May 19, 2016 |
Everybody's a critic. Each of us walks into a museum and says, "I like that!" or "You call that art?" Albert C. Barnes would approve. Barnes (1872-1951) feuded with the art establishment of his day and disliked most art historians and academic aestheticians. It was the unschooled lover of art he welcomed to his great art collection grounds in Lower Merion. His principal interest, he wrote in 1920, was education, first for himself, "then for those less fortunate ones around me, then in the education of the public.
April 17, 2015 |
Ending an often testy and sometimes distant 25-year coexistence, the Barnes Foundation will merge with the foundation established by the estate of Violette de Mazia, Albert C. Barnes' longtime colleague. The Violette de Mazia Foundation - whose sole purpose has been to promulgate and support art education based on the formalist pedagogical principles of Barnes, de Mazia, and the philosopher John Dewey - will form the core of the Barnes-de Mazia Education Program, to be based at the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway.
January 9, 2015 |
The Barnes Foundation has selected Thomas Collins, head of the resurgent Pérez Art Museum in Miami, to be its new chief executive and president, the museum announced Wednesday. A native of the Philadelphia area, Collins, 46, will assume the post in March at an institution that is now in its third year on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. He succeeds Derek Gillman, who guided the Barnes from 2006 to 2013, when the Barnes successfully, if sometimes contentiously, moved its spectacular collection of impressionist and early modernist art from its longtime home in Merion to Philadelphia.
December 5, 2013 |
Derek Gillman, the British-born executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation who guided it through the latter stages of a controversial move from its longtime home in suburban Merion to a grand new gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, announced his resignation Tuesday. Gillman, 60, will become a visiting professor at Drexel University's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, where he will teach in a new museum leadership program and in the art history department.
January 7, 2013 |
For Albert Barnes, the French impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a magnificent obsession on a scale that defies both reason and understanding. Between 1912, when he acquired his first nine Renoirs, and 1942, when he bought his last two, the founder of the Barnes Foundation gathered under his roof 178 Renoir oils of various sizes and subjects (as well as a pastel drawing, a lithograph, and a sculpture). Perhaps the best explanation of this amazing prodigality comes from the collector himself, as quoted on page 33 of the foundation's new comprehensive catalog of its Renoirs: "I have never experienced from Renoir's work the ennui or disgust with the platitudinous emptiness and general damn rot that I have found in the work of practically every other man represented in my collection from Delacroix to Picasso.
June 22, 2012 |
The shotgun wedding of the Barnes Foundation and Philadelphia has finally taken place, complete with preview parties and self-congratulations among the city's movers (literally) and shakers — precisely as cranky old Dr. Barnes would have hated. The new home of the fabled art collection has not impressed some of Albert Barnes' disciples, who insist on pesky reminders that the new place on the Parkway is an egregious violation of his will. Supporters of the move comically argue that the new open-door museum is what Barnes really would have wanted, even though he kept his galleries closed to all but the foundation's students during his lifetime.
May 28, 2012 |
It has been said in various bits of commentary and reportage surrounding this month's opening of the new Barnes Foundation building that Albert Barnes wanted his collection to be shared with the general public. Not so. Albert C. Barnes didn't want hoi polloi cluttering up his galleries because he believed that wandering into any art museum unprepared by the kind of instruction his school offered was nonsensical and a waste of time. Obviously, if he had wanted an open-door policy, he would have initiated one. He had 26 years to do so before he died.
May 26, 2012 |
It took decades for Albert Barnes to amass his eclectic collection and years of negotiations to get it into a new home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, so its momentous opening weekend will be celebrated with 56 consecutive hours of free events. "This really is a celebration, and we want to do as much as possible, since public programming is clearly new to the Barnes," said Kathleen Greene, the public programming manager. Most of the timed tickets for the opening weekend sold out weeks ago, but the Barnes is holding back a few tickets a day for walk-up visitors, plus whatever may be turned back by those who bought them earlier.
May 26, 2012 |
Surrounded by the great squares of scored limestone quarried from the Negev Desert and now gracing the walls of the light court of the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the city's business, political, social and civic elite gathered Thursday evening to honor two of their own: Joe Neubauer and Aileen Roberts, winners of this year's Philadelphia Award. Neubauer, who just stepped down as chief executive of Aramark Corp., the food services giant, and Roberts, a philanthropist trained as a landscape architect, were instrumental in bringing the Barnes Foundation to Philadelphia from its original and only home on 12 arboreal acres in Merion.
May 25, 2012 |
The stalwarts of Philly's museum district are welcoming their new neighbor, the Barnes Foundation, with biblical scrolls, Barnes-inspired selections, and answers to big questions. The Barnes opens its treasure trove of impressionists and modernists this weekend, but art and culture seekers don't have to stop there. Art and anthropology await visitors to other museums on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The biggest rival to the Barnes kickoff is best introduced with an ancient declaration: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.