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“Fabulous art, but many challenges”

The Barnes Foundation
Experience for Yourself
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and up
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
Ranked #2 of 443 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French painting in the world. An extraordinary number of masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne and Matisse provide a depth of work by these artists that is unavailable elsewhere. Established as an educational institution, the Barnes carries out its mission teaching classes in its galleries and Arboretum.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fabulous art, but many challenges”
Reviewed August 22, 2012 via mobile

Great art, well presented in spectacular new building but with many, many challenges and limitations. The galleries maintain their original size from the Merion location, but in person this just seems silly as the art is jammed in with too many people and the overall experience is a little disappointing. The on-site restaurant is gorgeous and the food well prepared, but service is slow as molasses given the pricing. Something is just "off" about the place, with the staff seemingly haughty and self important, the interior flow confusing (not just in the galleries), and lots and lots of rules (no backpack purses, but ladies with bags the size of a wheelbarrow are semingly OK)...

Go for the art, be prepared to move quickly, and don't expect much from the staff.

2 Thank South_Pasadena_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,045 reviews from our community

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Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey
Level Contributor
60 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A complete view of how all art should be seen!”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

I will never enjoy another museum as much as I did the Barnes! The new building is perfect for the collection. Every room is laid out exactly the way Dr. Barnes had them. He brings new meaning to what art is even if it is an old hinge or a candlestick. The collection is fabulous!

Visited July 2012
Thank dutchessnancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Collection”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Did a great job of transferring an amazing collection of Impressionist Art to a new and beautiful site. Very impressive

Visited August 2012
Thank Hobo613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
87 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Absolutely off the charts!”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Art lovers will go bananas when they learn the story of Dr. Barnes and see his remarkable, enormous collection of art. There are about 70 Cezanne paintings, many Prendergasts, Matisses, and so much more. This is a mecca for art lovers.

Visited August 2012
Thank TravelInsuranceLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

The quiet yet soaring new building is the perfect enhancement to the collection. And the collection itself is a lifetime's experience of art, arranged in a brilliant way. I am told that the audio guide is excellent, but I advise taking a docent-led tour through a few rooms to better understand and "see" the others. It'll change the way you view art in general and appreciate this collection in particular.

Visited August 2012
Thank jpb-ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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