The J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles has named Katherine E. Fleming as its new president and CEO. She will begin in her post on August 1, and she succeeds the trust’s longtime leader, Jim Cuno, who will retire this summer.
Additionally, Zachary Kaplan, the executive director of the New York–based art-tech organization Rhizome since 2015, announced that he would step down from his role on April 15 to join the Getty Foundation, where will lead its forthcoming Pacific Standard Time exhibition initiative. Under his leadership, Rhizome launched several new projects, including the Net Art Anthology, Webrecorder, and a new version of its ArtBase archive of digital art.
Set to open in 2024, this iteration will focus on the intersection of art and science. In 2021, the Getty announced the first round of grants for exhibition research, which will ponder climate change, environmental racism, Indigenous science, pandemics, and artificial intelligence, among other topics.
Fleming is a scholar of Mediterranean history, religion, and culture, as well as a professor of Hellenic studies, culture, and history at New York University, where she first began teaching in 1998. Since 2016, she has also served as the university’s provost, which is its chief academic officer. Last year, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Her scholarship has focused on “Mediterranean, Jewish, and Greek history and religion, including the emergence of the Modern Greek state; the reception of classical antiquity; and the role of changing attitudes toward religious affiliation,” according to a press release. She also cofounded an oral history project, funded by Stavros Niarchos Foundation, that has collected the recorded stories over 55,000 Greek people.
In a statement, David Lee, the Trust’s board chair, said Fleming “is a visionary, experienced leader, with an extensive understanding of global cultures and their importance in uniting all of us. At this critical moment in our world, she is the ideal leader to guide one of the world’s largest, most complex cultural organizations, and to continue Getty’s trajectory of supporting and sharing visual arts and culture for the greater public good.”
As the Getty Trust’s leader, Fleming will oversee the organization’s four core divisions: the two branches of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the grant-making Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and Getty Conservation Institute. She was selected unanimously by a search committee of trustees that included Lee, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ronald Spogli, Pamela Joyner, and Bruce Dunlevie, who served as its chair.
In a statement on her new role, Fleming said, “The mission of the Getty is more vitally important than ever, as environmental degradation and global upheaval threaten the world’s artistic and cultural heritage in unprecedented ways. … I look forward to working with Getty’s many experts to further its mission and to assert the critical relevance of art and the humanities to our diverse shared pasts and our collective future.”