Barnes Foundation to Open its New Philadelphia Campus with Ten Days of Free Admission May 19 Through May 28, 2012

Barnes Foundation to Open its New Philadelphia Campus with Ten Days of Free Admission May 19 Through May 28, 2012

Media Preview: Wednesday, May 16, 10 am–2 pm
Building Dedication Ceremony: Friday, May 18, 11 am
Memorial Day Weekend Festival: Round the Clock Access, May 26, noon–May 28, 6 pm

March 20, 2012, Philadelphia—The Barnes Foundation today announced that its new campus in Philadelphia will open with ten days of free admission beginning on May 19 and continuing through May 28. The building will be dedicated on Friday, May 18, 2012, at 11 am. The inaugural week culminates with a Memorial Day festival weekend, offering round-the-clock free admission to the renowned collection and entire campus. The weekend features a variety of entertainment and programs from noon on May 26 through 6 pm on May 28. Tickets are required for all opening events and are available online or by calling 1.866.849.7056.

The Barnes Foundation's 93,000-square-foot building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, conceived as a "gallery within a garden and a garden within a gallery," is set within a four-and-a-half-acre site with landscape design by Olin. The building will provide significant new facilities for the Foundation's core programs in art education, as well as for temporary exhibitions and visitor amenities. At the same time, the legendary Barnes art collection will be presented within a 12,000-square-foot gallery that preserves the scale, proportion and configuration of the original Merion gallery, as well as the founder's conception of a visual interplay between art and nature.

While the new campus on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway enables the Foundation to relax previous restrictions on public visitation, admissions will be scheduled so as to maintain an intimate and contemplative atmosphere. The natural light in the gallery, controlled through contemporary technology, will reveal the true beauty of the Barnes Foundation's unparalleled collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, African sculpture, Pennsylvania Dutch decorative arts and other important works.

The seminal painting Joy of Life by Henri Matisse will now be placed in an intimate gallery on the second floor. This new placement allows for safe and improved viewing of the painting and maintains the visual relationship between this work and the Matisse mural The Dance, which was commissioned by Dr. Barnes.

In keeping with the Foundation's historic environmental mission, which includes its programs in horticultural education and its stewardship of the Arboretum in Merion, the Philadelphia building of the Barnes Foundation features a sustainable design, and utilizes filtered natural daylight, a green roof, grey water re-use, reclaimed Pennsylvania and New Jersey wood and other local materials. The Foundation is seeking LEED platinum certification for the building, the highest level possible.

In addition to free public admission hours from May 19 through May 28, a building dedication on May 18 will initiate a week of festivities which will include the Foundation's sold-out black-tie Opening Gala on the evening of the dedication; a symposium on collectors and collections during the day on May 19; a celebratory party on the evening of May 19; and a series of special previews for supporters, members, civic groups and others May 20 through 25.

"Now, after a long and determined effort to secure the future of the Barnes Foundation, we look forward to welcoming the public to our accessible new campus in Philadelphia," said Dr. Bernard C. Watson, Chairman of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees. "The time has come for people to see what we offer, and take advantage of this wonderful institution and its collection and educational programming, which Dr. Barnes intended for all people from all walks of life."

Derek Gillman, Executive Director and President of the Barnes, stated, "The Barnes Foundation is rightly celebrated as steward of one of the great achievements of world collecting. We hope the presentation of our collection at the new campus, faithful to the way in which Dr. Barnes displayed it in Merion and, at the same time, shown in a new light, will open the eyes of many more people to these wonderful works of art, and encourage them to engage with the unique educational opportunities now offered in central Philadelphia."

The Foundation's Philadelphia campus has been realized at a total cost of $150 million for construction and related expenses. The Barnes Foundation has successfully raised $200 million to pay for construction with $50 million to establish an endowment, in a campaign that will continue after the opening.

"We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the entire community for this project, which will enable the Barnes Foundation to go forward as an independent, robust and dynamic organization for the future," said Joe Neubauer, Vice Chairman of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees. "In addition to the many foundations and corporations that share our vision for an expanded and vibrant Barnes, more than fifteen thousand individuals have joined to support us as members. The Barnes is an incomparable artistic and educational resource, and we are overjoyed to be able to make it more accessible to people in Philadelphia and from all over the world."

The premier sponsors for the opening year of the Philadelphia campus are PNC and Comcast. Both companies support the core principles of the Barnes Foundation in the areas of public access, education and community engagement.

