Terrific Tableaus: Behind the Scenes Art Exhibition at the Barnes

Terrific Tableaus: Behind the Scenes Art Exhibition at the Barnes

La Brum artwork

We are thrilled to have a wonderful temporary exhibition going on in the Barnes offices: these three-dimensional renderings come from students at LaBrum Middle School in Northeast Philadelphia, led by art instructor Robyn Miller.

We are fortunate to work with some very enthusiastic and talented students and teachers in the School District of Philadelphia. Robyn Miller is an art teacher who we have worked closely with since 2009, bringing students to the Barnes and using the collection as the basis for discussions and art making.

Works by her students have graced venues from the Barnes Foundation’s construction fence to the Woodmere Art Museum to the Art Gallery at City Hall.

LaBrum artwork
By Heather and Daniel. Madame Monet Embroidering


LaBrum artwork
By Fatima.
 Standing Girl in Blue Dress


LaBrum artwork
By Kathleen, Lily and Molly. 
The Ribalds


LaBrum artwork
By Isabella, Alyssa, Rebecca and Ciera. The Dance


LaBrum artwork
By Andrea and Laura. Composition: The Peasants


LaBrum artwork
By Destiny, Alexandria and Alexis. Group of Dancers


LaBrum artwork
By Justin and Akim. Acrobat and Young Harlequin


LaBrum artwork
By Ernesto and Nicholas. Scouts Attacked by a Tiger

When I spoke to Robyn recently, I discovered that she traces her passion for art back to her high school art teacher, who took classes at the Barnes.

“When I was at Philadelphia High School for Girls, my art teacher, Gladys Block, was studying at the Barnes Foundation with Violette de Mazia. She would use things she experienced in her Barnes classes when she taught us. The exposure to so many artists, at that age, was so important. That’s come full circle for me in introducing my students to the artists in the Barnes collection.

Gladys came back to the Barnes for an alumni reception last year. [She saw] Modigliani’s woman in the white dress…she had this flashback of teaching students how to look. [The reason that it’s important for me to introduce my students to the Barnes is] the elemental nature of how you engage with a work. Without needing to know all about the artists’ lives, there’s an opportunity to analyze forms and to think about how light and plasticity play out.

What I’m excited for my students to see is the variety of painting styles. There’s not just one way of doing something. It’s so extraordinary for them to experience the real objects, up close and personal. They all come back to school wanting to return to the Barnes; they all want to see more.”

Many thanks to Robyn for all the work she does. We hope to engage with many more generations of Philadelphia schoolchildren to talk about great art.

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