Barnes Foundation Hires Thom Collins as New Director – Comes from Perez Art Museum Miami
Breaking News – According to the New York Times, Thomas Collins (known as Thom), director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, previously known as the Miami Art Museum, will take over as director of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in mid-March. He will “succeed Derek Gillman, who stepped down at the end of 2013 after leading the museum for seven years and was recently named the chairman of the Impressionist and Modern art department at Christie’s auction house.”
Mr. Collins, 46, who also served for five years as director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y., said he was drawn to the Barnes not only because it was one of the places where he first learned about art while growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, but also because of the philosophy of its founder, Albert C. Barnes, a pharmaceutical tycoon who cast it more as a teaching institution than as a traditional museum.
“I’ve always thought of myself as an educator,” said Mr. Collins, who added that he felt that the Barnes had “really never been able to bridge to that great academic community in and around Philadelphia” — schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University and Swarthmore College, his undergraduate alma mater.