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DENNIS BARRIE NAMED TO DIRECT ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM

 CLEVELAND, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Dennis Barrie, internationally recognized art museum director and historian, has been hired as director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. In a press conference held today, members of the board of directors gathered to announce the appointment and to praise Barrie's scholarship and leadership. The selection culminates a national search which reviewed candidates from a variety of prestigious museum, artistic and musical backgrounds.
 Official groundbreaking ceremonies for the $84 million I.M. Pei- designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum were held this past June. Construction is currently underway with opening scheduled in mid-1995. Barrie will come on as director on Sept. 1.
 "This appointment signifies a major step in our evolution as a leading cultural and educational center, unique in the world," board co- chairman William N. Hulett said. "Dennis Barrie will lead the project and will bring the rich legacy of rock and roll music to its fans and to new audiences."
 Barrie comes to his new assignment with over 20 years of experience in American art and cultural history. He served as Midwest Area Director of the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, where he developed relationships with and secured collections from such noted and diverse people as artist Louise Nevelson, sculptor Isamu Noguchi and publisher and philanthropist Joseph Pulitzer.
 Barrie came to national attention as director of The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, when he and the Arts Center were indicted on obscenity charges for the institution's presentation of the traveling exhibition, "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment." As a result of Barrie's articulate defense and subsequent acquittal, he has become a central figure in the nationwide movement for freedom of artistic expression. He has won numerous awards, including the First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation Award.
 Upon leaving The Contemporary Arts Center in 1992, he founded Dennis Barrie & Associates which has developed and traveled exhibitions to museums across the country. One such exhibit, "2 X Immortal: Elvis + Marilyn," is the first major museum exhibition to examine the influence of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe on American culture. This traveling exhibition will include more than 100 works of art by some of the most important artists working in the last half of this century.
 Barrie replaces K. Michael Benz, who was praised today by civic and business leaders for his role in guiding the project through its $84 million financing and its groundbreaking ceremonies held this June.
 "Mike has done a superb job," Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and a member of the museum's board of directors, who served on the search committee, said. "We thank him and hope he stays involved with the project. I am especially pleased and excited about Mr. Barrie's appointment. He is uniquely qualified for this position and he shares our vision for the museum. I look forward to working closely with him to make that vision a reality."
 Other Hall of Fame and Museum board members praised Barrie's selection, citing his scholarship, his grounding in arts administration and fund raising, his connoisseurship and his love for and understanding of music as a cultural mirror and a social catalyst. Barrie, who holds an M.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in American Cultural History from Wayne State University, has served on the American Association of Museum Directors outreach committee and has been on the selection committee for the internationally recognized Venice Biennial.
 "I consider the directorship of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum a position unlike any other," Barrie said. "The chance to develop an institution that will thoroughly explore the impact of rock music on our society, that will make popular culture a valuable tool for education opportunities, and that will fuse the role of the traditional museum with the energy and excitement of rock and roll music, is the opportunity of a lifetime."
 Barrie currently lives in Cincinnati. He intends to move to Cleveland this year.
 -0- 8/11/93
 /CONTACT: Howard C. Landau of Wyse Landau Public Relations, 216-696-1686, for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum/


CO: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum ST: Ohio IN: ENT SU: PER

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