Timothy Potts

Potts to leave Fitzwilliam for Getty Museum

Simon Stephens, 16.02.2012
Cambridge director will start LA role in September
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is on the hunt for a new director following Tuesday’s announcement that Timothy Potts is to become the head of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in September.

Potts joined the Fitzwilliam in 2008 after nearly 10 years as the director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Before that he was the director of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

Potts said he is looking forward to his new role as "no other institution does more to collect, preserve and understand the history and materiality of art than the Getty".

He added: "I have greatly enjoyed working at the Fitzwilliam and the achievements we have been able to make during the past four-plus years.

"With the success of the recent Higher Education Funding Council for England, Arts Council England and other foundation fundraising, the museum's future is very secure and I feel confident that the next director of the Fitzwilliam will inherit a robust and dynamic institution, driven by its extremely able and committed staff."

The Fitzwilliam has held a number of well-attended exhibitions during Potts's time in charge, including Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts, which was held in 2009 to coincide with the bicentenary of the scientist's birth.

The Vermeer’s Women: Secrets and Silence exhibition (5 October 2011 – 15 January) attracted more than 150,000 visitors, a record for the museum.

Potts has also overseen the refurbishment of the British and European 19th and 20th century galleries and the transformation of the Greek and Roman galleries.

Most recently, the Fitzwilliam Museum led the University of Cambridge Museums’ successful bid to be a major grant holder under the arts council’s re-launched Renaissance programme.

Potts was born in Sydney, Australia, but studied for a doctorate in ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology at the University of Oxford.