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#SeeingtheBarnes

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.

Meet Erica

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.

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 of you of works in our collection #seeingtheBarnes.

How We Did It

Follow the process of pairing Erica with her chosen artwork.

Erica displays her chosen works: Armenian Girl by Glackens, Portrait of a Woman by Clouet, and Head by an unidentified artist.
Erica's portrait in progress.
Unidentified artist. Head, 16th century. BF802. Public Domain.
The final ad pairing Erica with Head, a 16th-century portrait by an unidentified artist.