The J. Paul Getty Trust, the world’s richest art institution, hired James Cuno as president, overseeing the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as well as grant-making, scholarly and conservation institutes.
Cuno, 60, has been director of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2004. He’ll step down in June and start his new job as Getty’s president and chief executive officer on Aug. 1, the Getty Trust said in a statement.
For a second time he fills a position previously held by James Wood, who died last June. Wood joined the Getty Trust in 2006, also from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Before his stint in Chicago, Cuno was director of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and ran art museums at Harvard University, Dartmouth College and the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his doctorate in art history at Harvard and taught there from 1991 to 2003.
“The Getty needs a leader with an understanding of all aspects of the visual arts,” Mark Siegel, chairman of the Getty’s board of trustees, said in the statement. “The Getty also needs an experienced executive who has the managerial and strategic skills needed to lead a complex organization.”
The Getty Trust, with an endowment valued at $5.3 billion at the end of December, hired Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. last year to conduct a search for Wood’s replacement.
In the interim, Deborah Marrow, director of the grant-making Getty Foundation, has served as the trust’s acting president.
Cuno’s appointment fills one of two key vacancies at the Getty. The museum has been without a permanent director since the sudden resignation of Michael Brand in January 2010. One of Cuno’s first and most important tasks will be to find a new director of the museum.