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George Eastman House selects new director

Rochester Business Journal
September 27, 2012

The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film has appointed a new director.

Bruce Barnes has been selected to serve as the museum’s Ron and Donna Fielding Director. He is a former local CEO and the president and founder of American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation, a private foundation based in New York City.

Barnes will assume his role as eighth director of the museum—the world’s oldest museum of photography and one of the largest motion-picture archives—next month, museum officials said. He will succeed Anthony Bannon, who retired from the George Eastman House in May after 16 years in the position.

Barnes founded the ADA1900, which works independently and in collaboration with museums across the United States to foster understanding and appreciation of American decorative art from the period around 1900, Eastman House officials noted.

He was CEO of Element K LLC from 2000 to 2004. Over the course of his career, Barnes has held senior executive positions at Ziff Communications Co., Ziff Brothers Investments, Wasserstein Perella & Co., Reservoir Capital Group, and QFS Asset Management.

Barnes said he is looking forward to leading the George Eastman House into the future.

“The range of its activities and opportunities is exhilarating. George Eastman House is a vital part of Rochester’s community,” he said in a statement. “The museum’s unparalleled collections—in the areas of photography, cinema and their technologies—and curators make important contributions on the international cultural scene, and its leading post-graduate programs advance the imperative of photography and film preservation around the world."

Museum chairman Thomas Jackson said the museum found the perfect individual in Barnes, who was selected after an international search process.

“Our collections and location, important in themselves, are also the springboard for essential work in preservation and an understanding of how the image can inform as well as reflect society,” Jackson said. “Barnes understands these interconnections in an impressively deep way and has the vision to take our past accomplishments and turn vision into reality.

“His extraordinary talents across so many dimensions are matched by his passion for George Eastman House and its potentiality. That’s a wonderful, winning, combination.”

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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