Dr Michael Brand, Director J. Paul Getty Museum 2005-2010,
Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

Curating for the Common Good

Friday 12 March, 2010, 5.30-6.45 pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Lecture Theatre, University of Melbourne, Parkville.

Curatorship straddles the middle ground between art collections placed on display for the public good and the discipline of art history that provides most of the tools for investigating the ideas and ideals that those works of art embody. Drawing upon experience as a curator in Australia and as a museum director in the United States, this lecture will look at issues confronting the practice of curatorship on both sides of the Pacific. Dr Brand’s
lecture is the keynote address for the symposium, Interrogating Art Curatorship in Australia, which is being held on 13-14 March to celebrate twenty years of teaching art curatorship at the University of Melbourne.

For details on the symposium see the below post.

Event is free of charge but please register by sending your contact details to: Dr Meaghan Wilson Anastasios – Email: mewi@unimelb.edu.au

Michael Brand became the Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in December 2005, after having served as Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA since 2000. During his first three years at the Getty Museum, Dr. Brand’s priorities and achievements included resolving Italian and Greek antiquities restitution claims and building new relationships with those governments, strengthening existing strategic alliances with other institutions and exploring new partnerships, filling vacant senior management positions, and exploring ways of bringing non-Western art into the Museum’s programs. Dr. Brand is also the first director of the Getty Museum to lead the institution at both the Getty Center and the recently renovated Getty Villa sites. In 2006, Dr. Brand opened the Museum’s new Center for Photographs, a 7,053 square foot space dedicated to the exhibition of photographic works. Under his leadership, acquisitions have been made in each of the Museum’s six collecting areas, including major works by artists such as Claude Lorrain and Paul Gauguin, the Northumberland Bestiary manuscript (c. 1250), and extensive numbers of significant photographs. The Museum has also undertaken significant exhibitions such as Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai and Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture. Additionally, the Getty has recently instigated a series of long-term partnerships with institutions in Italy that will bring many masterpieces from the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean to the galleries at the Getty Villa over the next five years. He serves on the Governing Board of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Art Museum, and the International Advisory Board of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. During his tenure at VMFA, Brand was the driving force behind a successful capital campaign to fund the largest expansion in the museum’s history. From 2001, he worked with London-based architect Rick Mather to develop a complete campus transformation, including a new 177,000 square foot wing designed by Mather, and a 3.5-acre sculpture garden designed by the Olin Partnership. Under Brand’s directorship, VMFA also successfully implemented a new graphic image and identity project with Pentagram. From 2004, he served as the American museum directors’ representative on the steering of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange), of which VMFA was a founding member. From 1996 to 2000, Brand was Assistant Director of Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, where he played a significant role in the gallery’s third Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 1999, including as chairman of the South Asian curatorial team. He also led the development of the Queensland Art Gallery’s world-renowned collection of contemporary Asia-Pacific art. From 1988 to 1996, Brand was head of Asian art at the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra, where in 1991-1992 he organized the ground-breaking exhibition The Age of Angkor: Treasures from the National Museum of Cambodia. He was the co-director of the Smithsonian Institution Mughal Garden Project in Lahore, Pakistan from 1988 to 1993.
A native of Australia, Brand earned his B.A. (Honours) from the Australian National University in Canberra and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.