The Design of the New Campus

Standing two stories high with an additional level below grade and set within a four-and-a-half acre landscape, the Barnes's Philadelphia building houses the Foundation's gallery collection, classrooms and seminar rooms, an internal garden, a 150-seat auditorium, a special exhibitions gallery, a painting conservation laboratory, a library, administrative offices, a café, coffee bar and a gift shop.

The building has a textured grey-and-gold Negev limestone exterior. The hand-tooled stone, set in panels, is overlaid on a stainless steel skin with bronze accents, evoking a cloth-like tapestry that alludes both to works in the collection and to African textiles. The weightiness and dignity of the stone accords with the other monumental landmarks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A translucent canopy that appears to float above the stone building casts daylight onto a serene interior court. The canopy has an ethereal presence by day and glows like a welcoming lantern at night.

Together with landscape architect Laurie Olin, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have conceived a "gallery in a garden" that honors the original Barnes facility and provides visitors with a highly personal and contemplative experience. The design offers a series of outdoor rooms and spaces that unfold as visitors approach the building, passing through the public gardens en route to the entrance.

The landscaped grounds around the building reference aspects of the Barnes Arboretum in Merion. Among the features is a public park on the site's southeast corner, at 20th Street and the Parkway. Inspired by the city parks of Paris, it provides a new public gathering space in Philadelphia, with an elegant elongated table fountain set amid gravel-surfaced walkways and gracious wooden seats. London plane trees on the site have been preserved and serve as a buffer between the building and the busy city.

A major new sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly, The Barnes Totem, standing 40 feet in height, has been commissioned for the campus through the generosity of the Neubauer Family Foundation and is being installed in an outdoor plaza on the approach to the building's entrance. The soaring work, made of bead-blasted stainless steel, stands at the end of a reflecting pool, where two allées of trees intersect and where the sculpture will echo the vertical lines of the building as well as the forms of the red maples lining the path toward the building's entrance.

Inaugural Special Exhibition

Among the principal features of the new building is a 5,000-square-foot space dedicated to special exhibitions. As the inaugural exhibition in this space, the Barnes Foundation will present Ensemble: Albert C. Barnes and the Experiment in Education, tracing the roots of Albert Barnes's educational theory and practice and exploring the history and purpose behind his collecting and the distinctive installation of the gallery collection.

Barnes continually rearranged the objects he acquired for his collection, creating "ensembles"—wall compositions organized according to the principles of light, line, color and space—for educational use. His aim was to aid students in appreciating aesthetic qualities independent of chronology, nationality, style or genre, and to demonstrate the continuity of artistic vision across divisions of art and craft, cosmopolitan and provincial styles, time periods and world cultures.

Drawing on the rich archives of the Barnes Foundation and on its other non-gallery collections, Ensemble will tell the story behind the installation in the collection gallery, and will reveal Barnes's important friendships and exchanges with artists, philosophers, educators, collectors and dealers including William Glackens, Leo Stein, John Dewey, Paul Guillaume, and Violette de Mazia. It also tells the story of the Barnes's life in Merion and the role of Laura Barnes in developing the Arboretum and horticultural programs.

The Inaugural Special Exhibition is sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Education Programs

The Barnes Foundation will offer a broad range of education programs at its Philadelphia campus for adult learners, K-12 students, pre-schoolers (ages 2-5), families and teachers.

Adult courses include the traditional three-year Barnes Certificate courses, which focus on the formal elements of light, line, color and space; a new version of the Certificate courses, offered on public days and making use of the campus's classrooms and digital facilities; single-semester courses on specific subjects; and a new two-semester course on Understanding World Art.

The existing course in Barnes History and Methodology, the keystone in a joint undergraduate program between the Barnes and Lincoln University, will be continued and expanded at the Philadelphia campus for the 2012-13 academic year.

The Barnes's K-12 programs align with Pennsylvania's current curriculum standards for the arts and humanities and are taught both on-site, in the collection galleries, and off-site in school classrooms. K-8 students in the School District of Philadelphia may also participate in subsidized programs at different grade levels, made possible with support of PECO, Verizon Foundation, the Hamilton Family Foundation, Wells Fargo and Citizen's Charitable Foundation.

The pre-school program Making, Moving, Listening, Looking is informed by the gallery collection and incorporates stories, art-making, music, movement and dance. The program aligns with PNC's Grow Up Great initiative for children ages 2 to 5. Other family-based programs encourage parents/guardians and children to explore art together, as they cultivate tools for looking, engage in dialogue about art and learn about how art practices cross boundaries of cultures, disciplines and media.

