Michael Brand named Director of Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW)

Australian Dr Michael Brand, consulting director of the Aga Khan Museum currently under construction in Toronto and the former director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, has been appointed director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW).

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell welcomed the appointment.

“Michael will bring his formidable curatorial and management skills to bear on the Art Gallery of NSW’s already impressive reputation for artistic excellence and acquisition,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“The appointment will provide the Gallery with opportunities to build upon NSW’s strong artistic tradition, innovative approach to art and culture and my Government’s goal of making NSW Australia’s premier destination for art, culture and innovation.”

The President of the Board of Trustees of the AGNSW, Mr Steven Lowy AM, said he was delighted the Gallery had been able to recruit such an outstanding director whose scholarship and reputation was well recognised globally.

“Dr Brand has held important leadership roles at some of the world’s most respected cultural institutions,” he said.

“That the Art Gallery of NSW will now benefit from his extensive scholarly expertise, his international reputation and his global networks is cause for celebration.

“On behalf of the Gallery and its friends and supporters, we welcome Michael and his family to Sydney and look forward to working with him to take the Gallery into a new era.”

Dr Brand said he was very excited about his new role.

“The Board of Trustees presented me with a highly compelling vision of the Gallery’s future,” he said.

“While they are rightly focused on serving their primary audience and promoting Australian art, they are also resolutely international in their approach to art and culture.

“I have been highly impressed by the seriousness with which the Board of Trustees and the Government have been developing a strategy to guide the Gallery’s future and the Gallery is clearly about to enter an exciting phase of its history. Based in one of the world’s most dynamic cities, the Gallery has a great opportunity to further build on its international partnerships that will bring extraordinary works of art to Australia.”

Dr Brand will be the ninth director of the AGNSW in its 120-year history and will assume his new role mid-year after finalising his consultancy with the Aga Khan Museum, which is currently constructing a $150 million building designed by the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. Dr Brand has led the development of this new institution, which will work closely with other agencies of the Paris-based Aga Khan development network and will become the only museum in North America devoted to the arts of Islamic civilisations.

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Rd, The Domain 2000
Sydney, Australia
Info line 1800 679 278
www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

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