A Classic Collection
The breathtaking collection at The Barnes includes 181 works by Renoir (the largest Renoir collection in the world), 69 by Cezanne, 59 by Matisse, and much more. The art is symmetrically arranged and paired with objects of art and sculptures, making each wall almost too much to digest at one time—but definitely try.
This amazing collection was amassed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes with the fortune he made through his invention of Argyrol, an antiseptic. It is one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings, as well as African sculptures, masks, and tools; Native American jewelry, textiles, and ceramics; and pieces of decorative art. The Barnes was founded as an educational institution dedicated to promoting the appreciation of fine art and horticulture. The museum’s educational method, which was based on experiencing original works of art, continues today through the Barnes-deMazia educational program.
Rediscover The Barnes
The Barnes has reopened and to provide an inspiring, meaningful and enriching visit while still protecting visitors and staff, the museum has reimagined every aspect of its operations. Visitors are encouraged to reserve timed tickets online or by phone at 215.278.7200 to facilitate social distancing and touchless purchasing. Upon arrival, staff and visitors have temperature checks. All visitors are required to wear masks/face coverings over their nose and mouth. All public spaces are rigorously cleaned and hand-sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the museum. Signs are posted to encourage social distancing and the museum has been set up so there’s a one-way flow through the galleries.
Take a Tour
Guided tours are limited. The Art Team, a group of professional art historians, artists, and educators, are doing pop-up talks in the galleries. Also, visitors can use Barnes Focus, a free mobile guide. Simply go to barnesfoc.us and point the phone’s camera at a piece of art for details about it. It works with a web browser, no download is necessary.
Take the Barnes Home
The perfect souvenir is a Barnes mask. The Barnes offers masks inspired by works in the Barnes collection -- Work by French pointillist painter Henri Edmund Cross, details of the wallpaper in Vincent Van Gogh’s The Postman, details of Henri Rousseau’s Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest, and featuring a charming Pennsylvania Dutch watercolor, details from an African mask or a Chinese scroll. All masks are comfortable, washable and reusable. They’re made of two layers of fabric (one cotton, one poly) and have soft elastic ear loops. The masks are produced at a small American manufacturer based in Rhode Island who, before the pandemic, supplied The Barnes Shop with neckties. As part of our arrangement with this company, masks have also been made for and donated to Project HOME. Barnes members get a 10% discount. Have an artistic kid? Child’s sizes are available too. Available in the shop or online. The museum continues to offer a variety of online activities including performances and adult classes, as well as art activities for families.