Timothy Potts has been named director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, effective Sept. 1.
Potts, a native of Australia, has been head of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, since 2008. Prior to that, he was director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth for nearly 10 years. A specialist in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, he served as director of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne in 1994–98.
Potts replaces Michael Brand, also an Aussie, who left the position one year before his five-year contract ended. Brand oversaw the repatriation of 40 antiquities to Italy in the aftermath of the major scandal involving former Getty curator Marion True. (She was acquitted.)
In his press statement, Potts parenthetically foreshadows his goals for the Getty, saying: “Like others in the museum world, I have for many years admired (and sometimes been frustrated by!) the quality of its collecting and the innovative way it pursues its scholarly and educational mission.” Not the usual measured words of praise from newly appointed directors.
Potts was hired by James Cuno, former president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago who became president and CEO of the Getty Trust last May.