Stories & News / Press Releases

Terra Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

November 14, 2013

Chicago, IL—The Terra Foundation for American Art announced today the addition of four new members to its Board of Directors: Michael Leja, professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania; Henri Loyrette, former director of the Musée du Louvre; Larry Richman, president and CEO of PrivateBancorp, Inc.; and Greg Williamson, chief investment officer at BP America (biographies follow).

“These four individuals bring a wealth of expertise and innovative thinking to the foundation, particularly in the fields of museum leadership, American art scholarship, and finance,” said Terra Foundation Board Chair Gerhard Casper. “Collectively, they are an invaluable asset in advancing our worldwide mission.”

The Terra Foundation board of directors consists of leaders in academia, business, philanthropy, and the visual arts, both in Chicago, where the foundation is headquartered, and internationally.

“In the past decade, there has been a growing presence of American art in France and throughout Europe, which is largely due to the efforts of the Terra Foundation,” said Loyrette, who was named to the foundation’s new international board. “I am pleased to be more closely involved with the organization and their objective to share the historical art of the United States with audiences worldwide.”

Michael Leja is professor of art history and director of the program in visual arts at the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts. He previously taught at Northwestern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Williams College, and the University of Delaware. Dr. Leja’s area of specialization is the visual arts of the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily in the United States. He has authored books and numerous catalogues and articles in this area of his expertise. The Terra has engaged him in the past to serve in an adviser capacity and as a grant reader. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University.
Henri Loyrette is an art historian and a member of the Conseil d’Etat (French Council of State), a body that acts both as legal advisor to the executive branch and as the Supreme Court for administrative justice. He also serves as president of Admical, a French organization dedicated to corporate philanthropy. Mr. Loyrette was formerly the president and director of the Musée du Louvre 2001–2013 and is recognized for expanding the display of the museum’s collections, as well as the museum itself—with a location in Lens, France, opened in December 2012, and an agreement to open a future branch in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Prior to heading the Louvre, he was at the Musée d’Orsay for 23 years, having been appointed curator in 1978 and director in 1994. Mr. Loyrette is a noted scholar of 19th century French art, notably an expert in the work of Edgar Degas. Throughout his distinguished career, he has held important positions in several French cultural organizations, including serving as the secretary-general of the French Committee on Art History.

Larry Richman has been president and CEO of PrivateBancorp, Inc. and subsidiary, The PrivateBank-Chicago, since November 2007. Prior to joining PrivateBancorp, he was president and CEO of LaSalle Bank N.A. as well as president of LaSalle Bank Midwest. Mr. Richman serves on the boards of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Museum of Science & Industry, Ravinia Festival Association, Field Museum, Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and Executives’ Club of Chicago. He also is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, where he earned his MBA, and a board member of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Greg Williamson started with BP America in 1991 and has been their chief investment officer since 2001. In addition he became director of trust investments in April 2008. He is lead investor and manager of a 16-person team responsible for corporate asset management in the western hemisphere. Mr. Williamson’s primary responsibilities include global equity and fixed income market analysis and projections, global policy and tactical asset allocation, and investment manager and strategy selection, implementation and review. He is part of the senior management team involved in long-term investment strategy development for BP Corp. and subsidiary plan global assets of $55 billion. He was appointed by President GW Bush to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets in September 2007 and earned his MBA in Finance, Economics & Strategy from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Terra Foundation for American Art

Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With financial resources of more than $250 million, an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, and devotes approximately $12 million annually in support of American art exhibitions, projects, and research worldwide.