twitter iconTweet this: Nina McNeely Diefenbach of the Met has been named deputy director for advancement at the #BarnesFoundation

Philadelphia, PA, January 29, 2016—Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation, today announced the appointment of Nina McNeely Diefenbach as deputy director for advancement. A Philadelphia native, Diefenbach joins the Barnes Foundation following 34 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has held the position of vice president for institutional advancement since 2004. She will begin working at the Barnes in April.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome Nina to the Barnes Foundation. With her proven track record of advancement leadership, expertise in audience and membership development, and extensive experience planning and executing capital initiatives, she is the ideal person to lead the Barnes Foundation's new advancement division," said Thom Collins. "Nina is a deeply respected colleague and I look forward to introducing her to the Barnes community." 

In the newly created position of deputy director for advancement, which was designed to maximize and expand the Barnes Foundation's public profile, membership, and visitorship, Diefenbach will lead a strategic, innovative and creative advancement program. Her appointment follows the recent hires of Sylvie Patry as deputy director for collections and exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator, and Dr. Martha Lucy as deputy director for education & public programs and curator.

Joseph Neubauer, chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Barnes Foundation said: "We are delighted with this appointment. Nina's expertise will have an immediate impact on advancing the Barnes's mission. With the recent additions of Sylvie Patry and Dr. Martha Lucy, together with veteran Peg Zminda, executive vice president, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer, Thom Collins has assembled a first-class senior leadership team. I know I speak for my fellow trustees in saying we very much look forward to working with this talented group of individuals."

Diefenbach managed the Metropolitan Museum's overall fundraising effort during many important phases of the museum's growth—increasing the endowment; generating support for capital projects, exhibitions, publications, conservation, and general operating expenses; growing membership; and overseeing an extraordinary number of special events.

"I have spent my professional career thus far at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—an institution I care for deeply and have watched flourish over the years," said Diefenbach. "But it is with much enthusiasm that I return home to the great city of Philadelphia and join one of its finest cultural treasures. The Barnes has achieved many milestones since the opening of its new building in May 2012—most recently, its one millionth visitor this past fall. I look forward to the role I will play at the Barnes through its next chapter."

After growing up in Philadelphia, where she graduated from Germantown Friends School, Diefenbach earned her BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and an MA in arts management from New York University. She now serves as a trustee at Trinity College, where she is also a founding member of the Women's Leadership Council and co-chair of the Annual Fund.

The Barnes Foundation ( was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture." The Barnes holds one of the world's finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, and Giorgio de Chirico; works by American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast; old master paintings; important examples of African sculpture; Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles; decorative arts and ironwork; and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. While most collections are grouped by chronology, style, or genre, art at the Barnes is arranged in ensembles structured according to light, line, color, and space—principles that Dr. Barnes called "the universal language of art." The Foundation's programs include First Fridays, young professionals nights, tours, tastings, and family programs, as well as Barnes–de Mazia Education Program courses and workshops. These programs advance the Foundation's mission through progressive, experimental, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday–Monday and tickets can be purchased on site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website. 

The Barnes Arboretum in Merion contains more than 2,500 varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and expanded under the direction of Laura Leggett Barnes, the living collections include 40 state champion trees, a Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include lilacs, peonies, stewartias, ferns, medicinal plants, hostas, and magnolias. The Horticulture Education program has offered a comprehensive three-year certificate course in the botanical sciences, horticulture, garden aesthetics, and design since its establishment in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes. The arboretum also offers horticulture workshops and lectures, and is open to the public Friday–Sunday from May through November. Tickets can be purchased on site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website. 


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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