WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (February 19, 2010)—Reynolda House Museum of American Art Founding President Barbara Babcock Millhouse has received the Medallion of Merit from Wake Forest University. The award, given to the university’s most distinguished leaders since 1968, is Wake Forest’s highest honor.
Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch presented the award during the university’s Feb. 18 Founders’ Day Convocation. In recognizing Millhouse’s contributions to the university and community, Hatch honored her “scholarship in the field of American art, spirit of generosity, and dedicated leadership of Reynolda House Museum of American Art.”
Millhouse is granddaughter of Katharine Smith Reynolds and Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and daughter of Mary Reynolds and Charles H. Babcock. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the Reynolda House art collection, and under her guidance the nationally recognized collection has grown to include masterpieces of American painting, sculpture, and photography by such artists as Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart.
Millhouse served as president of the Reynolda House Board of Directors from its inception in 1965 until 2004 and continues as an active Board member. She oversaw the 2005 restoration of the historic house and the construction of the Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing, which added more than 30,000 square feet to the museum, including a 3,000 square foot exhibition gallery, education studios, and an auditorium. In 2008-2009, she joined museum leadership in developing Reynolda’s Plan for the Future, a strategic planning initiative that will direct Reynolda House’s activities as it approaches the museum’s 50th anniversary and the centennial of the historic house in 2017.
Millhouse is a graduate of Smith College with a degree in art history, and also holds an interior design degree from Parsons School of Design. She has served as a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art and was a founding member of its National Committee. She also serves on the American Painting and Sculpture Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has served Wake Forest University as a Trustee and continues as a director on the board of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.
Millhouse is the author of “American Wilderness: The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting” and “American Originals: Selections from Reynolda House Museum of American Art.”
Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums. Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features traveling and original exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events. The museum is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails. For more information, please visit reynoldahouse.org or call 336.758.5150.