TITLE: Deputy Director
FUNDING AREAS: Access to art collections, art history, conservation
CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)
PROFILE: Dr. Joan Weinstein first joined the Getty in the early 1990s, for what she thought would be merely a temporary position. She remains there to this day, now as Deputy Director of the Getty Foundation. Though she first made her mark as an art historian of early 20th century German art, Weinstein has grown into a champion of post-war Los Angeles art movements, such as Chicano murals and skate culture. When she speaks, her even tones belie an enthusiasm for the arts that's as strong as any young idealist, and a deep pride in the Getty Foundation's accomplishments.
As a young art history scholar, Weinstein studied at UCLA and became an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. Her focus was early 20th century German art, and an Edward Dickson Travel Fellowship enabled her to dig into German archives firsthand. In 1990, the University of Chicago Press published her groundbreaking book, The End of Expressionism: Art and the November Revolution in Germany, 1918-19. Her perspective on modern German art was a break from conventional interpretations, and her work remains formative for a new generation of art historians.
Weinstein joined the Getty as a Senior Program Officer of the Getty Grant Program before it morphed into the Getty Foundation. Back then she helped to award collaborative research grants, post-doctoral fellowships, and curatorial research fellowships to artists and scholars at home and abroad. Her position has changed several times since, from Associate Director, to Interim Director (at the time colleague Deborah Marrow was filling in as Interim President and CEO), to Deputy Director. Whatever the title, she has remained part of the close core of Getty leaders and officers of the Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute, Conservation Center, Museum, and Trust.
In 1993, she helped found the Getty's Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program, which funds paid summer positions for diverse students at Los Angeles museums and arts organizations. In 2006, she supported Rescue Public Murals, a Heritage Preservation initiative to document and preserve public murals throughout the US. "Public murals are vital community assets," said Weinstein, "and a national strategy to document and preserve them will benefit artists, scholars, and the broader public." She was also behind the 2008 decision to pledge continued funding to museums and preservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. This included support to PREMA, a training program for African conservators that aimed to "train the trainers…to find solutions" in their home countries.
In recent years, Weinstein has been busy co-directing Pacific Standard Time, a multi-year collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions throughout southern California. Through PST, Weinstein, along with Deborah Barrow, supported investigations into "the films of the African American L.A. Rebellion to the feminist happenings of the Woman's Building; from ceramics to Chicano performance art; and from Japanese-American design to the pioneering work of artists' collectives." Their goal was to capture the post-war art history of Los Angeles before its cultural significance could be lost.
At the Getty, she helps guide and define the foundation's directive to advance "the understanding and preservation of the visual arts locally and throughout the world." She upholds this vision across the four funding priorities of art history, conservation, collections, and professional development. Her track record shows that the projects Weinstein consistently throws her weight behind are multicultural, embody history, and engage a community. Here is a video profile of Weinstein the arts administrator, and the person.