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Executive Director and President, The Barnes Foundation, Pennsylvania

Marina Kellen French Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2013

Derek Gillman was appointed executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation in October 2006. From 2001-06 he was president and director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where, since 1999, he had served as executive director and provost. Prior to his Academy post, Gillman was deputy director of the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s largest encyclopedic art museum, and from 1985-1995 was Keeper of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.


Gillman began his museum career in 1981 at the British Museum as a research assistant in the Department of Oriental Antiquities. From 1977-81 he worked as a specialist in Chinese art at Christie’s London, following a year spent at the Beijing Languages Institute on a British Council scholarship. He received his undergraduate degree in Chinese studies from Magdalen College, at Oxford University, and a Master of Laws degree from the University of East Anglia. Gillman has published and lectured widely on Chinese art and cultural property, and a revised edition of his book The Idea of Cultural Heritage was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press.


Over the course of his career, Gillman has been involved in five significant architectural projects, most recently the construction of a new building for the Barnes Foundation, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. He is president of the International Cultural Property Society and a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors .

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