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The Barnes Foundation Announces the Barnes Art Ball

2019 benefit event celebrating Henri Matisse’s 150th birthday and opening of 30 Americans exhibition

Featuring special performance, Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion

Friday, October 25, 7 pm

Philadelphia, PA, October 22, 2019—The Barnes Foundation has announced its annual benefit, the Barnes Art Ball, taking place on Friday, October 25. Funds raised from the Barnes Art Ball directly support the Barnes’s mission and its dedication to caring for the collection, presenting diverse exhibitions, and providing innovative educational and public programs for the community and its broad array of visitors.

This year, the Barnes Art Ball celebrates the 150th birthday of Henri Matisse and the opening of 30 Americans, a major exhibition drawn from the acclaimed Rubell Family Collection and presented in the Roberts Gallery. Curated by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, 30 Americans features works by many of the most important and influential African American artists of the past four decades. Now will be on view at the Barnes from October 27, 2019, through January 12, 2020. Further information about the exhibition is available here.

“For this year’s Barnes Art Ball, we are thrilled to usher in the tenth anniversary presentation of the magnificent 30 Americans exhibition, and celebrate the 150th birthday of Henri Matisse, together with the incredible community of patrons and supporters who make everything we do possible,” says Nina Diefenbach, senior vice president, deputy director for advancement. “We are grateful to our Barnes Art Ball Trustee Chairs, Honorary Co-Chairs, and Committee for their incredible support of the Barnes’s educational mission and our slate of diverse exhibitions, and not least to Mera and Don Rubell for lending the extraordinary works on view in 30 Americans. The Barnes Art Ball will be a memorable one, especially with Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion—a rare opportunity to see Nick Cave’s magical works brought to life in Philadelphia.”

Guests to the Barnes Art Ball will enjoy an after-hours preview of 30 Americans, access to the Barnes collection, and Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion, a special performance commissioned by the Barnes from the studio of renowned performance and multimedia artist Nick Cave. Surreal and majestic objects blending fashion and sculpture, Cave’s Soundsuits originated as metaphorical suits of armor—serving as a second skin, obscuring race, gender, and class—and have evolved into vehicles for empowerment. Produced by Jack Cave and choreographed by William Gill, Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion will be performed in the Barnes’s Annenberg Court by eight dancers from Philadelphia’s olive Dance Theatre, led by artistic director Jamie Merwin. By wearing them, the dancers will unlock the Soundsuits’ full potential as costume, musical instrument, and art object. Three of Cave’s Soundsuits are on view in 30 Americans, and this special performance will be a unique opportunity to see eight others brought to life.

The festive decor of the Barnes Art Ball is inspired by the colors, patterns, and textures of Dr. Barnes’s ensembles and the vibrant Matisse canvases in the Barnes collection. On view in the main lobby of the Lenfest Pavilion will be an art installation by NDA Street Art inspired by Matisse’s cut-outs. Animating the Annenberg Court will be a light installation designed by Rian Winther of Revolution Event Production, and the evening’s music will feature beats from DJ Oluwafemi. Guests will also enjoy a Matisse-inspired birthday cake by Whipped Bakeshop, catering by Constellation Culinary Group, and a seafood bar designed by Pete Slavin Ice Sculpture.

For more information about the 2019 Barnes Art Ball, please visit the Barnes Foundation’s website.


Trustee Chairs
John J. Aglialoro
Cathy Hughes
Aileen K. Roberts
Brenda A. Thompson, PhD

Honorary Co-Chairs
Laura T. Buck
Anne F. Hamilton
Lynne K. Honickman
Jane Korman*
Leigh P. Middleton
Hilarie L. Morgan
Marsha R. Perelman
Lyn M. Ross
Adele K. Schaeffer
Robbi S. Toll


