Skip To Content

News Releases

Spelman College President and Arts Historian Named to the J. Paul Getty Trust Board of Trustees Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

Joyce Davis
Director of Marketing & Communications
Spelman College
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

Julie Jaskol

Assistant Director, Media Relations
J. Paul Getty Trust
(310) 440-7607

President Mary Schmidt CampbellATLANTA (July 10, 2019) Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College, has been named to the board of trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust, an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Campbell to the Getty Board,” said David Lee, Ph.D., incoming board chair. “Her wealth of experience and leadership in the arts and philanthropy make her an invaluable addition.”

Getty’s 12-member board, which consists of leaders from a range of industries, works to set policies related to spending, management, governance and grant making. Trustees are elected to four-year terms, and may serve no more than three terms.

Dr. Campbell’s dedication to the arts and her contribution to the development of the Getty’s African American Art History Initiative made her a stellar candidate for a seat on the board, said James Cuno, president and CEO of the Getty.

“Dr. Campbell is a renowned educational leader and scholar, and has been deeply involved in the development of the Getty’s African American Art History Initiative,” said Cuno. “We are thrilled to have her on the board.”

Established in 2018, the African American Art History Initiative seeks to provide a more robust and accurate history of American art by highlighting the postwar art and cultural legacy of artists of the African-American and African Diaspora.

“I am thrilled to join the Getty Center Board at such a historic moment,” said Dr. Campbell. “A leading global center of the arts, the Getty is expansive and innovative in its programs. I am especially excited about the Getty Research Institute’s initiative to document the oral history of artists of the African Diaspora, making it a major resource for scholars and researchers in the field.”

An art historian and former curator, Dr. Campbell began her career in New York as executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the country’s first accredited Black fine arts museum and a linchpin in Harlem’s redevelopment.

She served as commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs under two mayors and in 2009 President Barack Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the High Museum of Art, as well as on the advisory boards of the Bonner Foundation and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. In 2017, Dr. Campbell was appointed to serve as a member of the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers in the city of New York. 

Dr. Campbell received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, a master of arts in art history from Syracuse University, and a doctorate in humanities, also from Syracuse.

She and her husband, Dr. George Campbell, Jr., president emeritus of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, are the parents of three sons and have six grandchildren.

Her most recent work, “An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden,” (Oxford University Press) was a finalist in the Georgia Author of the Year Award biography category.

About Spelman College 
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit

About The J. Paul Getty Trust

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.


Spelman College Events CalendarEvents
Spelman College Academic CalendarAcademic

Contact Us

News Center