FAQs

FAQs

What is the Barnes Foundation?

The Barnes Foundation is a unique educational institution dedicated to appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. The Foundation fulfills its educational mission through public access to its collections of art and plants and through related programs. Its legendary art collection includes some of the world's finest examples of post-impressionist and early modern works, along with African and other non-western art, decorative arts, and more. The living collections include a historic 12-acre arboretum and a 10,000-specimen herbarium.


Where is the Barnes Foundation?

The Barnes Foundation has three locations:

  • The Barnes Philadelphia is home to the art collection, and is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
  • The Barnes Merion is home to the arboretum and horticulture program, and is located at 300 North Latch’s Lane, Merion, PA 19066
  • The Barnes Ker-Feal is an estate in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and is currently not open to the public

When did the Barnes Philadelphia open?

The Barnes Philadelphia opened on May 19, 2012.


How do I get tickets for the Barnes Foundation?

Tickets are available here.


Do I need a reservation to visit the Barnes?

Because the galleries are small, there is a limit to the number of people who can be in the collection galleries at any one time and entrance is staggered. Walk up tickets are available on some days, but not always. Tickets are sold for every half hour of the day, typically 10AM-5PM (weekend hours are variable).

Reservations are highly recommended for high traffic days (weekends, holidays) or if your schedule does not permit flexibility in entrance time. Daily admission is subject to selling out, and it is possible to be turned away or necessary to stand in line to enter the collection if admission for the day is full. For advanced ticket reservations, visit tickets online or call 215.278. 7200 between the hours of 10AM and 4PM daily. International guests experiencing issues with online reservations are encouraged to email reserve@barnesfoundation.org.


Why must visitors check large bags, jackets, and umbrellas in the complimentary coat check?

In the collection galleries, most paintings are unglazed, most objects are not inside cases. Some of the collection galleries of the Barnes Foundation are very small, and especially on high traffic days, can become crowded. In order to best protect the artwork and make the visitor experience as enjoyable as possible for everyone, the Barnes Foundation has rules in place to limit the chances for accidental contact with artworks and moisture exposure from damp jackets and umbrellas.


Is the Barnes Arboretum in Merion open?

The Barnes Arboretum is open to the public Friday–Sunday, 10 am–4 pm through November 1. The arboretum is also open for Horticulture courses.


When will the Barnes Ker-Feal open?

There are currently no plans to open Ker-Feal to the public.


Does the Barnes Foundation present special exhibitions?

One of the most significant features of the Foundation's Philadelphia facility is a 5,000-square-foot gallery for special exhibitions. These will reflect the original focus of the Barnes collections and will include shows of contemporary and non-western art. Learn more


How has the light and viewing experience been addressed in the new building?

A state-of-the-art lighting system, combining artificial and natural light, shows the art collection to best advantage, revealing subtleties of color, texture, and form to visitors. A rooftop “light box” filters out harmful UV rays from natural light and is illuminated at night, becoming a familiar beacon on the Parkway.


Is the Barnes Foundation Philadelphia environmentally-friendly?

The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia was awarded LEED Platinum Certification, the recognized standard for ensuring “green” construction and continued sustainability. The project features a high-performance envelope, and efficient energy conservation practices have been used throughout the design. A green roof and abundant permeable surfaces allow for rain and grey water re-use, and the incorporation of reclaimed Pennsylvania wood and local materials during construction enhance the sustainability of the building. If LEED Platinum Certification is awarded, this project will be the first cultural institution in the Delaware Valley to achieve such certification.

The landscape, designed by Olin, also helps us achieve our sustainability goals. There are approximately one hundred more trees on the site than exist now, as well as gardens and plantings surrounding the building. Irrigation is provided by the capture and storage of rainwater. Impermeable surfaces have been reduced to a minimum and underground storm water retention basins are installed.

The building’s operations have been overhauled to include mandatory recycling, promotion of reduced paper consumption, use of biodegradable materials and products that conform to LEED standards. Learn more


Are audio guides available?

Audio guides are complimentary for any ticket holder. Visitors may pick them up next to the Main Gallery entrance on the First Floor. The audio tour is also available for download in the App store. Simply search “Barnes Foundation” and download the Barnes Foundation App.


Is photography allowed in the Barnes Foundation?

Photography is allowed in all public spaces of the Barnes Foundation. This includes the Lower Level Lobby, the Annenberg Court, and the outdoor grounds. Photography is prohibited in the Main Collection Gallery.


Is sketching allowed in the Barnes Foundation?

Sketching is prohibited in the Main Collection Gallery. Our founder believed in close observation and appreciation of art, but expressly forbid art making in the galleries. Just as the way he hung the paintings has been maintained, Dr. Barnes’s specific rule that the collection be used solely for looking and the appreciation of fine art and not for drawing, painting or the instruction of art making is being followed.


How did Albert C. Barnes make his fortune?

Both a scientist and an entrepreneur, Dr. Barnes developed and marketed Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound. The fortune earned from this medicine’s global distribution allowed Barnes to realize his ideals and create the Barnes Foundation, an institution established “to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts.”

 

Campuses

Have more questions about our three related but distinct campuses? Visit the Campuses section for more information.


Barnes Philadelphia

Get a closer look at the design and features of the Philadelphia facility, and meet the architects behind the project.