For Philadelphia-bound Art Lovers


Photo of the view of the new Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia by the Barnes Foundation.Anybody Philadelphia-bound? Be sure to pre-arrange tickets to a dazzling new museum building housing the Barnes Collection, just opened on May 19, 2012.  For any art lover, it’s an unexpected treasure trove of Renoirs, Cezannes, Matisses and other French painters of the 20th century. And the paintings are arranged in an unexpected style, grouped in “ensembles” that collector Albert C. Barnes considered in terms of light, line, color and space.

Brand New DVD

The Barnes Collection: An Enigmatic Man, An Inspiring Collection of Art is a brand new DVD that covers the founder and his massive, priceless group of 3000 art works. If your airline tickets to Philadelphia aren’t on your computer right now, watching this compelling PBS production is a treat.

Shocking Allegations…

However, another Barnes film is also recommended. The Art of the Steal, a 2010 documentary film, has a bias, as one might judge from the title. The filmmaker feels that the collection belongs in its original Merion, Pennsylvania location, surrounded by the 12 acre arboretum, as Dr. Barnes envisioned his private collection.


My suggestion is to watch the films in order of production. Having seen the paintings in their original home in Merion in 2010, I feel Dr. Barnes’ strict legal trust has been hijacked. On the other hand, I’m eager to see the architectural masterpiece that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have created in Philadelphia to house the amazing richness of The Barnes Collection.

Photo credit: The Barnes Foundation


Author Bio:

Karen Y. arranges her traveling plans around museums, both nationally and overseas. Another good new book to look at is Connie Terwilliger’s Art Travel Guide: Must-See Contemporary Art Sites Across the USA.

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