We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Dr Michael Brand Director, Art Gallery of NSW

BA Asian Studies (Hons), MA, PhD (Art History)

Dr Michael Brand

A cultural leader and art scholar, Dr Michael Brand’s significant contribution to Australian and international art, architecture and landscape spans art museums and academia as well as government, philanthropy and community sectors.

Since 2012, Dr Brand has led the most notable transformation of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in its history. The expansion, which opened in December 2022, has created an art museum campus on Gadigal Country overlooking Sydney Harbour with a new building designed by Pritzker prize-winning Japanese architects SANAA as its centrepiece. An art garden featuring a major Indigenous art commission will open this year, linking the new and original buildings. The expansion is the most significant cultural development to open in the city since the Sydney Opera House half a century.

Prior to his appointment at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Dr Brand was director of the Aga Khan Museum from 2005 to 2010, notably while it was under construction in Toronto. Previously, he was director of the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, leading both the Getty Center and Getty Villa sites and establishing its new Center for Photography, and the director of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond from 2000 to 2005.

A regular contributor to global conversations about the future of art museums, Dr Brand has been a member of the Bizot Group of International Art Museum Directors since 2005. Dr Brand’s professional affiliations also include the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors, where he is a former chair and the Australian Institute of Art History.