Critic’s Notebook: The Getty’s stubborn politics


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Donor intent is the philanthropic doctrine that says the explicit intentions of a donor should be honored in the expenditure of his bequest. At the Getty Trust, donor intent has been thrown under the bus. The late J. Paul Getty never envisioned what the Getty Trust has become.

The Getty Trust’s board of trustees announced Monday that James Cuno has been appointed president and chief executive of what is now routinely called the nation’s wealthiest art institution. He starts work Aug. 1.


But another declaration was also made: The two jobs of Getty Trust president and Getty Museum director will not be folded into one. That’s a big mistake.

In Saturday’s newspaper I have a Critic’s Notebook that looks at the problem, and how it ignores the donor’s intent. You can read the article here.


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-- Christopher Knight