December 13, 2011

Acting Getty Museum Director David Bomford to Return to London


MEDIA CONTACT:                 
Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607

LOS ANGELES—James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, today announced that David Bomford, acting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, will leave the Museum on February 1 and return to London where he plans to pursue research, scholarship and writing.  Bomford joined the Getty in April 2007 as Associate Director for Collections and was appointed Acting Museum Director in January 2010.   

The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired a number of major works of art during Bomford’s tenure as acting director, in particular J.M.W. Turner’s masterpiece Modern Rome — Campo Vaccino (1838-39), which went on view at the Museum in March of this year and, recently, a significant work by Édouard Manet, Portrait of Madame Brunet.

As acting director, Bomford oversaw a number of highly acclaimed exhibitions, including Paris: Life & Luxury and Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500.  He also signed an agreement with the Sicilian Ministry of Culture that already has resulted in mutually beneficial cultural collaborations.

“I have been privileged to serve as acting director of the Getty Museum and to have the opportunity to lead an incredible staff.  Whether working with curators as they identified objects to add to our growing collections, interacting with the highly creative teams who work collaboratively to develop the Getty’s internationally recognized exhibitions, or with our dedicated team of educators, my experience has been extraordinarily rewarding in every aspect,” said Bomford. 

“As a scholar of distinction, it is understandable that David would want to return to research and writing and to do so in England where his family resides.  We will miss his many contributions as Associate Director for Collections and Acting Director and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors,” said Cuno.

He continued, “Given that we are in the midst of an active search for the permanent museum director, we thought it best for me to assume the acting directorship.  This is the best way  to learn how the Museum works and what it needs going forward.  I am grateful for the Museum staff’s support at this important time.”

The executive search firm Russell Reynolds was hired in September to lead the search for a permanent director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Prior to joining the Getty, Bomford was senior restorer of paintings at the National Gallery in London.  He is the author of numerous books and articles on conservation and art history, and was a visiting scholar at the Getty Museum in 2005. He has served as Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, visiting professor at both the Churubusco National Institute of Conservation in Mexico City and the Vitae Foundation and Art Museum of Sao Paolo, editor of the international journal Studies in Conservation, and Secretary-General of the International Institute for Conservation.

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

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, and European and American photographs. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

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