Ensemble view, Room 9, south wall, Philadelphia, 2012.
Ensemble view, Room 9, south wall, Philadelphia, 2012.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin and Maurice Prendergast, Old Master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. The Barnes Foundation’s Art and Aesthetics programs engage a diverse array of audiences. These programs, occurring at the Philadelphia campus, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

The Barnes Arboretum, located at the Merion campus, contains more than 2,000 species/varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and subsequently added to under the direction of Mrs. Laura L. Barnes, the collection includes a fern-leaf beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Laciniata’), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include Lilacs, Peonies, Stewartias and Magnolias. The Horticulture school at the Barnes Foundation in Merion has offered a comprehensive, three year certificate course of study in the botanical sciences, horticultural practices, garden aesthetics, and design through a well-grounded, scientific learning experience since its inception in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes.

Mission Statement


The mission statement and vision of the Barnes Foundation. Learn more

One Million Visitors

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, the Barnes Foundation welcomed its one millionth visitor to its location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Learn more

Our Campuses


You can visit the Barnes Foundation at two locations. Learn more

History of the Barnes


Discover the history of the Barnes Foundation. Learn more

Conservation Staff Member

Careers & Volunteering

Become a Barnes employee, volunteer, or intern.  Learn more

A news cameraman films the Barnes Philadelphia construction


View press releases, obtain images and media kits, and read the latest articles about the Barnes Foundation. Learn more

Barnes Foundation Annual Report

Annual Report

A closer look at the Barnes Foundation: event previews, institutional history, time spent with your favorite paintings, and other behind-the-scenes-at-the-museum features that only we can provide. Learn more

The Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Biographies of the Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation. Learn more



Frequently asked questions about the Barnes Foundation. Learn more