Thom Collins, the directorial force behind the smashing Herzog and de Meuron-designed Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), is heading north, to take the helm of the Barnes Foundation, an institution now nearly three years into life in its own new home, the 93,000-square-foot gallery in a garden-cum-garden in a gallery designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in downtown Philadelphia.
Despite his predilection for a cowboy-style hardhat during the construction phase of PAMM, Collins is a Philly native. Before his five-year tenure in Miami, he served as director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, also for five years, and before that held positions at institutions including the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. “It will be a privilege to lead the Barnes Foundation in its next chapter,” said Collins in a statement issued yesterday. “With its world-class collection, critically acclaimed new building, award-winning programs, growing membership and engaging array of courses in art and horticulture, the Barnes has become increasingly accessible to a more diverse audience than ever before.”