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“Art overstimulation...take in small doses”

The Barnes Foundation
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$32.00*
and up
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
Ranked #2 of 463 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.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The Barnes Foundation is a great building for viewing the art, and I saw many works I had never seen. However, I am not a huge fan of the way in which Dr. Barnes hung the artwork, with so many pieces on a wall. I did not favor the lack of descriptive text, either, but that is just me. I spent about 5 hours, with a few breaks, viewing the whole collection. Toward the end, I wanted to see more, but at the same time felt like a soaked sponge unable to absorb any more.

Parking tip--there is nearby on-street parking for $1.25 per hour, for up to 12 hours. That is less expensiver than the on-site parking lot.

Thank Theos_leftluggage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"new building"
in 216 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 242 reviews
"impressionist art"
in 170 reviews
"original location"
in 98 reviews
"lower merion"
in 53 reviews
"private collection"
in 103 reviews
"van gogh"
in 204 reviews
"el greco"
in 46 reviews
"docent tour"
in 107 reviews
"art lovers"
in 118 reviews
"each piece"
in 61 reviews
"great art"
in 101 reviews
"love art"
in 63 reviews
"benjamin franklin parkway"
in 47 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 72 reviews
"on display"
in 72 reviews
"second floor"
in 45 reviews
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4,037 - 4,041 of 4,481 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2012

An astonishing collection with too much to appreciate in one visit. You start to glaze over after a while. My wife was ticked off that she had to check her handbag--something no other museum has ever requested.

Thank George H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Dr. Albert C. Barnes art collection is housed in a beautiful new building in Philadelphia. He focused on Impressionist and Post Impressionist art and amassed an impressive collection. Barnes was one of the largest collectors of Renoir paintings in America.

He believed in arranging art in what appears to be peculiar groupings to the untrained eye. He found odd correlations to his pieces and insisted that they be displayed in that fashion. I found his symmetry not only odd, but at times nonsensical.

I have visited many other private collections (my favorite is housed at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena) and found Barnes to be less satisfying despite all the press.

At the moment, you must obtain timed, pre arranged reservations for this museum. It is worth a visit.

1  Thank Worryfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

What a gorgeous museum and the collection is overwhelming! We spent several hours here, breaking for lunch in their lovely restaurant. The lighting on the art is astounding, as is the art. It has to be seen more than once to appreciate all that is there.

1  Thank marion211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 5, 2012

The Barnes Foundation is truly one of the most unique collections that I have ever visited. A few insights: it's a very easy trip from NYC. We took Amtrak to 30th St Station and then it was a very quick cab ride to the Barnes. I would recommend getting to the museum as early in the day as possible; it fills up quickly. There is a free app you can download to your iphone, otherwise you will have to pay $5 to use the same thing on the museum's ipod. We ate at the sit down restaurant there on site. Kind of pricey, but nice service. Be advised; security is very strict and made me coat check my unopened water bottle. There is a very interesting exhibit about the life of Dr. Barnes that I really enjoyed. He was a character!

1  Thank LadyLuxeNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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