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In Getty We Trust: World's Richest Arts Org Has New Leader

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With its $5.3-billion endowment and $250-million annual budget, the J. Paul Getty Trust is considered "the world's wealthiest arts organization," and now it has a new leader, reports the Los Angeles Times. James Cuno, currently the director of the prestigious Art Institue of Chicago, will take over running the Trust in August.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is self-described as "an international cultural and philanthropic institution that focuses on the visual arts in all their dimensions, recognizing their capacity to inspire and strengthen humanistic values." They control not only the high-profile museum facilities in Los Angeles--The Getty Center and the Getty Villa--but also three other branches of art and philanthropy: the Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation.

Though Cuno is known for his leadership of a museum, he is not filling the job of Museum Director, which has been vacant since January of last year. Some in the museum world are surprised Cuno was not hired for that job, and while delighted to hear Cuno will be moving to the Getty, some are perplexed as to why the Getty did not combine the two posts.

The Trust has taken its share of hits in the past few years, in the realms of both the financial and the scandalous.

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The Getty explains how Cuno was got the job:

The Board of Trustees selected Dr. Cuno after an extensive international search that began in July 2010, shortly after the untimely death of James M. Wood, who also had come to the Getty after a distinguished career that included serving as the president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago. Says Cuno of his upcoming move to The Getty:

"I am honored to have been invited to serve the Getty Trust as its next president and CEO. I have the highest regard for the many contributions the Trust has made to the presentation, preservation, and study of works of art and architecture in Los Angeles and around the world. There is no other institution like it. Its staff, facilities, and collections are justly renowned and I look forward to working with the Board and senior staff to advance the Trust's important, groundbreaking work."