News

Getty Rothschild Fellowship

27 July 2017

On July 27th 2017, the Rothschild Foundation and the Getty announced Dr Thomas P Campbell as the second recipient of the Getty Rothschild Fellowship, which was established in July 2016. The fellowship supports innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting, and conservation, using the collections and resources of both institutions. It offers art historians, museum professionals, or conservators the opportunity to research and study at both the Getty in Los Angeles and Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

“The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation hold similar values regarding the understanding and conservation of visual art around the world, and it is only appropriate that we would work together to support individuals who demonstrate these values through their research,” said Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the J Paul Getty Trust.

As the ninth director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2009 to 2017, Dr Campbell pursued a ground-breaking agenda that combined scholarship with accessibility. He reinforced the Museum’s excellence in its collections, exhibitions, publications and international engagement while reimagining the visitor experience both in the galleries and via an industry-leading digital presence. During his tenure, the Museum increased its audience by 40%. His project for the Getty Rothschild fellowship will focus on the changing environment in which museums are operating and the ways art and cultural heritage can be used to promote mutual understanding.

The selection process for the Getty Rothschild fellowship considers a number of criteria, including whether the applicant’s work would benefit from proximity to the Getty and Rothschild collections. Fellowships are for up to eight months, with the time split equally between the Getty and Waddesdon Manor. Dr Campbell will be at the Getty from November 2017 to February 2018 and at Waddesdon Manor from March to June 2018. Fellows also receive a stipend during their time at both locations. The fellowship is administered by the Getty Foundation.

Dr Campbell said of his selection for the fellowship, “I am honoured to be named a Getty/Rothschild fellow and to be given 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. And second, the related question of how we can use art and culture as a gateway to promote understanding in an ever-more connected but ever-more divided world.”

The inaugural recipient of the fellowship was Dr David Saunders, a foremost expert in the area of conservation science who worked on museum and gallery lighting during the fellowship. Dr Saunders, a foremost expert in the area of conservation science, worked on museum and gallery lighting during the fellowship.

On selection of Dr Saunders, Lord Rothschild commented, “The Rothschild Foundation and Waddesdon Manor are delighted to be collaborating with the Getty on this Fellowship, which will nurture high-level scholarship on subjects which are close to the hearts of both institutions, whether in the fields of art and art history, collecting, conservation or the application of new technologies to the museum and heritage worlds. I am particularly pleased that our first Fellow will be David Saunders, whose work is of the greatest possible relevance to Waddesdon, as a historic house seeking to present itself in innovative ways.”

Dr Saunders is a former principal scientist at The National Gallery and keeper of conservation, documentation, and research at the British Museum. Now an independent researcher, Saunders is writing what will be a seminal book about museum and gallery lighting. Waddesdon was an ideal place to advance his research, and it will serve as a case study for the upcoming publication.

The Flint House, the RIBA award-winning Rothschild Foundation property, provides an exceptional environment in which the fellow stays while working at Waddesdon.

Flint House, Waddesdon by architect Charlotte Skene Catling
Flint House, Waddesdon by architect Charlotte Skene Catling