The Barnes Foundation Celebrates Centennial with Major Exhibitions & Series of Programs and Events
Newly commissioned immersive film installation by Isaac Julien, Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die); Modigliani Up Close; Barnes on the Block celebrating Juneteenth & Father’s Day
Philadelphia, PA, May 27, 2022—This year, the Barnes Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of its establishment with a constellation of exhibitions and public programs that reflect its commitments to education, community engagement, and diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Additionally, this month marks ten years since the Barnes opened its doors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Building on the progressive vision of its founder, the Barnes has developed a significant and expanding program of educational initiatives and cultural partnerships designed to serve the community and enrich the lives of audiences everywhere. Since 2012, the Barnes has welcomed 2.3 million visitors; enrolled over 7,500 adult learners in the Barnes–de Mazia Education Program; awarded more than 850 scholarships; launched myriad digital initiatives, including online and hybrid classes; served over 100,000 pre-K–12 students through its award-winning school programs; and presented 25 exhibitions.
“Home to one of the world’s most lauded art collections, the Barnes is a cultural gem of Philadelphia and, over the past decade, has blossomed into a gathering place for the community, uniting people across generations and cultures,” says Aileen Roberts, Chair of the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Today, the Barnes is internationally renowned and a cultural force here in Philadelphia—working with community partners and change agents like the People’s Emergency Center, Puentes de Salud, and Mural Arts Philadelphia—to bring art and education to the communities we serve. As we enter the Barnes’s second century, we are expanding opportunities for lifelong learning and further deepening our commitment to the institution’s educational mission.”
“On December 4, 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes received a charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to establish the Barnes Foundation, an educational institution dedicated to promoting the appreciation of fine art and horticulture,” says Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President. “Since opening our doors in Philadelphia in 2012, we have deepened our commitment to accessible arts education; diversity, inclusion, and social justice; and the development of new scholarship on the Barnes collection. Dr. Barnes’s pioneering education courses remain essential to our activities as does his commitment to making art accessible. At the same time, we’ve expanded the education program to include more contemporary topics and approaches, with a diverse array of online and on-site courses that reach learners around the world. Every day, we work to further Dr. Barnes’s educational legacy, to live up to his ideals of inclusion and access, and to break down barriers to participation in the arts.”
Inaugurated in 2012 with the opening of its Philadelphia building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, the Barnes Foundation’s exhibition program has featured 25 thought-provoking presentations that reveal new perspectives for experiencing the collection. Following the first exhibition of the Barnes centennial, Water, Wind, Breath: Southwest Native Art in Community—the institution’s first dedicated to Native American art—this summer, the Barnes will present Isaac Julien: Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die), featuring the debut a newly commissioned film installation by artist and filmmaker Sir Isaac Julien, CBE RA (b. London, 1960). On view in the Roberts Gallery from June 19 through September 4, the exhibition features a five-screen installation that explores the close relationship of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, Barnes Foundation founder who was an early US collector and exhibitor of African material culture, and the famed philosopher and cultural critic Alain Locke, known as the Father of the Harlem Renaissance.
This exhibition is sponsored by the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Initiative, Comcast NBCUniversal, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is made possible by Agnes Gund, Emily and Mike Cavanagh, Marjorie Ogilvie and Miller Parker, Brenda A. and Larry D. Thompson, Darrell and Melenese Ford, and Ronald Blaylock.
The centerpiece of the fall season is Modigliani Up Close, a major loan exhibition that shares new insights into Amedeo Modigliani’s working methods and materials. On view in the Roberts Gallery starting October 16, Modigliani Up Close is curated by an international team of art historians and conservators: Barbara Buckley, Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings at the Barnes; Simonetta Fraquelli, independent curator and consulting curator for the Barnes; Nancy Ireson, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator at the Barnes; and Annette King, Paintings Conservator at Tate Modern, London. This exhibition is the culmination of years of research by conservators and curators across Europe and the Americas and features over 50 works from major museum collections around the world. Together, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue further understanding of Modigliani’s approach to his art, refine a chronology of his works, and help to establish the locations and circumstances associated with his practice. Modigliani Up Close holds a special significance at the Barnes, as Dr. Albert C. Barnes was one of Modigliani’s earliest collectors in the United States and helped to shape his critical reception in this country.
This exhibition is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and Comcast NBCUniversal. Additional support is provided by the David Berg Foundation, Sue Perel Rosefsky, Alter Family Foundation, Pamela and David Berkman, Julie Jensen Bryan and Robert Bryan, Laura and Bill Buck, Marianne Dean, Dietz & Watson, Roberta and Carl Dranoff, Deborah Glass, Anne and Matt Hamilton, Pamela and James Hill, Amy Donohue-Korman and John Korman, Sueyun and Gene Locks, Yasmina M. Moukarzel, Nicole and James Schaeffer, Joan F. Thalheimer, Harriet and Larry Weiss, Margaret and Tom Whitford, Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, and other generous individuals. The exhibition publication is made possible with generous support provided by Joan Garde, Bob Wilson and Michele Plante, the Lois and Julian Brodsky Publications Fund, and Furthermore: the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Ongoing support for exhibitions comes from the Christine and Michael Angelakis Exhibition Fund, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Christine and George Henisee Exhibition Fund, and Aileen and Brian Roberts. In addition, support for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund.
