About the Campaign
Discover why after every visit, you’ll never stop seeing the Barnes.
With thousands of diverse works arranged without labels or categories, the Barnes invites you to think for yourself, make surprising connections, and speak art’s universal language. We've invited community partners to participate in our #SeeingtheBarnes campaign by selecting a painting from the Barnes collection that speaks to them.
Rob Buscher, director of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, credits his biracial heritage for his passion for Japanese and Asian American cinema.
As a community partner bringing Asian artists and performers to Barnes programs like Artist Bash and PECO Free First Sunday Family Day, Rob aims to carve out opportunities for underrepresented talent. “Communities of color haven't historically seen themselves in a museum space unless they are being studied by the dominant culture,” says Rob. He is also interested in bridging divides between class, race, and age, and uniting multigenerational audiences through public programs.
When asked to choose portraits from the Barnes collection that spoke to him, Rob gravitated toward Glackens’s Self-Portrait for his “swag look” as well as Van Gogh’s The Smoker and Tintoretto’s Portrait of a Gentleman for their “epic beards.” In Tintoretto’s painting, he also saw another person of mixed race.
Stay tuned for more stories from our community partners and behind-the-scenes moments from this campaign. In the meantime, show us how you'll never stop seeing the Barnes. Tag photos of your visit or scenes from everyday life that remind you of works in our collection #SeeingtheBarnes.
How We Did It
See how we paired Rob's image with his chosen artwork.
More Community Partners
Meet our partners who have participated in the campaign so far.
Erica Hawthorne, founder of Small But Mighty Arts, a program empowering Philadelphia artists, views the Barnes as a living bridge for connecting art and community. Likewise, her group's mission, which she hopes to further through partnerships like PECO Free First Sunday Family Day and Artist Bash, is to help artists realize that their work has agency and influence.
Erica chose portraits from the Barnes collection of women “showing inner strength and holding their space.” Their quiet confidence reminded Erica of her mother’s words: “wherever you are, that’s where you should be.” Building Small But Mighty Arts from the ground up, Erica has learned to hold her own space while expanding access for the artistic community.