By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The man who led the move of the Barnes Foundation from Merion to Museum Row in Philadelphia is stepping down to become a visiting professor at Drexel University.
Derek Gillman joined the Barnes in 2006, two years after a court decision made possible relocating the priceless collection of Renoirs, Cezannes, Matisses and other masterpieces to the Ben Franklin Parkway.
“We made it so much more accessible, which was a large part of the journey in the first place,” Gillman says.
And he says the move brought with it “financial stability, which was desperately needed.”
“I think the Barnes collection, which was one of the greatest collections ever formed by an individual, can truly be seen by many more people,” Gillman adds.
The Barnes Foundation’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Peg Zminda, will serve as acting director, while an executive search firm looks for a new director.
“We really see this, as Derek would say, as the beginning of the next phase of the Barnes Foundation,” Zminda says.
The Barnes says it has grown annual attendance figures from 60,000 per year to more than 325,000. Membership has expanded from 400 to 25,000.