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 works 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, African sculpture, American paintings and decorative arts, antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia, and Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles. 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 in Merion, Pennsylvania, contains more than 2,500 species and varieties of trees and other woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and expanded under the direction of Laura L. Barnes, the collection includes a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a Japanese wheel tree (Trochodendron aralioides), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include stewartias, magnolias, lilacs, peonies, ferns, hostas, and medicinal plants. The Horticulture Education program at the arboretum has offered a comprehensive, three-year certificate course in the botanical sciences, horticultural practices, garden aesthetics, and design, and a well grounded scientific learning experience since its inception in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes.