Barnes raises ticket prices

Posted: April 18, 2013

The Barnes Foundation has increased ticket prices more than 22 percent, from $18 to $22, for most hours of the day, effective May 1.

Officials at the gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway said that the increase would generate revenue, but that the main motive was to relieve congestion during high-traffic periods and to increase use of the Barnes audio guide, which now carries injunctions about appropriate gallery behavior.

The audio guide is included in the new ticket price.

The gallery will also extend its free admission for the first Sunday of every month to cover the entire day, not just afternoons. Tickets are still required for those days.

"We're seeing many more people not familiar . . . with what is proper behavior," said Derek Gillman, the Barnes' president and chief executive. He added that the gallery wanted those additional visitors, but with new gallerygoers "we're seeing more transgressions of people touching things and getting too close" to the art, he said.

The audio guide now cautions visitors against touching art and standing too close to paintings and sculptures. The guide also provides explanations and information about individual artworks and the layout of the gallery as a whole, said Gillman.

The audio guide has not been required in the past, but about 40 percent of visitors paid an extra $5 to get one, Barnes officials said.

The gallery officials said they hoped the higher prices from morning to midafternoon would bump visitors into the later hours, alleviating congestion, particularly during the late morning and lunchtime.

The new pricing:

Tickets for adults will now cost $22 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and $18 from 3 p.m. until closing.

Tickets for older visitors will cost $20 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and $15 from 3 p.m. until closing.

For students with ID, $10 (all hours).

Admission is free for area art-college students and children under 5, active military personnel, and members. (There is no increase in membership cost.)

Admission is free the first Sunday of each month.

Audio tours and admission to special exhibitions are included with admission.

Contact Stephan Salisbury at 215-854-5594,, or @SPSalisbury on Twitter

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