I went to the Barnes this afternoon using the free Sunday afternoon tickets. The free tickets are being offered for the first Sunday of each month. http://www.uwishunu.com/2012/05/the-barnes-foundation-and-peco-team-up-to-offer-free-first-sundays-at-the-barnes-starting-on-june-3/
We visited the galleries first, but in retrospect, should have started with the exhibit on the ground floor devoted to Dr. Barnes and the history of the collection. The exhibit on Dr. Barnes provides a good context to the exhibits in the galleries.
The art is placed exactly as it was in the building in Merion. There are no explanations in the galleries but most of the rooms contain booklets which tell you what is what. There is no explanation about why the art is hung the way it is; Dr. Barnes liked to juxtapose different artworks but it is not easy to discern what he meant to convey by the various arrangemenst. I did not get the audio tour so perhaps that might help. It costs $5 for nonmembers.
I do not know but somehow I missed the room in which Matisse Joy of Life was hung.I'm sorry I missed that.
We parked in the museum lot it was $15 which we didn't mind since the tickets were free.
Overall I enjoyed the visit and would return!