Raymond G. Perelman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, celebrated the election of his colleague H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest, Co-Chair of the Museum's Capital Campaign and President and Chief Executive Officer of the West Chester-based Lenfest Group, as his successor as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Perelman will serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee, and he was named Chairman Emeritus by acclamation and with resounding applause. These events followed the unanimous vote of the Board at its annual meeting on October 18. Trustees Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr. and Berton E. Korman were elected Vice-Chairmen of the Board. Philanthropist Lynne Honickman and Philadelphia-based designer Lisa Roberts were elected as new Trustees and Jacqueline Matisse Monnier as an Honorary Trustee."Today, I am deeply honored," said Mr. Perelman. "I have participated in the remarkable growth of this great Museum for over 25 of the Museum's 125 years of history. It also gives me great pleasure that my friend and colleague Gerry Lenfest, whose ongoing philanthropy and civic leadership have served this Museum and region so well, will now chair the Board. I know that with his leadership, the Museum is beautifully poised for dynamic growth. Combined with the fresh vision represented by our newly elected Trustees, Lynne Honickman, Lisa Roberts, and our new Honorary Trustee Jacqueline Matisse Monnier, this already magnificent Museum and Board are moving admirably ahead."
"I am honored and humbled to assume the chairmanship of this great institution," said Mr. Lenfest. "Ray Perelman's record of leadership is daunting and inspiring. During his years as Chairman, Ray has been a brilliant leader. The Museum has passed many important milestones and set an impressive course through the development of our exciting long-range plan and the launch of the anniversary capital campaign. I look forward to working with Ray, our extraordinary Board of Trustees and Anne d'Harnoncourt and her staff as we build for the future."
Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum, added: "Ray Perelman's contributions to the Museum and to Philadelphia are incalculable, and I count on his energetic and enthusiastic involvement as we continue to pursue the goals that he has been so instrumental in establishing. With Gerry Lenfest as our new Chairman and Ray as Chairman Emeritus and Chairman of the Executive Committee, we are building on a tradition of enlightened leadership, which makes it a thrilling moment to welcome new members to the board."
Mr. Lenfest, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lenfest Group, based in West Chester, PA, has been a Trustee since 1993. He has served on the Executive Committee and American Art Committee and is Co-Chair, together with Kathleen C. Sherrerd and Berton E. Korman, of 2001 FUND, the 125th Anniversary Campaign, which has raised more than $129 million toward a $200 million goal. In December 2000, the Museum announced a $10 million gift from Mr. Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite. The Lenfests are insightful collectors with particular interest in the Pennsylvania Impressionist school associated with Bucks County, Pennsylvania. They live in Huntington Valley, PA.
Mr. Lenfest has served as a trustee of Washington and Lee University; as President of the Board of Regents of The Mercersburg Academy; and as a trustee of Columbia University. He is a member of the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and of the James Madison Council, Library of Congress. In 1999, the Lenfests announced a gift of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings along with endowment funds to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA. They have also made generous commitments to The Mercersburg Academy, Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA, and Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Kimmel Center and its performing arts companies in Philadelphia.
Raymond G. Perelman, who is Chairman of the Board of Belmont Holdings Corporation in Bala Cynwyd, PA, was elected to the Museum Board of Trustees in 1975 and steadily expanded his involvement with distinguished service on the Budget and Executive Committees. He assumed the position of Vice Chairman in 1992, and in 1997 he was elected Chairman of the Board. As Chairman, Mr. Perelman provided strategic direction in addressing four broad initiatives: enhancement of the Museum's collections, renovation and expansion of its physical space, development of a strong financial base, and provision of vital leadership, ensuring the Museum's distinguished position in the cultural, educational, and economic communities of the city and the region.
Mr. Perelman presided over the Museum's development of its long-range plan, and his leadership was crucial to the achievement of some of its most important goals. During his tenure as Chairman, the Museum acquired the Reliance Standard Life Insurance Building at 25th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Renamed the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building in the couple's honor, it has provided urgently needed additional physical space for the Museum's collections, exhibitions and educational programs. Mr. Perelman's active support of the 2001 FUND has advanced the Museum's ability to accomplish its mission, strengthen its economic base and realize its future potential. A $15 million gift to the Museum by Mr. Perelman and his wife, Ruth, in January 2000 was then the largest monetary gift from an individual ever received by the Museum. Residents of Center City Philadelphia, the couple is active in many civic and community causes and activities, including healthcare, the Jewish community, education, and the arts.
The two newly elected Vice Chairmen of the Board have played important roles in Museum affairs for many years. Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr., President of the Fairmount Park Commission and a civic leader in Philadelphia for over five decades, is the longest-serving member of the Museum Board and has been active in many capacities. Berton E. Korman, who is Chief Executive Officer of the Korman Company, serves on the Museum's Building Committee and Modern and Contemporary Art Committee, and is Co-Chair of the Museum's current capital campaign.
Newly elected Trustee Lynne Honickman has been deeply engaged for many years as a supporter of the arts and humanitarian causes. She is a member of the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a trustee and past president of Aperture Foundation, and Founder and President of the Honickman Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Philadelphia. She and her husband, Harold Honickman, who is owner of Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Company and Board Chairman of Pepsi Cola National Brands, Inc., made a major contribution that enabled the Museum to acquire the renowned Julien Levy Collection of more than 2000 photographs. The Lynne and Harold Honickman Gallery was recently named in their honor in the modern and contemporary section of the Museum.
Mrs. Honickman is a staunch supporter of the Mayor's Council for the Homeless and the Philadelphia Children's Commission. In partnership with Project H. O. M. E., which provides housing, opportunities, medical care and education for the homeless, and together with the Roberts Family and the Comcast Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Honickman and the Honickman Foundation are developing a comprehensive learning center for children and adults in North Central Philadelphia. Mrs. Honickman is also a trustee of the Institute of Contemporary Art and a trustee of the American Poetry Review, an international periodical based in Philadelphia.
Trustee Lisa Roberts is principal of the Philadelphia-based Lisa Roberts Designs, well known for its bright and harmonious use of color and bold graphics. Her product designs are found in department stores, specialty and museum stores, and catalogues. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in architecture and fine arts, and received a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University in Saint Louis. She is an active member and former Chairperson of Collab, the collaborative of design professionals that supports the Museum's modern and contemporary design collection. She also founded Collab's lively student design competition held annually at the Museum. Together with her colleagues on the board of Collab, she has made an important contribution to the promotion of design excellence in Philadelphia and around the world.
Honorary Trustee Jacqueline Matisse Monnier has been a major friend and supporter of the Museum for many years. An artist who has exhibited in Europe, the United States and Japan, she was born in France, grew up in New York City, and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. Her art frequently consists of kites and tails that create "drawing in the sky" or underwater, as well as delicate constructions incorporating feathers, paper and other ephemera. Her interest in art was nurtured from earliest childhood by her parents and her grandfather, Henri Matisse, and by their artist friends, including Joan Miró. She began her career as an artist in 1959, while serving as an assistant to Marcel Duchamp, her stepfather, whom she helped to assemble the edition of his portable museum, the Boite-en-Valise. She oversees the Duchamp archive in France. She and her brothers, Paul and Peter Matisse, have given an important group of works of art and materials related to Duchamp to the Museum in memory of their mother, Alexina Duchamp.