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Deborah A. Gribbon

Interim Deputy Director for Collections, Education, and Performing Arts

Deborah A. Gribbon has worked in art museums all of her professional life.

Gribbon was the first curator of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (1978-84), where she contributed to and supervised the production of collection catalogues and other publications, oversaw conservation of the collection, created an exhibition program, and initiated a plan for physical improvements to the museum building.

Gribbon moved to Los Angeles in 1984 to join the staff of the J. Paul Getty Museum as Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs. She was named Associate Director and Chief Curator in 1991 and played a key role in the Getty Museum’s emergence during the late 1980s and ‘90s as an institution of international prominence. Gribbon supervised all aspects of the Getty’s collection—its growth, conservation, exhibition, publication, and interpretation—and was part of the team that planned and designed the new museum at the Getty Center. In 1998 she became Deputy Director and assumed responsibility for the day-to-day management of the entire Museum. She was named Director of the J. Paul  Getty Museum and Vice President of the J. Paul Getty Trust in 2000.

Gribbon was a Trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) in 2003-04. She was a key participant in the AAMD’s Task Force on Collecting Archeological Materials and Ancient Art that issued its report in 2004, and then chaired the AAMD’s Committee on Education and Community Issues. She was also a Director of the Museum Domain Management Association (2000-04) and a member of the Governing Board of the Courtauld Institute of Art (2001-04). She has served as a peer reviewer for accreditation for the American Association of Museums. Gribbon resigned from the Getty in 2004 but five years later she returned to museum work as the Interim Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art (2009-10). Debbie returned to the Cleveland Museum of Art in the autumn of 2013 to serve as the Interim Deputy Director for Collections, Education, and Performing Arts and to once again assist the search for a new, permanent museum director.

Gribbon received her MA and her PhD from Harvard University.