Barnes Foundation is known internationally for its collection of 19th- and 20th-century French paintings. Established in 1922, the museum houses extensive works by Post-Impressionist and Early Modern masters, such as Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso. It also exhibits American art, African sculptures, Native American crafts, and countless other international pieces. Honoring its founder Albert C. Barnes’s commitment to fine arts and horticulture, the Barnes Foundation also created the Barnes Arboretum, located on the Merion campus. Here you can round out your educational and cultural experience by viewing upwards of 2,000 species of trees and plants. For Barnes Foundation and beyond, use our Philadelphia trip planning app to get the most from your Philadelphia vacation.
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Barnes Foundation reviews
We had never heard about the Barnes until our Hop On, Hop Off tour guide mentioned it. We decided to check it out and were impressed with the shear number of master artists in one place. It was a bit.... more
We had never heard about the Barnes until our Hop On, Hop Off tour guide mentioned it. We decided to check it out and were impressed with the shear number of master artists in one place. It was a bit.... more »
It’s unique. Great collection, displayed in an idiosyncratic way that will both surprise and delight. Make sure you learn the story of the founder. I think he was a bit if a perv, to be honest.
It’s unique. Great collection, displayed in an idiosyncratic way that will both surprise and delight. Make sure you learn the story of the founder. I think he was a bit if a perv, to be honest. more »
What an amazing and unique museum! I kind of love that nothing is really labeled, it makes you look at the wall as a whole (lots of symmetry going on) and sort of enjoy what you enjoy without other telling you how important it is. And it's not just impressionist art, though that is the bulk of the collection. There are African pieces, furniture, and lots of hardware - decorative hinges, locks, metal bits that I found fascinating. To learn more about a piece that catches your eye, there is a website you can pull up on your phone, point it at the painting, and it will give you all the info. It's set up inside like the old house the collection was originally in but the outside is very modern and concrete. I really loved the juxtaposition. Make sure to catch an introductory talk in the ground-floor classroom - it explains the history and why everything is set up like it is.
Amazing experience for any art lover. Large collection of European and American modern paintings including Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Rousseau, and many renowned artists. The rooms are packed with pieces curated in thought-provoking ways by Barnes himself and without overwhelming texts or explanations like most museums. It was highly experiential and inspiring. Recommend at least 3 hours to properly enjoy all the galleries.
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