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Michael Brand named new director of Art Gallery of NSW

February 10, 2012 |  4:20 pm

Picture 3Former Getty Museum director Michael Brand has surprised the art world yet again — this time by taking a job instead of leaving one. After a six-month global search, the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, Australia, announced Friday that Brand has been appointed the museum’s new director.

Brand will be the ninth person to assume the role in the gallery’s 120-year history when he steps into the position in the middle of this year, following Edmund Capon’s 33-year tenure.

The native of Australia is currently acting as a consultant to Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum and from 2005 to 2010 served as director of the Getty.

Brand shocked the art world when he left his coveted Getty post 10 months before his five-year contract was to expire. He told the Times in 2010 that leaving "is my decision,” but would not say why he was going: "I really don't want to get into the reasons for my resignation."

Getty officials pointed to a possible “personality clash” and strategic differences between Brand and former Getty Trust President and chief executive James N. Wood.

Down under, the Art Gallery of NSW recently hosted one if its most popular exhibits "First Emperor," featuring China’s long entombed terra-cotta warriors, and is currently showing the touring Picasso collection, 150 of the artist's works from the Musee National Picasso in Paris, which are rarely seen outside of France.

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Michael Brand, director of J. Paul Getty Museum, is stepping down

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-- Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: Michael Brand. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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