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The Barnes Foundation Announces Cindy Kang as Assistant Curator

February 2, 2017

Philadelphia — The Barnes Foundation today announced the appointment of Cindy Kang as assistant curator—the first assistant curator in the Foundation’s history. With more than six years of curatorial experience at major arts institutions—including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art—Kang will be joining the Barnes Foundation from the Bard Graduate Center in New York. In her role at the Barnes, Kang will work directly with Sylvie Patry, deputy director for collections & exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator, to expand the Foundation’s growing exhibitions program, collections research and interpretative activities, and curatorial and educational technology initiatives. She will begin her post on February 27.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Cindy, an accomplished curator and scholar whose deep knowledge of 19th-century French painting and decorative arts makes her a wonderful fit for the Barnes,” says Thom Collins, executive director and president. “As we build our curatorial team, led by Sylvie Patry, and expand our exhibitions program and collections research initiatives, Cindy’s appointment is a key step in our evolution as an institution.”

As associate curator at the Bard Graduate Center, Kang helped organize the current exhibition Charles Percier: Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions in collaboration with the Château de Fontainebleau in France. At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kang conducted research in Paris for the museum’s forthcoming collections catalogue, French Paintings: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. During her time as an MMA/IFA Curatorial Studies Resident at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she curated the exhibition The Persistence of Antiquity: French Drawings from the Lehman Collection (2011–2012). As a research assistant at the Frick, she researched 19th-century works for the exhibition Watteau to Degas: French Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection (2009–2010). In 2006, she acted as assistant curator for the exhibition Sheila Hicks: Weaving as Metaphor at the Bard Graduate Center.

Kang has lectured and written extensively on Vuillard and additionally on Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, and she has been published in exhibition catalogues from the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has taught art history at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, New York, and at the College of Arts and Sciences, New York University.

“It will be a great privilege to work at the Barnes—a place that has long captivated me with its world-class collections arranged in unique ensembles,” says Kang. “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work with the curatorial department and the Barnes staff.”

Kang earned her B.A. in art history and French from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D.—with a specialization in 19th-century French art—from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She has received several fellowships, including a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Getty Research Institute (2012–2013); the Theodore Rousseau Fellowship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011–2012); and the Harriet A. Shaw Fellowship from Wellesley College (2011–2012).


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 Saturday–Sunday during the summer months. 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

Adriana Elgarresta, Resnicow and Associates

Chelsea Beroza, Resnicow and Associates