An interdisciplinary curriculum for 5th and 6th grade students Sponsored by The Verizon Foundation
April 24, 2012, Philadelphia—The Art of Looking is a multi-visit education program for 5th and 6th grade students in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) that places Barnes educators in more than 30 city classrooms annually and provides complimentary transportation, admission, and learning experiences in the galleries at the Barnes. The Verizon Foundation’s generous support of $100,000.00 has enabled the Barnes to build a successful partnership with the SDP during this critical period when the District is facing drastic cuts in funding for the arts.
As the Barnes prepares to move its world renowned art collection, from suburban Merion to Center City, Philadelphia, The Art of Looking has become the model program for the delivery of impactful education programming for our city’s public schools. The program utilizes a muti-curriculum format for urban students that integrates key curriculum mandates in math and science with exposure to the arts. Significant to this ground breaking program is the ensemble installation at the Barnes Foundation, which presents art from many cultures and time periods, expressed through a variety of mediums, in groupings that invite students to draw inferences that reinforce values of equality, respect, and understanding.
The availability of teacher resources (posters, activity sheets, etc), lesson plans and other components of The Art of Looking on Verizon’s Thinkfinity website and the Barnes Foundation website has contributed to the impact that this program has had on teachers and students that were not among the 2500+ that have been directly served by the program in its 1st two years.
With the historic grand opening of the new Philadelphia campus, the Barnes will serve more than 6,000 K-8 students from the SDP annually. The Barnes is expanding the Art of Looking model to 1,500 students in the primary grades and 1,500 7th and 8th grades in the SDP, with the cross-curricula focus on literacy (K-3), history, anthropology and government (7-8).
The Barnes Foundation credits the Verizon Foundation for providing the resources to create impactful programming for thousands of city children. The new location in the city has made the collection accessible to Philadelphia’s public schools for the 1st time in the Barnes Foundation’s history.
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. 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 inception in 1940 by Laura L. Barnes.