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Emily A. Cavanagh Elected to the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees

Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq., Named Trustee Emeritus

Philadelphia, PA, February 8, 2024—The Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation today announced that Emily A. Cavanagh, lawyer and patron of the arts, has been elected to the Board of Trustees, and that longtime trustee, Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq., has been named Trustee Emeritus.

“Our Barnes Trustees and staff are delighted to welcome Emily Cavanagh to the Board,” says Aileen Roberts, Chair of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees. “Emily is a dedicated supporter of the Barnes, and her extensive legal background, combined with her philanthropic work supporting arts organizations of all kinds, makes her an incredibly valuable addition to the Board.”

“I am deeply honored to join the Barnes Foundation’s Board and look forward to working alongside my fellow trustees, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President Thom Collins, and the entire staff, as the Barnes continues innovating with its mission-driven programming and growing its significant impact at home and around the world,” says Cavanagh.

Roberts continues: “After more than 20 years of distinguished service on the Board of Trustees, our dear colleague Steve Harmelin has been named Trustee Emeritus. We are deeply grateful for his continued service in this new capacity. It is impossible to overstate the paramount role Steve played in securing the successful future of the Barnes and enabling the institution to continue educating, inspiring, and transforming lives for generations to come. Working alongside Steve over the past 20 years has been one of the true highlights of my own Barnes tenure, and I know so many colleagues share this sentiment wholeheartedly. As we celebrate his remarkable service to the institution, I, along with my fellow trustees and the staff, express our gratitude to Steve for his visionary and fearless leadership—without his wise counsel and insights, the Barnes simply would not be the success it is today.”

Emily A. Cavanagh previously worked for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Thompson Financial Group, where she specialized in domestic and international tax law. She assisted numerous tax-exempt organizations with incorporation, tax exemption, governance issues, and restructuring, including the YMCA of Rye, New York.

Cavanagh has served on the Barnes Art Ball committee since 2016. She is a partner and vice chair of the board of Via Art Fund and a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Artwhere she serves as chair of the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs committeethe Rosenbach, and the Community Partnership School. She is a trustee emeritus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and previously served on the boards of Publicolor, Let’s Get Ready, Renaissance Society, and the Medical Research Institute of Chicago.

Cavanagh received her BA from Brown University and her JD from Columbia University. She and her husband, Michael J. Cavanagh, president of Comcast Corporation, live in Philadelphia and are parents to three children.

The Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation
Aileen Roberts, Chair
John R. Alchin, Vice Chair
David A. Fleischner, Treasurer
The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen, Secretary
John J. Aglialoro*
Armando I. Bengochea, PhD*
Sheldon M. Bonovitz, Esq.*
Pamela D. Bundy*
Emily A. Cavanagh
Gregory E. Deavens
Jeffrey A. Honickman
Cathy Hughes
John H. McFadden, Esq.
Joseph Neubauer
Christine Poggi, PhD*

*Elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees upon the nomination of the Trustees of Lincoln University.

Chair Emeritus
Bernard C. Watson, PhD

Emeritus Trustees
Stephanie Bell-Rose
Bruce S. Gordon
Agnes Gund
Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq.
Neil L. Rudenstine, PhD
Brenda A. Thompson, PhD

Honorary Trustees
Wallis Annenberg
Laura T. Buck
Tory Burch
Betsy Z. Cohen
David Haas
Anne F. Hamilton
Herbert Kean
Marguerite Lenfest
James J. Maguire
William A. Slaughter, Esq.
Joan Thalheimer
Bruce E. Toll
A. Morris Williams, Jr.

The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned canvases by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside African, Asian, ancient, medieval, and Native American art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” A visionary collector and pioneering educator, Dr. Barnes was also a fierce advocate for the civil rights of African Americans, women, and the economically marginalized. Committed to racial equality and social justice, he established a scholarship program to support young Black artists, writers, and musicians who wanted to further their education. Dr. Barnes was deeply interested in African American culture and became actively involved in the Harlem Renaissance, during which he collaborated with philosopher Alain Locke and Charles S. Johnson, the scholar and activist, to promote awareness of the artistic value of African art. Today, the 15-member Barnes Board of Trustees includes five trustees elected upon the nomination of Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting HBCU, continuing a relationship that began during Dr. Barnes’s lifetime.

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes has expanded its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice, teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways; investing in original scholarship relating to its collection; and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its programs.

The Barnes is situated in Lenapehoking, the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people. Read our Land Acknowledgment.

Hours and ticket prices are listed on our website.


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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