compound in Brentwood.

Administrators signed agreements and worked out art exchanges with the governments of Italy and Greece to settle lengthy allegations that the museum purchased looted antiquities years ago. The institution’s budget is stable after the economy forced administrators to lay off about a hundred employees and cut department spending by 25 percent.

The Getty is months away from launching its most ambitious arts undertaking in recent memory. It has helped to fund and coordinate a six-month series of exhibitions across Southern California called Pacific Standard Time. The gallery and museum shows will chronicle how Southern California developed after World War II into its current status as the most exciting arts-producing region in the world.

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