The Barnes Foundation, which was established in 1922 to preserve the distinguished art collection of Philadelphia native Dr. Albert Barnes (1872-1951), has a new location in Philadelphia. A controversial and expensive move from Merion, PA to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has now given greater access to the surprisingly varied and authentic collection of Dr. Barnes.
The Parkway location is an expansion of the old Barnes and cost $150 million to create a beautifully modern museum. The Barnes has become one of Philadelphia’s most guarded tourist secrets, in comparison to the world-renown Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Barnes’ collection houses a number of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works, as well as sculptures and antique furniture. One can analyze the works of painters Cezanne, Matisse, and Van Gogh, as well as admire the collection of African masks and tribal pottery.
The museum is devoted to its art education programs, with a number of classrooms, an auditorium, and an art library. The campus also boasts a café and gardens for dining and leisure. A number of events are planned for September, including musical performances from Lincoln University Express (Sept. 14) and The Mike Boone Quartet (Sept. 21), as well as a live performance and audience participation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest on September 21.
One can visit the Barnes six days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m It is closed to the public on Tuesdays. Children under 5 and members can experience the Barnes for free, while full-time students with a valid student ID can enter for ten dollars.
More information on events and exhibitions can be found at barnesfoundation.org.