CAROLYN MARSDEN-SMITH AS NEW ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR EXHIBITIONS
Marsden-Smith is currently Head of Exhibitions at the British Museum
LOS ANGELES - The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the appointment of Carolyn Marsden-Smith as Associate Director for Exhibitions. Currently Head of Exhibitions at the British Museum in London, Ms. Marsden-Smith will join the Getty in January 2017.
“Each year, the Getty Museum presents more than twenty exhibitions, both large and small, that engage our diverse audiences with displays of art from ancient to modern and from cultures around the world. The Associate Director of Exhibitions plays a crucial role in developing and implementing these exhibitions, leading a talented team and working across many Museum departments,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, in announcing the appointment. “We are thrilled that Carolyn Marsden-Smith has chosen to join the Getty to serve in this key role. She has both the breadth of experience and the attention to detail necessary to oversee a complex and dynamic program. Her more than sixteen years of experience and success at the British Museum are the ideal platform on which to continue to strengthen the Getty’s exhibition program in the years ahead.”
“I am delighted to be joining Timothy Potts and his team at the Getty,” says Ms. Marsden-Smith. “I am passionate about presenting stories of our shared global history through the visual arts, and in doing so, creating presentations that resonate deeply with diverse audiences. The J. Paul Getty Museum, with its stellar reputation, extraordinary collections and forward thinking, innovative team, seems the perfect place to do this.”
Since 2001, Ms. Marsden-Smith has been part of the exhibitions team at the British Museum in London, most recently in the position of Head of Exhibitions. In that role, she has led the management of the Museum’s exhibitions program, including design and installation. Overseeing a staff of more than twenty, she has been responsible for the planning and development of new exhibitions and the presentation of permanent collection displays. As the United Kingdom’s most visited cultural institution, the British Museum presents approximately twenty exhibitions and displays to nearly 7 million visitors annually.
During her tenure, Ms. Marsden-Smith led the temporary conversion of the British Museum’s Round Reading Room to an exhibitions space and was responsible for the successful and critically acclaimed program of exhibitions presented in that space. She led the Museum’s public program contribution to the London Cultural Olympiad (2009-2012) in collaboration with key external partners, and managed the design effort for the Museum’s Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery architectural scheme, which opened in 2014. Among the high-profile and award-winning exhibitions she oversaw at the British Museum were: Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia (2005); Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master (2006); First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army (2007); Hadrian: Empire and Conflict (2008); Italian Renaissance Drawings (2010); Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (2013); Vikings: Life and Legend (2014) and Celts: Art and Identity (2015).
Ms. Marsden-Smith began her museum career at the Imperial War Museum in 1989, where she was Deputy Head of Exhibitions working across a group of five museums located throughout the United Kingdom. As with her position at the British Museum, she managed the design and delivery of both temporary exhibitions and display of its permanent collections.
Ms. Marsden-Smith is a graduate of Westminster University in London and Trent University in Nottingham where she graduated with honors. At the Getty, she replaces Quincy Houghton, who left the Museum this summer to assume the position of Associate Director for Exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum's mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.
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