February 26, 2015

Thomas Kren, Associate Director for Collections At the J. Paul Getty Museum, to Retire; Museum names Richard Rand as His Successor

Kren, who founded the Getty Museum’s highly regarded Manuscripts Department, has been at the Getty for 35 years

Rand is Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts

Amy Hood
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6427


Thomas Kren

LOS ANGELES - The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today that Thomas Kren, Associate Director for Collections, will retire in October 2015 after more than 35 years at the Getty. Kren joined the Getty Museum in 1980 as Associate Curator of Paintings. Four years later, he was appointed the founding Senior Curator of the Department of Manuscripts, serving in that capacity until 2010, when he assumed his current position as Associate Director for Collections.

“Thom Kren has dedicated more than three decades to the Getty and through his scholarship and skilled management has made a number of critical contributions that have helped shape the Getty Museum into one of the world’s leading cultural institutions,” said Timothy Potts, Director of the Getty Museum in making the announcement. “The Department of Manuscripts that Thom created more than 30 years ago is widely recognized as one of the most important collections in the United States, thanks both to the high quality of acquisitions he secured for the Museum and to the highly ambitious exhibitions and publications he oversaw. In his more recent role as Associate Director for Collections, Thom has been an invaluable adviser to me since I joined the Getty nearly three years ago. While everyone at the Getty will miss his daily presence, we look forward to continuing to work with him as a guest curator on a major exhibition on the nude in Renaissance art that will open at the Getty in 2018.”

In announcing his retirement, Kren said: “In bequeathing his entire fortune to his personal museum in 1976, J. Paul Getty envisioned as his legacy a world class art collection enthusiastically shared with the public. For the past 35 years, I have enjoyed the rare privilege of working with several generations of remarkable Getty leadership and staff in pursuit of this goal and have had the singular pleasure of building the collection of illuminated manuscripts while also contributing to the growth of the other collections. Thanks to recent outstanding appointments on the part of the Getty Trustees, including Jim Cuno as Trust President and Timothy Potts as Museum Director, along with Tim’s series of first-rate appointments of senior Museum personnel, now including our highly esteemed colleague Richard Rand, the Getty Museum is well positioned to move even closer to achieving Mr. Getty’s dream. Richard will join a skilled management team and take charge of a brilliant and dedicated team of curators and conservators. I am indebted to past and current Getty Trust presidents and trustees, along with the Museum’s directors, curators, donors, and many other colleagues for all of their support. It has been an extraordinary experience and happily for this well-run institution and for southern California, the journey is ongoing.”
Richard Rand
In conjunction with the announcement of Kren’s retirement, the Museum also announced his replacement. Richard Rand, currently Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, will join the Getty Museum in early September as Associate Director for Collections.

“Richard has been at the Clark for more than 17 years where he has distinguished himself through the quality of the Institute’s acquisitions – especially in Italian, French, and British paintings – and in their program of highly important and innovative exhibitions,” commented Potts. “He is the ideal candidate to fill Thom’s position and oversee the future growth and development of the Museum’s collections, exhibitions, and scholarship; and I am pleased that there will be overlap in their tenures to help ensure a smooth transition. I know that Richard will contribute greatly to the senior management of the Museum and continue to distinguish himself in his new role at the Getty.”

Said Rand: “I could not be more pleased to be joining the wonderful team at the Getty Museum as Associate Director for Collections. With its incredible collections and programs, the Getty offers a myriad of opportunities to engage diverse audiences with great works of art I am honored to have been asked by Tim Potts to continue the impressive work of Thom Kren and his colleagues as we work to expand the Getty’s collections and encourage innovative scholarship. Having begun my career in Los Angeles more than 25 years ago, I see this as a homecoming of sorts, and I look forward to reconnecting with friends and colleagues across Southern California.”

About Thomas Kren

Thomas Kren was appointed Associate Director for Collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum in September 2012, after serving for two years as Acting Associate Director of Collections. Kren joined the Getty in 1980 as Associate Curator of Paintings in charge of the Dutch and Flemish paintings, acquiring some of the first works for the collection following the settlement of Mr. Getty’s estate in 1982. Kren founded the Department of Manuscripts by spearheading the Getty’s purchase of more than 100 medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts from Peter and Irene Ludwig of Aachen, Germany, in 1983, and oversaw the continued development of the manuscripts collection through major acquisitions, publications, and exhibitions. As Associate Director of Collections he has contributed to the acquisition of masterworks in nearly every collection including paintings by Manet and Turner, drawings by Seurat and Fragonard, and the corpus of editioned photographs by Mapplethorpe, among others.

Kren is the author of numerous scholarly publications and curator of multiple exhibitions at the Getty and elsewhere. With Scot Mc Kendrick, Kren organized the exhibition Illuminating the Renaissance: the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe, which was shown at the Getty and at the Royal Academy, London in 2003-2004. Named by Apollo Magazine its Exhibition of the Year for 2004 Illuminating the Renaissance was awarded both the Eric Mitchell Prize for best exhibition catalogue in the English language for 2003 – 2004 and the International Eugène Baie Award, given every five years by the Province of Antwerp, for the best publication on Flemish art. In 2004, Kren was named Foreign Associate of the Académie Royale d’Archeologie de Belgique, Brussels. With Mark Evans, he organized A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII, an exhibition that showcased a long lost royal prayer book illuminated by the French royal artist Jean Bourdichon. The exhibition was shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Getty in 2006-2007.

In recent years, Kren has been conducting research on the origins of the nude and its reception in northern Europe. From this research, he is developing a major international loan exhibition that will be presented at the Getty Museum in 2018.

Kren is also Adjunct Professor of Art History at the University of California at Santa Barbara and has also been Adjunct Professor in Art History at the University of Southern California. He received a B.A. from Oberlin College and his M.A. and a Art History from Yale University.

About Richard Rand

Richard Rand is the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator at the Clark Art Institute, where he has been Curator of Paintings and Sculpture since 1997. He is also a lecturer in art history in the Williams College/Clark Graduate Program in the History of Art. Prior to his years at the Clark, Rand was Curator of European Art from 1992-1997 at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College. From 1989 to 1992, he was an Assistant Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Rand has lectured and published widely in his field of research, 17th?19th-century French art. He is a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine, writing exhibition and book reviews. At the Clark Rand has been responsible for the acquisition of numerous paintings and sculptures, including works by Quentin Massys, Abraham Bloemaert, François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Eugène Delacroix, John Constable, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, and George Inness, among others. He has organized and co-organized numerous exhibitions, including Intimate Encounters: Love and Domesticity in 18th-Century France, at the Hood Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Toledo Museum of Art, in 1997-98; Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light, at the Clark, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and Frick Museum, Pittsburgh, in 1999-2000; Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile, at the Clark and the Getty Museum in 2005; Claude Lorrain: the Painter as Draftsman, at the Clark, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington in 2006-07; Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence, 2009, and many more.

Most recently, Rand organized the exhibition Monet | Kelly, the first exhibition to consider the influence of Impressionist painter Claude Monet on the works of leading contemporary American artist Ellsworth Kelly. He is also the curator of an upcoming exhibition of 16th- and 17th-century paintings from the Museo del Prado, Madrid, scheduled for the Clark in 2016.

Rand received his B.A. from Bowdoin College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, writing a dissertation on the landscapes of Fragonard. He is a 2008 graduate of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, New York, and in April 2011 he was made Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France.
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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 photographs gathered internationally. 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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