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Meet Derek Gillman, the Executive Director of the Barnes Foundation

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Derek Gillman, 53,
Merion Station

New Executive Director/President of the Barnes Foundation

Book on his nightstand: I just finished Phillip Roth’s Everyman, and have just started Peter Carey’s Theft—he is a great, great, Australian writer and a Booker Prize winner.

iPod tunes on repeat: There is one that is entertaining me and my 14-year-old daughter at the moment, Eric Clapton’s “Mother’s Lament.” It’s an old Victorian pop song, and it’s very funny the way he sings it with a thick cockney accent.

Restaurant of the hour: Penang is very nice.

Personal hero: I have many, but I might say Zha Mengfu, a statesman in late-13th-century China. He was the greatest painter, calligrapher and minister of state; he was a Renaissance man and had an amazing life.

Very own vici: Renovating the Sam M.V. Hamilton building at the Academy. The last phase was just complete and I’m sitting in the new office.

Zen destination: Port Douglas in North Queensland, on the eastern side of Australia. It’s very Zen.

If he had an extra hour each day, he would: Draw or write, whichever I feel more compelled to do that day.

Pet peeve: Bad handwriting. It’s something we’re losing rapidly due to word processing and the like.

Life view: chance or fate? Neither—it’s more game-like. You are dealt some cards, but you pull the other cards and it depends on how you play them.

Most marked characteristic: Maybe my English sense of humor. I say things with a straight face and no one knows. Also, I’m never sure I feel this myself, but people say that I’m energetic. Oh, and I do walk fast.

Quality he admires most in others: Kindness, of course.

Mantra: Keep going—I just made that up.