Release Date: February 18, 2014

Sharon Percy Rockefeller Becomes Chairman of National Gallery of Art Board of Trustees

Sharon Rockefeller Member, Board of Trustees National Gallery of Art

Sharon Rockefeller
Chairman, Board of Trustees
National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC―Sharon Percy Rockefeller became chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art in September 2013, upon the retirement of John C. Wilmerding, who was appointed to the board in 2005 and became chairman in 2007. He is now trustee emeritus. In her role as chairman, Rockefeller presides over meetings of the board, which approves any work of art that enters the Gallery collection to assure the high standard of quality set by the original donor is maintained.

Since 1990, Sharon Percy Rockefeller and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV have been strong supporters of the National Gallery of Art. Sharon Percy Rockefeller has served as a member of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees since 2005 and before that served on the Gallery’s Trustees’ Council from 1994 to 2004. The Rockefellers have helped with the Gallery’s development efforts, making gifts for the New Century Fund and for more recent fundraising campaigns. They have given generously for the Gallery’s art acquisition program, helping to fund the purchase of Leo Villareal’s Multiverse (2008) and securing for the Gallery Adolf Menzel’s pastel An Infant Asleep in His Crib (1848) from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection. The Rockefellers have also supported two special exhibitions: Dan Flavin: A Retrospective (2004–2005) and Prayers and Portraits: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych (2006–2007). The Rockefellers have been members of the Collectors Committee since 2000 and joined The Exhibition Circle when it was founded in 2006, after first joining The Circle in 1990. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is also a member of The Legacy Circle, the Gallery’s planned giving recognition society.

Sharon Percy Rockefeller has served the public broadcasting community for more than 30 years as a leader and policy maker. She has been president and CEO of WETA, Washington, DC’s flagship public television and radio stations since 1989. She continues to guide WETA to outstanding accomplishments in broadcasting and production. Before assuming the top post at WETA, she was a member of WETA’s Board of Trustees for seven years and a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 12 years, including four years as chairman.

A graduate of Stanford University, Rockefeller is active in a number of areas including education, fine arts, government, and women’s issues. She serves on the boards of PepsiCo, the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Sibley Memorial Hospital. She is president of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Rockefeller is the former chairwoman of the Virginia Association of Public Television Stations. She is a trustee of the Federal City Council and a member and former chairman of the Stanford-in-Washington Council. She was formerly a member of the boards of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Stanford University, University of Chicago, Sotheby’s, Smithsonian Associates, National Cathedral School, The George Washington University, Smithsonian American Art Commission, The Phillips Collection, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

In October of 1994, Rockefeller was named a recipient of the Charles Frankel Prize by the National Endowment for the Humanities in recognition of her outstanding achievements in promoting the arts and humanities in her public broadcasting career. She has also received the Distinguished Broadcaster Award, and was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. Rockefeller has also been honored with the Women of Vision Award from the Women in Film and Video and the CINE Lifetime Achievement Award.

In West Virginia, she served for 10 years on the board of the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority. She also acted as chairman and founder of Mountain Artisans (a quilting business for low-income artisans), served as a member of the board of directors of the Sunrise Museum, and was a teacher’s assistant for the Head Start program in Coal Branch Heights.

She is married to Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. They have four children and six grandchildren.   

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