Thomas Kren, the associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum, will retire after more than 35 years, the museum announced Thursday.
When Kren leaves the Getty in October, Richard Rand, senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., will replace him. Rand began his career at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989.
Kren arrived at the Getty in 1980 as the associate curator of paintings. In 1984 he became the first senior curator of manuscripts, a position he held until 2010, when he took on his current role.
“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," said Getty director Timothy Potts in a statement.
Kren will remain involved with the Getty as a guest curator of a major exhibition on the nude in Renaissance art, scheduled to open in 2018.
"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," Krens said in a statement, "and have had the singular pleasure of building the collection of illuminated manuscripts while also contributing to the growth of the other collections."
Rand will arrive at the Getty in September. There will be some overlap of the men's tenures, which the museum hopes will allow for a smooth transition.
Rand served as an assistant curator of European painting and sculpture at LACMA from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 1997 he was curator of European Art at Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art. In 1997 he moved to the Clark Art Institute.
"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,” said Rand.
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