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A one-of-a-kind professional development program


About the Praxis

The Barnes’s Research, Education, Adaptation, and Development (READ) initiative is a one-of-a-kind professional development program that uses our world-renowned art collection to help companies train employees, unlock new possibilities, improve and empower teams, and lead change.


Professional development and talent management are critical functions in today’s top companies. Sometimes the goals are practical, such as fostering effective communication or training staff on diversity and inclusion. Other goals might focus on developing a mind-set for innovation or enterprise thinking, leading change, opening new markets or customer segments, or providing a forum for visioning or strategic planning. Others might be even more abstract, where the goal is simply to maintain adaptiveness, reinforce shared values, or invest in exploration.

The Barnes is a perfect forum for this work. Dr. Barnes founded his namesake educational institution nearly 100 years ago, first using his growing art collection to teach visual literacy and critical-thinking skills to the workers in his Philadelphia factory. Today, the Barnes has nearly 1,000 students in its adult education classes. In a collection filled with masterpieces—from Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh—our faculty are experts in making art accessible, relevant, and useful for personal and professional development.

In this way, our galleries become a type of research and development lab, protected from the office environment and the demands of efficiency while providing a diversity of perspectives essential during times of change or to encourage Blue Ocean thinking.

Working with The Curci Group, our team has developed a unique curriculum tailored to a variety of corporate needs. Half-day and full-day options are available, with each teaching session lasting 90 minutes, half of which will be spent directly in front of the artworks in our galleries.

Modules can be customized to meet company or team needs. Groups may be no larger than 18 to ensure maximum engagement with the art, our faculty, and fellow team members. Special pricing is available to companies that are currently enrolled in our Corporate Council membership program.

“All we hope to do at the Foundation is to help people learn to see not only pictures but every other object and situation in life.”

Dr. Albert Barnes

September 1943


Module 1
Observation vs Perception vs Inference

Module 2
Critical Feedback and Creative Friction

Module 3
Alignment through Consensus Building

Module 4
Zoom In and Zoom Out / Big Picture and Attention to Detail

Module 5
Lateral Thinking for Breakthrough Solutions

Module 6
Understanding the Drivers of Team Performance

All modules are facilitated by William Perthes, Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education, the Barnes Foundation, and Paul Curci, Principal, The Curci Group.

For more information, contact Will Cary, Senior Director for Annual and Corporate Giving.