Bruce Barnes's blog

Director's Note: Thankful for Five Years of Support and Progress

Eugene Richards talks with teens about photography

For the past five years, I have been honored to be the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum. As I reflect, I am thankful to our great staff, the Eastman Museum Council, and all of our members, donors, and volunteers for their essential contributions. I am grateful to our trustees and active trustees emeriti, who have worked with and supported me to formulate our strategic vision. In particular, I thank Thomas Jackson, Steven Schwartz, and Kevin Gavagan—who have served as chairs of the Board of Trustees during my tenure—and former chair Stephen Ashley, who has been an invaluable advisor.

Director's Note: With Thanks

James Card

Universally admired by our museum’s trustees and staff, Steven Schwartz is a strong leader with a keen understanding of the role of a nonprofit board. The museum has greatly benefitted from his term as chair of the Board of Trustees, a responsibility he assumed in 2014 after joining the board in 2005 and serving as an officer for several years. As chair, Steven has emphasized the importance of developing our board and increasing trustee engagement. Deeply committed to giving back to society, he formerly served as treasurer of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Help Us Protect the Arts

Photograph from the film, the lost world, of three men arguing

The Trump administration’s 2018 budget calls for the complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This draconian act would be a harsh setback for the George Eastman Museum and other arts, cultural, and educational institutions. It would harm many people who benefit from the agencies’ programs: artists; scholars and students; veterans and the disabled; and children, parents, and the elderly. It is urgent that we all advocate for these institutions, which are invaluable to our culture and society.

Director's Note: Celebrating Vittorio Storaro, A Master of Cinema

Vittorio Storaro (center) with director Francis Ford Coppola (left) and production designer Dean Tavoularis during filming of Apocalypse Now (1979)

Cinema is, perhaps more than any other art form, a combination of performing and visual arts. As originally conceived, the George Eastman Award is to be presented to actors, directors, and cinematographers. Over the past twenty years, its recipients have, with one exception, been actors—gifted performers who are immediately recognizable because they are visible on screen. We have been neglecting the essential contributions of the visual artists behind the camera— cinematographers. Although a dozen cinematographers have received the award since the first ceremony in 1955, none has been honored in this way since 1976.

Director's Note: Collections Now Accessible Online

Image from Sight Reading exhibit

With the recent launch of a new platform, more than a quarter of a million objects from the George Eastman Museum’s world-class collections are now accessible online at You can search or browse our collection in ways never before possible. More objects from the museum’s vast holdings— including films and other objects from the cinema collection—will be added to the museum’s website on an ongoing basis.

Director's Note: Second Floor. Walk Up!

Camera Obscura

Compared to the first floor of George Eastman’s historic mansion—which we restored more than 25 years ago to closely resemble how it looked during his life—we know less about the second floor and how it was decorated, and we have relatively few pieces of furniture that are original to the second-floor rooms. Nevertheless, over the course of the last few years, the George Eastman Museum has made great strides in revitalizing the second floor— and more enhancements are being planned. Walking through the mansion’s second floor has become an important part of the full Eastman Museum experience.


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