Barnes Foundation Audiovisual Materials Collection

Summary Information

Barnes Foundation Archives
The Barnes Foundation
Barnes Foundation audiovisual materials collection
3.5 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
3.5 linear feet
This collection consists of audiovisual material relating to the Barnes Foundation.

Preferred Citation

[Medium]. [Description of item], [date]. Barnes Foundation Audiovisual Materials Collection. Barnes Foundation Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Reprinted with permission.

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Historical Note

Dr. Albert C. Barnes established the Barnes Foundation in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts.” After his death in 1951, the Foundation continued to carry out the program of classes in art appreciation and horticulture established during Barnes’s lifetime, and also began a program of public visitation in 1961. The Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern paintings in the world. The collection also includes important examples of American paintings and works on paper; African sculpture; Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles; Asian paintings, prints, and sculptures; Medieval manuscripts and sculptures; Old Master paintings; ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; and American and European decorative arts and metalwork. The Arboretum includes over 3,000 species/varieties of woody plants gathered from different sources around the world. The Foundation’s Arboretum School, founded in 1940, guides students to better appreciate the aesthetic appeal of plants and gardens while providing a sound scientific base in botany, horticulture and landscape design. From 1993-1995, selections from the art collection were included in the notable Great French Paintings of the Barnes Foundation tour.

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Scope and Content

The Barnes Foundation audiovisual materials collection contains audiocassettes and videocassettes documenting many different aspects of the Barnes Foundation. The bulk of the materials pertain to the Great French Paintings tour, in which select masterpieces from the Barnes Foundation collection went on tour from 1993-1995 while the gallery building in Merion was renovated. The collection also contains copies of radio talks given by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1936 and 1942, interviews with various persons associated with the Foundation, and a documentary made about Dr. Barnes entitled Citizen Barnes. Some “home videos” from the 1990s document events at the Barnes Foundation, such as third year students’ presentation in the Foundation’s art education program, an anniversary party for long-time employee Harry Sefarbi, and the reinstallation of The Dance mural in the Main Gallery in 1995. There is also a small amount of material relating to various Foundation legal cases.

Please note that this collection has been processed at a minimum level, and that descriptions of content and running times are not available for all items. Technical metadata may also be lacking or incomplete. Unless otherwise noted, titles have been taken from the spine of the item in question. The Barnes Foundation Archives may not necessarily possess the necessary hardware to play all items. Please consult the Archives and Library Department for more information.

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This collection is arranged chronologically, and then alphabetically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Barnes Foundation Archives 2010

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research to qualified researchers by appointment only. Please contact the Archives and Library Department for information on access and research.

Use Restrictions

The Barnes Foundation audiovisual materials are the physical property of The Barnes Foundation Archives. The Foundation holds literary rights only for material created by staff of the Foundation and material given to the Foundation with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Acquisition Information

These items were housed in the Barnes Foundation’s administration building storage area.

Processed By

Adrienne Pruitt. Finding aid written by Adrienne Pruitt, April 2010.

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Related Materials

Related Collections

  • Albert C. Barnes Correspondence. Barnes Foundation Archives, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Central File Correspondence. Barnes Foundation Archives, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Barnes Foundation Legal Papers. Barnes Foundation Archives, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Transcripts of radio talks. Barnes Foundation Archives, Philadelphia, PA.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Barnes Foundation. Arboretum
  • National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • The Barnes Foundation


  • Audiocassettes
  • Audiotapes
  • Compact discs
  • DVDs
  • Hard disks
  • Motion pictures (visual works)
  • Videocassettes

Geographic Name(s)

  • Chester County (Pa.)
  • Lower Merion (Pa. : Township)
  • Merion (Pa.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Barnes, Albert C. (Coombs), 1872–1951
  • Barnes, Laura L., 1875-1966
  • Bond, Julian, 1940–
  • Camp, Kimberly
  • Dewey, John, 1859–1952
  • Glanton, Richard
  • King, Nicholas
  • Sefarbi, Harry, 1917–2009
  • Tinari, Nicholas
  • Wattenmaker, Richard J.


  • Art – Private collections – Pennsylvania – Merion

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A boxlist is available in the repository.

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