Barnes Foundation Opening Gala on May 18, 2012 Celebrates Inauguration of New Philadelphia Campus Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Barnes Foundation Opening Gala on May 18, 2012 Celebrates Inauguration of New Philadelphia Campus Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Star-studded event raises more than $3.7 million. Proceeds support the care and preservation of the world-renowned Barnes Collection

May 25, 2012, Philadelphia—The Barnes Foundation hosted an opening gala at its new campus on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the heart of Philadelphia on Friday, May 18, 2012.  The funds raised will support the care and preservation of the world-renowned Barnes collection. The  black-tie event was hosted by Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News and Rock Center, and featured a cocktail reception and tour of the Foundation’s new galleries, followed by a dinner reception with performances by the Avalon Jazz Band, Enon Tabernacle Mass Choir, and special guest artist and multiple Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter/musician Norah Jones. In addition to Barnes architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and landscape architect Laurie Olin, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett attended the celebration along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Mrs. Lisa Nutter.

Premier sponsors of the opening gala and the inaugural year for the Barnes in Philadelphia are PNC and Comcast.

Select images from the opening gala are available at

The Barnes Foundation inaugural gala was co-chaired by Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, and Aileen K. Roberts, Chair of the Building Committee of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees, and James E. Rohr, Chairman and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, and Sharon Rohr. In addition to gala co-chairs, Barnes Foundation Executive Director and President Derek Gillman, Barnes Foundation Chairman Dr. Bernard C. Watson attended with Mrs. Watson, along with Barnes trustees The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen and Mr. Roy Beity, Barnes Foundation vice chairman Joseph Neubauer and Mrs. Neubauer, Mr. and Mrs. Steve J. Harmelin, Dr. and Mrs. Neil L. Rudenstine, Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Bonovitz, , Mr. and Mrs. Donn Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Andre Duggin, Brenda and Larry Thompson, Gwen and Colbert King, Rajiv Savara, and Barnes Foundation Trustee Emerita Agnes Gund.

Philanthropists and art supporters in attendance included: Leonard J. Aube, Executive Director, The Annenberg Foundation, Rebecca W. Rimmel, President and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts, H. Fitzgerald Lenfest, President of the Lenfest Foundation, and Mrs. Lenfest, David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation, Thomas K. Whitford, Vice Chairman, PNC Financial Services Group, J. William Mills, III, Regional President, PNC Financial Services Group, David W. Haas, Chairman, Board of Trustees, William Penn Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthew V. Hamilton, Jr., Gala Advisory Committee, Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton, Hamilton Family Foundation, Mrs. and Mrs. John S. “Seward” Johnson II, The Sculpture Foundation, Sidney Kimmel, founder of the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, and Caroline Kimmel, Harold Honickman, Chairman of Pepsi-Cola, and Lynne Honickman, Jane and Leonard Korman, Founders, Jane and Leonard Korman Foundation, Bruce and Robbi Toll, Collectors, Robert B. Menschel, Chairman Emeritus, The Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees, Mr. Ira Gluskin and Mrs. Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, Collectors and Founders of Gluskin Charitable Foundation, Jeffrey and Marsha Perelman, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Polsky, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Boris and the Roberts Family.

A number of artworld leaders were also present, among them: Glenn Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, and Mrs. Lowry, Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas, Lisa Dennison, Chairman, Sotheby's North and South America, and Jock Reynolds, Director, Yale University Art Gallery, Barbara Guggenheim, partner, Guggenheim, Asher and Associates, Matthew Marks, owner of Matthew Marks Gallery NYC, and artist Ellsworth Kelly.

Other notable guests included: Senator Arlen and Mrs. Joan Specter, Jeffrey Lurie, Owner, Philadelphia Eagles, Ed Snider, Owner, Philadelphia Flyers, Paul Matisse, Grandson to painter Henri Matisse, and Mimi Matisse, Robert R. Jennings, President of Lincoln University, and Ms. Alma Mishaw, Olivier Serot Almeras, Consul Général de France, Ambassade de France, and Mrs. Almeras, The Honorable Felix Rohatyn and Mrs. Rohatyn, and John Henry Merryman.

The Executive Producers for the event were Fred Stein, the Creative Group, Inc. and Karen Homer, HKH Innovations, LLC. Artistic Producers for the performance were Wayne Baruch and Chuck Gayton, Baruch/Gayton Entertainment Group.


About the New Philadelphia Campus
The Barnes Foundation’s 93,000-square-foot building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, conceived as a “gallery within a garden and a garden within a gallery,” is set within a four-and-a-half-acre site with landscape design by OLIN. The building provides significant new facilities for the Foundation’s core programs in art education, as well as for temporary exhibitions and visitor amenities. At the same time, the legendary Barnes art collection is displayed within a 12,000-square-foot gallery that preserves the scale, proportion and configuration of the original Merion gallery, as well as the founder’s conception of a visual interplay between art and nature.

Public Opening Activities
Ten days of free admission to the Barnes Foundation’s Philadelphia campus began on May 19 and continue through May 28, made possible by the generosity of the premier sponsors of the opening, Comcast and PNC. The inaugural week culminates with a Memorial Day festival weekend, from 10 am on May 26 through 6 pm on May 28, featuring a variety of entertainment and programs and offering round-the-clock free admission to the renowned collection and entire campus. Tickets are required for all opening events and are available online at or by calling 1.866.849.7056.

About the Barnes Foundation
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 finest collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin and Maurice Prendergast, Old Master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. The Barnes Foundation’s Art and Aesthetics programs engage a diverse array of audiences. These programs, occurring at the Philadelphia campus, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

The Barnes Arboretum, located at the Merion campus, contains more than 2,000 species/varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and subsequently added to under the direction of Mrs. Laura L. Barnes, the collection includes a fern-leaf beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Laciniata’), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include Lilacs, Peonies, Stewartias and Magnolias. The Horticulture school at the Barnes Foundation in Merion has offered a comprehensive, three-year certificate course of study in the botanical sciences, horticultural practices, garden aesthetics, and design through a well-grounded, scientific learning experience since its inception in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes. 

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The Barnes Foundation
Jan Rothschild, Senior Vice President for Communications
Andrew Stewart, Director of Public Relations


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