30 Americans Lenders
Mera and Don Rubell

Leen Al-Alami, Lydia Allen-Berry, Christine and Michael Angelakis, Sandy Annesley, Billie Bailkin, Barb Barnhart, Pamela T. Berkman, Christine Berrettini, Mariska K. Bogle, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Bernadette Bridy, Judy Broudy, Lydie Brown, Maripeg Bruder, Julie Jensen Bryan, Karen Dougherty Buchholz, Amanda Burch, Bryan H. Carter, Emily Cavanagh, Rachel Luber Cevera, Ellen Churchill, Evelyn Cintron, Alexandra Bauer Crouch, Martha Cyphers, Marianne Dean, Kristin Detterline, Roberta Fine Dranoff, Michelle Dubay, Barbara Eberlein, Tamala M. Edwards, James Fernberger and Mary Walto, Jaimie and David Field, Katie Flaherty, Julia Fleischner, Barbara Freed and Alan Mittelman, Andrea Freundlich, Annette Y. Friedland, Kim Frisbie, Joan L. Garde, Yasmina Giordano, Deborah Glass, Alexander Mason Hankin, Beth C. Hare, Ellen Nalle Hass, Christine and George Henisee, Deborah Hilzinger, Hollie and Jamie Holt, Marjorie and Jeffrey Honickman, Angela V. B. Hudson, Rosalie L. Hunter, Lisa Kabnick and John McFadden, Samuel R. Kapp, Hon. Bruce and Carol Kauffman, Joyce S. Kean, Joseph Kotarski, Elizabeth G. Kuensell, Lynn Lehocky, Marguerite Lenfest, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, Maribeth Lerner, Victoria McNeil Le Vine, Charisse R. Lillie and Thomas L. McGill, Jr., Sueyun and Gene Locks, Christina Weiss Lurie, Mary MacElree, Michael E. Magnatta, Elizabeth M. Mahoney, Jennifer McHugh, Leanne M. McMenamin, Colleen Melchiorre, Terra Moné, Hon. Gregory P. Montanaro, Dr. Khalil G. Muhammad and Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, Carolyn Bedrosian Nagy, Cathy M. Nassau, Marjorie Ogilvie and Miller Parker, Janice Peck, Daria Pew, Jill Powell, Louise and Alan Reed, Jennifer Rice, Anne and Bruce Robinson, Caro and Bob Rock, Marguerite Rodgers, Renée Rollin, Eileen Rosenau, D’Arcy Rudnay, Adrianne Sanogo, Nicole Dresnin Schaeffer, Pamela L. Schreiber, Iris Shea, Susan Martinelli Shea, Lynn Shecter, Nancy Shein, Alison Shoemaker, Linda and Steven Siegfried, Judith Simkins, Donna Slipakoff, June Marshall Smith, Lindy Snider and Dr. Larry R. Kaiser, Babette Snyder, Ann Sorgenti, Beth Sorgenti, Boo Stroud, Judith Sills Swartz, Jackie Szafara, Tiffany Tavarez, Joan Thalheimer, Laura Vague, Gregory T. Walker, Penelope Watkins, Noele Wein, Jacquelyn Weiss, Tina Wells, Kim Whetzel, Pamela Browner White, Laurie M. Wightman, Pamela P. Williams, Dalila Wilson-Scott, Maria J. Wing, Kelley Wolfington, Bonnie Young, Randi Zemsky, Tukufu Zuberi


Presenting Sponsors
Jeanette and Joe Neubauer
Aileen and Brian Roberts

Underwriting Sponsors
Joan Carter and John Aglialoro
John Alchin and Hal Marryatt
Christine and Michael Angelakis

Event Sponsors
Wallis Annenberg
Bloomberg Philanthropies
N. Judith Broudy
Laura and Bill Buck
Mike and Emily Cavanagh
Comcast NBCUniversal
Dietz Family Foundation
Eugene and Michelle Dubay
James Fernberger and Mary Walto
Julia and David Fleischner
Annette Y. Friedland
Carole Haas Gravagno
Jack and Barbara Hafner
Anne and Matt Hamilton
Penelope P. Harris
Christine and George Henisee
Lynne and Harold Honickman
Jane and Leonard Korman
Sueyun and Gene Locks
Locks Gallery
Colleen M. Melchiorre
Leigh and John Middleton
Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan
Morgan Stanley
Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman
Lyn M. Ross
Adele K. Schaeffer
Katie and Tony Schaeffer
Brenda A. and Larry D. Thompson
Robbi and Bruce Toll

Bank of America/Hunter-McCormack Group
Dr. Robert and Katharine Booth
Ed and Lynn Breen
Steve and Gretchen Burke
Ellen and Win Churchill
Henry C. Fader, Esq.
FS Investments
Yasmina and John Giordano
Richard J. Green
Deborah and Kurt Hilzinger
Lawrence and Mary Kent
Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design and KieranTimberlake
Donna and Jerry Slipakoff
June and Hank Smith
Joan Thalheimer
Laura Vague
Archbold and Helene van Beuren
Vicki and Chris Le Vine
Christine and Lawrence Smith Charitable Trust
Kim Whetzel/Team Whetzel
Robert S. Wilson
Richard and Kelley Wolfington

Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion

John Alchin and Hal Marryatt
Agnes Gund
Hilarie Morgan

Special Thanks
Constellation Culinary Group
Fondation Maeght
NDA Street Art
Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion

• Choreographer, William Gill
• Producer, Jack Cave
olive Dance Theatre
Urban One

And the numerous other individuals who purchased VIP and Patron level tickets.

On view in the Barnes Foundation’s Roberts Gallery from October 27, 2019, through January 12, 2020, 30 Americans showcases sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and video works by influential artists of the last four decades, from the canonical to the cutting-edge. Having traveled the country for a decade in various iterations, 30 Americans is a pivotal exhibition that has transformed the reception of African American art across the nation and around the world. The Barnes presentation marks the first time 30 Americans has been shown in the northeastern US since 2011, when it was on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Featuring approximately 60 works, the exhibition presents American experiences as told from the artists’ distinct perspectives. It is especially timely today, as black artists achieve enormous critical and popular success and their collective work establishes a new art historical canon.

30 Americans
is organized by the Rubell Family Collection. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is organizing curator of 30 Americans and the curator of the presentation at the Barnes.

This exhibition is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.

Works in this exhibition are from the Rubell Family Collection.

Generous support for this exhibition comes from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and Aileen and Brian Roberts.

Critical support for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund.

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 and medieval art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes has expanded its commitment to teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways, investing in original scholarship relating to its collection, and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its program

The Barnes is open Wednesday–Monday, and tickets can be purchased on-site, online, or by calling 215.278.7000. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.

Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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