Archives & Special Collections Exhibition
Matisse & The Dance
In 1930, Dr. Albert C. Barnes commissioned artist Henri Matisse to paint a mural for the lunettes in the main gallery. This archival exhibition presents some of the letters exchanged between Dr. Barnes and Matisse during the course of the years-long project, along with a selection of sketches and photographs, giving visitors a glimpse of the trials and tribulations that led to the triumph that is The Dance.
A variety of special programs will be presented throughout the year in honor of the Barnes centennial, kicking off with Barnes on the Block on Sunday, June 19, 4–9 pm. This special edition of our annual block party will celebrate the opening of Isaac Julien: Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die), plus Juneteenth and Father’s Day, with free admission to the galleries and outdoor family-friendly art making, live performances, food trucks, and a beer garden.
From 4–8 pm, guests can enjoy a planting and collaging activity at the Tiny Farm Wagon with Misty Sol; get a personalized poem from Marshall James Kavanaugh; decorate a custom lantern with Ken Johnston; check out a live mural painting by Mural Arts Philadelphia; and view a social justice–themed art installation created by students from Southwark School, Ludlow School, and Farrell School, and Mural Arts Philadelphia with teaching artist Jamee Grigsby. Barnes on the Block will feature performances by West Powelton Steppers & Drum Squad, DJ Oluwafemi, TAMEARTZ—presenting a hip-hop and breaking performance—as well as a community drum circle with Karen Smith and friends. We Embrace Fatherhood, a coalition of West Philadelphia fathers, activists, and artists, will present an outdoor public art installation celebrating Black fatherhood. This installation, From the Root to the Fruit: Portraits of Black Fathers and Their Children, West Philadelphia–based photographer Ken McFarlane, will be projected onto the facade of the Barnes Foundation at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 20th Street from 8:30 to 11 pm.
Barnes on the Block is presented by PNC Arts Alive and in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia and We Embrace Fatherhood. Guests are encouraged to register online or on-site for gallery access, and for a chance to win a free Barnes membership. Four winners will be selected by a random drawing.
Additional centennial programming highlights are detailed below. A full list can be found on our website.
- Isaac Julien Programming Across Philadelphia
On the occasion of Isaac Julien: Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die), the Barnes has engaged cultural partners across Philadelphia, including The Fabric Workshop and Museum; Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; BlackStar Projects; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to present other works by Isaac Julien during the run of Isaac Julien: Once Again . . . (Statues Never Die) and beyond. Visit the website for more details.
- Barnes Art Ball
Friday, October 21
This year’s Barnes Art Ball will celebrate the centennial and Modigliani Up Close exhibition. Funds raised from the Barnes Art Ball directly support the Barnes’s educational mission and its dedication to caring for the collection, pursuing scholarly projects, presenting diverse exhibitions, and providing innovative programs for the community and its broad array of visitors.
- Conversation Series: The Barnes Then and Now
Saturday, September 10–Wednesday, September 28
This special four-talk series will bring together scholars and cultural leaders to reflect on the state of the Barnes 100 years after its founding. Topics will include the Barnes ensembles, the Barnes’s relationship with Lincoln University, close looking and the Barnes education program, and reflections on art and social justice.
- PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: 100 Years
Sunday, December 4
On the first Sunday of every month, the Barnes offers free admission and family activities. This December’s program celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Barnes Foundation’s establishment and will also recognize 10 years of Free First Sunday Family Day's critical partnership with PECO.
- A variety of lectures for Barnes members on topics related to the collection and exhibitions are taking place regularly throughout the year, including lectures on Matisse in Philadelphia in November, and Modigliani in December.
ABOUT THE BARNES FOUNDATION
The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned canvases by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside African, Asian, ancient, medieval, and Native American art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.
The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” A visionary collector and pioneering educator, Dr. Barnes was also a fierce advocate for the civil rights of African Americans, women, and the economically marginalized. Committed to racial equality and social justice, he established a scholarship program to support young Black artists, writers, and musicians who wanted to further their education. Dr. Barnes was deeply interested in African American culture and became actively involved in the Harlem Renaissance, during which he collaborated with philosopher Alain Locke and Charles S. Johnson, the scholar and activist, to promote awareness of the artistic value of African art.
Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes Foundation has expanded its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice, teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways; investing in original scholarship relating to its collection; and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its programs.
The Barnes Foundation is situated in Lenapehoking, the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people. Read our Land Acknowledgment.
Hours and ticket prices are listed on our website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications, The Barnes Foundation
Online press office: barnesfoundation.org/press