twitter iconTweet this: Sylvie Patry appointed new Barnes Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator


Philadelphia, PA, November 5, 2015—Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation, today announced the appointment of Sylvie Patry as the Foundation’s new deputy director for collections and exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator. With more than 15 years of experience at some of France’s top arts institutions, Patry comes to the Barnes Foundation following 10 years at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, where she served as chief curator of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.

A specialist in impressionism and post-impressionism, Patry most recently co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This exhibition was also presented at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris and the National Gallery in London. 

“It is my honor and pleasure to welcome Sylvie, a celebrated curator and scholar with a wealth of expertise and a great passion for art and education, to the Barnes. Sylvie will be an important voice in promoting a deeper understanding of the Barnes collection, which is crucial to the growth of the Foundation,” said Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation. “Her vast experience with world-class museum collections and organizing exhibitions around the world, combined with her impressive academic and curatorial record, make her perfectly suited to lead the Barnes curatorial efforts. I look forward to working closely with Sylvie as the Barnes continues to evolve and expand our exhibitions programs, collection research initiatives and educational mission.”

In addition to Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting (2015), Patry has co-curated international exhibitions including: Renoir: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2013); Claude Monet at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (2010); Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond, Post-Impressionism from the Musée d’Orsay at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and additional venues (2009–2010); Renoir in the 20th Century at the Grand Palais, Paris, and additional venues (2009–2010); Ferdinand Hodler at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2007); and Maurice Denis at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and additional venues (2005–2006), among others.

Patry has authored and contributed to numerous books, essays and exhibition catalogues and has lectured extensively around the world on the topic of 19th-century French painting and taught at the École du Louvre, Paris. 

“It will be a great privilege to work with the world-class Barnes—home to a collection that is legendary and unparalleled in the annals of art history. A tremendous wealth of social, historical, and anthropological information resides within the collection and I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Barnes to bring this rich knowledge to the forefront and continue expanding the Foundation’s artistic and educational mission.” 

Before joining the Musée d’Orsay in 2005, Patry was a curator at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris (2003–2005); curator at the Musée National Gustave-Moreau, Paris (2002); and curator at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (1999–2002). Patry earned both her MA in philosophy of art and her university degree in philosophy and art history at the Sorbonne, Paris, before matriculating into the Institut National du Patrimoine, Paris. She received a fellowship to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, in 2008, and attended the Center for Curatorial Leadership at Columbia University, New York, in 2014. In her role at the Barnes Foundation, Patry will oversee and expand the Foundation’s growing exhibitions program, curatorial and educational technology initiatives, publications program, and collections research and interpretative activities. She will begin her post in January 2016.

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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