Derek Gillman, the executive director and president of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, is leaving his post as of Jan. 1 to join Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design (also in Philadelphia) as a distinguished visiting professor.
Gillman has been with the Barnes since 2006 and was instrumental in the collection’s move from the city’s suburbs, in Lower Merion, to its current home on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The highly contested transfer, completed last year, greatly increases the accessibility of the museum, which has seen yearly attendance grow to more than 325,000, up from only 60,000 at the original location.
In addition to raising $150 million for the museum’s new building, designed by New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Gillman helped increase the foundation’s endowment by $50 million. Prior to his time at the Barnes, Gillman was the president and director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 2001 to 2006.
“The Barnes is really well positioned for the future,” said Gillman in a press release. “I am excited about going back into higher education, where I have spent half of my career and where I can apply my experience in institution-building along with my long-standing academic interests.”