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Deborah Gribbon heading back to Cleveland Art Museum

October 29, 2013|By David Ng
  • Deborah Gribbon at the Getty Museum in 2000.
Deborah Gribbon at the Getty Museum in 2000. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Deborah Gribbon, the former director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, is heading back to the Cleveland Museum of Art in the wake of a scandal that saw the recent departure of the Cleveland museum's director, David Franklin.

Gribbon previously served as interim director of the Cleveland Museum of Art from 2009 to 2010. She will be returning to the organization in the role of interim deputy director for collections, education and performing arts.

The news was first reported Tuesday by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and was confirmed separately by a museum spokeswoman. Gribbon is scheduled to begin her new job on Nov. 1, according to the spokeswoman.

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Last week Franklin abruptly stepped down from his post as director of the Cleveland museum three years on the job. At the time, Franklin stated that he wanted to "spend more time on research and writing." 

It has been subsequently reported that Franklin's resignation came after an affair he had with a former museum staffer who later died in a presumed suicide.

Gribbon's new appointment will fill the post vacated by C. Griffith Mann, the museum’s former chief curator, who is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Gribbon served as the director of the Getty from 2000 to 2004, resigning after clashes with then-Getty Trust President Barry Munitz.

On Tuesday, the game of museum musical chairs also included the departure of Jon Seydl, the curator of European painting and sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art since 2007. Seydl is leaving to join the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts.

Fred Bidwell is serving as the Cleveland museum’s interim director following Franklin's departure.


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