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John G. Johnson Collection, 2006

 File — Box: 456, Folder: 13

Scope and Contents

From the Sub-Series:

This subseries currently is closed to researchers. File titles are subject to change when processing is finalized at a later date.

Under d'Harnoncourt's direction, the museum continued to envision grander goals that would enhance the visitor's experience and allow the institution to better serve its diverse community. It seems only fitting that this last subseries should document the initiation of the most transforming project for the museum's iconic neo-classical "triumph on Fairmount" hill. The "Master Plan" files pertain to some of the earlier steps; namely the selection of Frank O. Gehry as project architect for the Main Building transformation, the construction of a parking garage and plans for relocating the loading dock and constructing new art handling facilities, allowing previously inaccessible space to be open to the public. A general chronology of the significant events documented here that pertain to the earliest stages of the Master Plan begin with the subset of files entitled "Master Plan Committee." The order of actions that followed (with some overlap in time) are in subsets entitled:"Architect selection," "Architect Review Committee," and finally "Gehry," which documents the initial work of Frank O. Gehry and his firm and their discussions with pertinent staff and trustees. Most of the oversized material consists of floor schematics and outdoor facility plans. There are also oversized charts outlining space allocations and budgets. As work continues to this day, the 10-year Master Plan will long serve as testament to d'Harnoncourt's legacy.

Also in this subseries and a large part of this vision is the continued documentation of the "Long Range Plan" and "Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building", which includes files regarding the building's opening in 2007.The firm KublerWirka was hired to assist with strategic planning and there are many folders detailing correspondence, planning sessions, and meetings.

As in the previous subseries, there are a significant number of files pertaining to the IEOC, which operated as the "Bizot Group" by 2006 when Irène Bizot retired. Both "IEOC" and "Bizot Group" files, along with d'Harnoncourt's records pertaining to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), document PMA's continued role in the international museum community. It was on the home front of Philadelphia, however, that one of the museum's most important victories occurred. To counter an offer made in 2006 by museums out of state, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in less than two months, raised $68 million to purchase jointly "The Gross Clinic" (1875) by Thomas Eakins. Their successful collaboration ensured that this seminal work created by an influential Philadelphia artist and teacher, depicting a renowned Philadelphia surgeon, would not leave the city. There are more than 25 "Gross Clinic" files in this subseries documenting the strategizing, fundraising and celebration of this most important campaign.

Her visit to the World Cultural Forum in Japan in 2004 and a legal claim by a German museum, Wuppertal, close out the diverse series. Many folders in the 2004-2008 subseries reflect topics from earlier series. Anne was deeply involved in both internal and external events at the museum, and had connections all over the world. However, she always made time to speak with others and hear their concerns.

The documentation from 2008 leads right up to d'Harnoncourt's unanticipated death in June of that year. Alice Beamsderfer became interim director at that point and continued to receive communications that were, at times, addressed to Anne.


  • 2006


Access Restrictions

Restricted in part due to attorney correspondence.


From the Series: 137.25 linear feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States