Philippe de Montebello
Guy Philippe Henri Lannes de Montebello is a French-born museum curator and Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the longest-serving director in the institution’s history.
Montebello was educated at the Lycée Français in New York, where he received his baccalauréat in 1958. He then went on to study art history at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude, before continuing his studies at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts under Charles Sterling, the expert in French Renaissance art. He stopped short of receiving his doctorate when, in 1963, he was given the opportunity to work for the Met as a curatorial assistant in the Department of European Paintings. Thus began his career at the institution to which he was to dedicate his entire professional life, with the exception of a four-and-a-half-year stint (1969-1974) as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
Before his sojourn in Houston, Montebello had risen through the ranks in the Department of European Paintings at the Met, eventually becoming Associate Curator. Upon his return to New York in 1974 (he has since remarked that “the happiest moment of my life was booking a one-way ticket out of Houston”), he was appointed Vice Director for Curatorial and Educational Affairs. By May 1977 he was Acting Director, and full directorship of the museum came a year later.
Under his directorship the Metropolitan Museum has nearly doubled in size to two million square feet. Notable changes have included the remodelling of the 19th-century European galleries, formerly Modernist, in a historicizing Beaux-Arts style, and a new high-ceilinged gallery to show off Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s monumental paintings to their best advantage.
Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_de_Montebello