Derek Gillman is Distinguished Teaching Professor, Art History and Museum Leadership, at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, and Senior Adviser to the President for University Collections.
He was appointed to his first museum directorship in 1985 as Keeper of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, at the University of East Anglia, where he worked closely with architect Norman Foster on the Centre’s Crescent Wing extension. In 1995 he moved to Melbourne as Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s principal encyclopedic museum, and then to the United States in 1999, becoming President and Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he oversaw the renovation of the Samuel Hamilton Building. From 2006 to 2013, he was Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation, stewarding the collection to its new home in central Philadelphia. In 2015 he was Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s, New York.
Professor Gillman was an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Chinese Studies, after which he spent the year 1975-6 at the Beijing Languages Institute. He continues to write on Chinese art, most recently publishing ‘The Imperial Luohans of Zhongdu and the Reassertion of Chan (Zen) Buddhist Influence in North China’, and is a Consulting Scholar for Asia at the Penn Museum. While at the University of East Anglia he undertook a Master of Laws by research, and is author of The Idea of Cultural Heritage (Cambridge, 2nd ed., 2010). Derek Gillman is a board member of the International Cultural Property Society, serving as President from 2008-2014, a fellow of the Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships at Drexel, and a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. In 2013 he was Marina Kellen French Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin.