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“Table with a view” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation
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Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
Ranked #2 of 433 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
166 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Table with a view”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2013

Terrific special event lunch with my family last month. Meal was good, not spectacular. Sitting next to the gardens made for a great spot to spend time and share a meal.
Staff was solid and made up for a delay by bringing over an assortment of desserts.
A nice treasure and you don't have to go into the museum to access the restaurant area.

Visited June 2013
Thank Bobwphilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Harrisburg, PA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Wonderful museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

This is a magnificant collection and well worth the visit. Parking was easy and the tickets were timed to prevent it from getting too crowded.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank SABTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
86 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not Enough Time To Take It All In!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

I visited the Barnes as part of a teacher workshop at the PMA. We were put into groups of about 15 and given a docent-led hour-long tour. An hour was nowhere near enough time to take in the abundance of paintings, metalwork, furniture, handicrafts, etc. in this collection. And in a group size of 15 there were almost too many of us in any given room at one time; it became very difficult to maneuver around to see all of the art. That being said, the collection is remarkable, the stories of Barnes' life, ascendancy to premier art collector, and the subsequent stipulations he put on his estate are incredibly interesting. Our docent was very informative, albeit a bit rushed and feeling pressed for time to get us through everything in an hour (which was impossible to do, in the end).
I tried to go back and visit the Barnes several months later on one of their Pay-What-You-Will Sundays, but by the time I got there (an hour after it had opened), they'd already sold out for the day, so that was frustrating.
Basically, if you want to see this expansive collection of art (which, amazingly, is on display exactly as it was in Barnes' home in Merion) I suggest you arrange for tickets well in advance, go on a docent-led tour if possible (I didn't take the audio tour, so I can't comment on its quality), and expect that one afternoon will not afford you the amount of time you'd need to take in all of the art.

Visited August 2012
Thank JJ484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Healdsburg, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Time well spent, but crowded”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

I went here a couple weeks ago on a visit to Philly, and I was actually really surprised at how pleasant the experience was. I didn't do any research on the museum (I just knew it held many Post-Impressionist paintings), so I didn't know that all of the rooms are those that were put together by one man. I really liked how he specifically put in traditional American furniture to accent the paintings on each wall. He also coordinated the paintings in a very interesting way, and it was fun to sit and think about what the though process behind it was.

However, it was much more crowded than I expected. It wasn't quite as crowded as it was when I went to the Louvre and D'Orsay museums last summer, but close. I kind of had to fight to get a good look at some paintings, which was made worse because the rooms are quite small. It is definitely not for the claustrophobic.

Their website suggested to make a reservation, so I did so. The free audio guide was a plus. I spent about three hours of my day here.

Visited July 2013
Thank MGM1123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
151 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

This art collection demands multiple visits just to skim its rich content. We took a docent tour that was amazing. Be sure to book it in advance so you are not shut out.

Visited July 2013
Thank SassySandi049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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