Thomas Campbell, the former director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has announced his next career move. Campbell will relocate to the West coast after receiving the second Getty Rothschild fellowship. The tapestries scholar will split his time equally between the Getty in Los Angeles (November-February 2018) and at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire (March-June 2018).
Campbell says in a statement that he welcomes the “opportunity to devote the coming year to examine, first, the fundamental question of where the cultural sector is heading as it responds to various geo-political, economic and digital challenges”.
The Los Angeles-based Getty Foundation and the UK charity, the Rothschild Foundation announced the joint, annual fellowship last year; the initiative supports “innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting, and conservation, using the collection and resources of both institutions”. The first recipient of the Getty Rothchild Fellowship was David Saunders, an expert in the area of conservation science.
Thomas Campbell stepped down as director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in June, leaving the institution that he first joined as a curator more than two decades ago. Campbell announced his resignation at the end of February amid growing concern over the institution’s financial management, criticism of a $600m planned David Chipperfield-designed wing for Modern and contemporary art and speculation about his future after eight years at the helm.
In an interview with The Art Newspaper earlier this year
, he was asked about his future plans. “I will explore a number of options. I think that museums and cultural institutions have a critical role to play. One of the things I’ve loved as a museum director is being a spokesperson, moving beyond to advocate for the arts, podcasting and lecturing,” he said.