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Barnes Foundation fundraising appears stalled

May 13, 2010 | 11:16 am

Barnes Foundation constructon site credit BF webcam Under the headline "Fund-Raising Work Is on Track for Barnes' Move to Parkway," Thursday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the nearby Barnes Foundation, with its extraordinary collection of Post-Impressionist, early Modern, African, Navajo and other art, "has raised about $160 million" toward its controversial plan to move from a landmark home in the suburbs to a new, tourist-oriented building planned for a center-city site (photo at right).

Which is odd since, at the new building's groundbreaking six months ago, the Inquirer reported that the foundation had raised "close to $160 million" for the project.

And also reported that by May 2006 -- four years ago -- the Barnes had raised $150 million. The majority has come from the state ($32 million).

The target is $200 million, three-quarters for construction (scheduled for completion next year) and the rest for an endowment. Many fundraisers will tell you that the last hump in a campaign is often the highest hurdle. Momentum jump-starts only as a project opening nears. Perhaps that's the case here.

Still, the numbers don't exactly match the journalistic encomium. It's starting to look like the "track" that Barnes fundraising is on might be Amtrak.

-- Christopher Knight (follow me on Twitter @KnightLAT)

Photo: Barnes Foundation building construction site on Thursday. Credit: Barnes Foundation web cam

Comments () | Archives (3)

Thank you for keeping on this Mr. Knight. These Barnes Move fanatics have to be monitored. The people who donate to this Barnes Move should be ashamed of themselves. Very few entities are involved in funding this pathetic Move and it appears to have little public support. Simply put, The Barnes Move is Un-American. The Barnes is a Special American Place, some say a Modern American Knight's Templar Temple, founded on a Modern Judeo-Christian approach. Few people understand the importance of The Barnes and the Move fanatics are apparently rushing to destroy it before more Americans have a chance to learn. To Move The Barnes is contrary to American notions of Free Exercise and Freedom of Speech. The Barnes embodies The American Spirit and American Pride. The Move is like spitting on the Flag or desecrating a Soldier's grave. I believe that PA Gov. Rendell has ruined his reputation with this Move. The PA Gov. has irresponsibly dedicated at least $25 mil. to the Move project while he neglects real issues like a whole generation of African American students at Lincoln State University who have to go to school without a proper library due to inadequate State funding. PA had to close State Parks all over the State so the Gov. could fund this Barnes Move fiasco. State worker layoffs are anticipated and Roads and bridges are falling into dangerous disrepair, so the Gov. can fund this Barnes Move fiasco. Aren't Barnes Move donors starting to sound like the Wall Street or Subprime people - do they care about the public or humanity or do they just care about pushing their wasteful fat cat projects through on the backs of everyday people. This has been going on for nearly ten years and they can't even come up with the $160mil to build it because NO ONE WANTS THE STUPID BARNES MOVE. It's absolutely sickening AMERICA. AMERICA, PLEASE BOYCOTT THE BARNES DONORS!!! PLEASE ASK MR. OBAMA TO INVOKE THE AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906 TO STOP THE BARNES MOVE!!

Dude, quit hatin' on Amtrak!
Considering the miserly crumbs they're given to work with, they do a fair job.

A person hardly knows where to begin with Mr. Salisbury's creative piece, but I'll take a little stab at it. The business model Barnes President Gillman proposes as "realistic" is 60% from operations; 20% from fundraising; 20% from the endowment. This is a drastic departure not only from industry standards, but also from the model repeatedly hammered home by Pew head, Rebecca Rimel, in the Court hearings in 2004: 33% from operations; 33% from annual fundraising; 33% from the endowment. Now if the Barnes were to use the Gillman model, expecting to collect 60% of the $11 million budget from admissions and parking, that would mean each of the 180,000 expected visitors would pay more than $36! How precious is that for what is supposed to be a more accessible facility?


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