News analysis: Getty management setup a difficult art

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Jason Felch finds that the recent announcement that Michael Brand is leaving the Getty Museum has roots both in the established power structure set out by the J. Paul Getty Trust and in a more recent development.

Getty Trust President James Wood asked Brand to resign, sources told Felch, after mounting disagreements. During a brief meeting late last year, Wood calmly told Brand he would likely be happier at a museum where he was his own boss, the sources said. The Getty announced on Jan. 7 that Brand was stepping down at the end of the month after serving four years of his five-year contract.


Getty presidents and museum directors from Harold Williams and John Walsh to Barry Munitz and Deborah Gribbon, to Wood and Brand have clashed, largely because the museum director’s role carries less authority than comparable positions at peer institutions. But when Wood established a new fund to supplement the museum’s acquisition budget, a fund that Wood controlled access to, sources told Felch that Brand considered it another affront to his authority.

For the entire story, read here.

, Anne Cusack/Los Angeles; Michael Brand, Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times