Albert C. Barnes Portrait to be Installed in Place of Honor by Main Room of Gallery Collection

PHILADELPHIA, PA, [April 22, 2013] — The Barnes Foundation will commemorate the one year anniversary of the opening of its new building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia with a variety of special events and programs this May.

As part of the celebrations, Giorgio de Chirico’s iconic 1926 portrait of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, will be hung in the foyer of the Barnes Collection Gallery. President and Executive Director Derek Gillman will give remarks to the public and a group of invited Barnes Alumni at an unveiling ceremony planned for the evening of May 17. Mr. Gillman noted, “In placing this magnificent portrait of Dr. Barnes in the entranceway to the collection he so carefully assembled and hung, we bring visibility to the founder of the unique institution that bears his name, while making accessible a significant work of art which has been out of the public’s view for most of the last eight decades.” 

First Anniversary celebrations begin on May 1 with a celebration to mark the opening of the Barnes Foundation’s first contemporary art exhibition in 90 years Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall.  The day includes a breakfast with speakers and a panel discussion and an evening VIP reception.

On view in the Aileen and Brian Roberts Gallery from May 4 through September 2, 2013, with member only days May 2-4, Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall comprises of five major sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly, including the monumental modern masterpiece Sculpture for a Large Wall (1956–1957), which returns to Philadelphia for the first time in 15 years.

Special programing will be featured throughout the run of the Ellsworth Kelly exhibition.

Other highlights include a lecture on May 18, entitled, Self-Taught Artists: Horace Pippin and his Peers. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Horace Pippin took classes at the Barnes Foundation at the urging of Albert Barnes in the 1920s. Penn’s Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw will discuss the “discovery” of Pippin and the subsequent phenomenon of academically-trained black artists deliberately producing work with a naïve appearance.  

For a full schedule of Anniversary programs in May please visit here.

Since opening, the Barnes has welcomed over 300,000 visitors from Philadelphia, around the region and around the world. In the past year the Barnes has hosted over 200 musical performances, 100 lectures and discussions,  and dance performances, workshops, poetry readings, movie screenings, and  story-telling. A Special Exhibition entitled, Ensemble: Albert C. Barnes and the Experiment in Education traced the history and aims of the Barnes and the institution that bears his name. A robust and engaged group of 25,000 founding members supports the Barnes and enjoys the benefits associated with membership.

About the Barnes Foundation
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 holdings 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, as well as 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 on-site, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

In May 2012, the Barnes Foundation opened a new facility on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The Philadelphia campus is home to the Foundation’s world-famous art collection and is the site of a new series of temporary exhibitions in its Aileen and Brian Roberts Gallery which respond, relate to, or contextualize the Foundation’s permanent collection.

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 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 offers 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 inauguration in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes.  The Barnes Foundation Archives are also located at the Merion campus.

The Barnes Foundation
Jan Rothschild, Senior Vice President for Communications
Andrew Stewart, Director of Public Relations

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