The guiding force behind the Barnes Foundation since 2006, Derek Gillman is moving on to a teaching post at Drexel University, effective Jan. 1.
Derek Gillman, who shepherded the world-prominent Barnes art collection from its longtime Main Line home to its current site in Center City, has announced he will be leaving his post as executive director/president of the Barnes Foundation.
He will be moving to Drexel University, where he will serve as a visiting professor at the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Associated with the Barnes since 2006, Gillman spearheaded its $200 million campaign drive, which targeted $150 million for the museum, with the remainder for its endowment.
Attendance at the museum, which opened its doors last year on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after years of political wrangling and a court decision allowing the move, has reportedly increased from 60,000 visitors to 325, 000.
In a statement, the Oxford-educated Gillman said: “I have achieved all I had hoped to for the Barnes — and more. The Barnes is really well positioned for the future and I am excited about going back into higher education.”
The British-born Gillman, who was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, told the Jewish Exponent in an interview earlier this year that it was quite unusual for an Orthodox Jew in England to pursue art. He came to the Barnes from the Pennsylvania Acadey of the Fine Arts, where he served as president and director.
While a search ensues for his successor, Margaret Zminda, who serves the Barnes Foundation in multiple capacities, including as its COO, has been named acting director.