My daughters and I took our very first trip to Philadelphia in early March of 2018. The city offers a plethora of outstanding educational opportunities for a homeschooling family–for ANY family–to learn about American history, government, science, the natural world, and art.
We decided to start our visit with art.
A day at the unbelievable Barnes Foundation brought our 35th experience adventure.
The Barnes Foundation is an unusual and extraordinary collection of over 4,000 objects, including over 900 impressionist, post-impressionist and modern European paintings. Founded by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, and assembled between 1912 and 1951, the extensive collection of art is estimated to be worth at least $25 billion dollars.
Barnes organized this collection based on visual similarities and created what he called “ensembles” with areas of art never before displayed together. For example, a visitor might find a painting by Matisse, hanging above a piece of Pennsylvania German furniture displaying Native American pottery, next to a collection of iron work crosses.
Most rooms or “galleries” at the Barnes portray a personal collection of art and treasured, global trinkets displayed in a home-like setting with chairs, tables, textiles, and ordinary objects.
Works by famous artists, such as Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, and Picasso fill the collection, with no “official” artist plates or identification.
For visitors use, each room offers a laminated guide with a diagram of the art displayed, as well as artists’ names, title of works, the year and the medium.
The Barnes Foundation collection presents art in an innovative and creative way–breaking the mold of traditional arrangement found in most art museums. Not only were we inspired by the works created by master artists, we also found ourselves challenged to understand and grasp the connections between seemingly unrelated objects.
Visit the Barnes Foundation for a truly unique and original art viewing experience.
The Barnes Foundation is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130. For more information, visit www.barnesfoundation.org or call 215-278-7000.
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