For educators, the Philadelphia campus will offer the Barnes Foundation Teacher Institute, an intensive two-day seminar; two-hour teacher workshops, offered quarterly, focusing on specific themes or programs of the Foundation; and an annual one-day conference for arts educators.


Visitors to the Philadelphia campus will have the option to enjoy a meal at the full-service café on the first floor or a snack at the sit-down coffee bar on the lower level. Both will offer a seasonally changing menu emphasizing fresh, healthy options and locally sourced food, catered by 1st and Fresh, a division of the Aramark Premier Catering Group. Aramark has also furthered its association with the Vetri Organization which will offer special culinary events throughout the year and an option for event catering at the Philadelphia campus. In addition to a coffee bar, the lower level contains a library, soft seating lounge area, The Barnes Shop (featuring a selection of handcrafted objects for the home and garden, artisanal jewelry, textiles, gifts, books and Art-on-Demand fine art reproductions of favorite works from the collection), restrooms and a coatroom.


Four major publications, being issued in spring and summer 2012, will coincide with the opening of the Philadelphia campus. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided generous support for the collection-based scholarly research.

Masterworks of the Barnes Foundation (Skira/Rizzoli, in association with the Barnes Foundation) is a 368-page introduction to 160 highlights of the gallery collection, featuring 437 illustrations; brief texts on individual works, relating them to their ensembles; and an introductory essay by Judith Dolkart, Chief Curator of the Foundation. Edited by Judith Dolkart and Associate Curator Martha Lucy, the hardcover book retails for $40. This publication was made possible through generous support from the Knight Foundation and M&T Bank.

Renoir in the Barnes Foundation (Yale University Press, in association with the Barnes Foundation) is the first catalogue of the Foundation's extraordinary collection of 181 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Telling the story of Albert Barnes's obsession with the artist's late works and offering new scholarship on the works, the book includes individual entries for 64 major works (with technical notes by Barbara Buckley, Head of Conservation), thematic essays on the remaining 117 works and essays by Martha Lucy and the late John House, Professor Emeritus of the Courtauld Institute of Art. The 392-page hardcover book has 354 illustrations and retails for $75. This publication was funded by the Lehman Foundation.

The Barnes Foundation: Two Buildings (Skira/Rizzoli, in association with the Barnes Foundation) by University of Pennsylvania architectural historian Dr. David Brownlee offers a lively, compact account of the original Barnes Foundation building in Merion, designed by Paul Cret, and the new Philadelphia building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, examining how both are informed by the Foundation's educational mission. The 80-page hardcover book features 60 illustrations and retails for $12.95.

The Architecture of the Barnes Foundation: Gallery in a Garden, Garden in a Gallery (Skira/Rizzoli, in association with the Barnes Foundation) is an exploration of the Foundation's new campus in Philadelphia, lavishly illustrated with photographs by Michael Moran. The book features essays by the distinguished architectural historian Kenneth Frampton of Columbia University and by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, situating the building within the context of TWBTA's other work and considering the implications of the Foundation's new public profile. The 160-page hardcover book retails for $50.

Merion Campus

The Barnes in Merion will continue to be home to the Foundation's horticulture education programs and to the Archives. Education classes will resume in September 2012 and the Archives will be open by appointment for scholarly research. Renovation work in the Arboretum and on related structures is ongoing, with the intention of re-opening the grounds to the public in autumn 2012.

Location, Hours and Admission Prices

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City, between 20th and 21st Streets.

The Foundation is open to the public Wednesday through Monday, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, with late hours until 10:00 pm on Friday. On the first Friday of every month the Barnes will offer entertainment and a café menu thanks to the generosity of Wells Fargo. The Foundation is closed to the public on Tuesday, when its galleries are used exclusively for the Foundation's education programs.

Tickets are free to Members and children under the age of six accompanied by an adult. General admission prices are $18 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students. Admission on the first Sunday each month from 1 until 5 pm is free through the generosity of PECO. Information and tickets are available online and by calling 1.866.849.7056.

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, 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 2000 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.


* Media Registration and Accreditation for Opening Events
Advance accreditation is required for all journalists planning to attend the opening Media Preview on May 16 and Building Dedication Ceremony on May 18. Accreditation applications are available online and may be submitted electronically. All forms must be received by April 30.

The Barnes Foundation

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