The Barnes Foundation
Neighborhood: Logan Square, Philadelphia
Vibe: Artsy, refined, minimalistic, classic, cultured
Good for: art enthusiasts, educational trips, rainy day activities, history buffs
You know the age old saying, "April showers bring May flowers"? In my case, April showers brought me to The Barnes Foundation to check out their gorgeous fine art collection, that includes a number of floral pieces to swoon over.
The Barnes Foundation is located on Benjamin Franklin Parkway near Logan Square in Philadelphia. I had always heard great things from friends about this collection, but never had a chance to visit myself over the years! So, when I earned a comp day off of work that happened to fall on a rainy afternoon, I took it upon myself to book a solo trip to The Barnes Foundation to see what all the chatter was about.
To give you some background on the Foundation, it was founded in 1902 by Philadelphian, Albert C. Barnes, with the mission of promoting the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. The Foundation owns more than 4,000 objects, including over 900 paintings, estimated to be worth approx. $25 billion*. Notable featured artists include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
I'm no art history buff, so going into my visit I didn't really know what to expect or the deeper history or meaning behind the art, but upon arriving I immediately felt a sense of enrichment from being surrounded by such inspiring works of art. It felt really nice to go somewhere educational on my own, and appreciate the history as well as the sheer creativity that these iconic artists possessed.
Outside of the fantastic art collection, The Barnes' space is quite impressive too, boasting sky-high ceilings and a minimalist, open-floor layout. It was an interesting juxtaposition of modern architecture with fine art that I really enjoyed. The weather was gloomy and all I wanted after my stroll through the museum was to sit back and relax with hot cup of coffee in hand. Sounds like a pretty nice afternoon, right?
If you are local to Philadelphia, The Barnes Foundation is most likely no surprise to you, but if you reside in the suburbs or elsewhere, I highly recommend making a visit to this esteemed museum. The collection actually was originally located in Merion, PA but as of 2012, it moved up to Philadelphia in its new, expansive space. The artwork spans across seven rooms, so despite the large interior, the collection itself has an intimate feel, which is nice. I am going to share some of my favorite pieces below. Again, I don't have much expertise in art history, so these are ones that just stuck out to me visually! If only I could have one of these in my home!
So, next time you're like me and find yourself looking for something to do on a rainy afternoon, visit The Barnes Foundation and get cultured!