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“World-class art museum”

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 July 25, 2013

Those who appreciate art already know about the Barnes Foundation and how magnificent it is. Visitors to Philadelphia who may not be well versed in art should find time in their sightseeing itinerary to learn about the artwork displayed here and the man who assembled this collection. In as little as two hours, you will be exposed to one of the greatest collection of artwork under one roof. As an example, the single largest collection of Renoir paintings in the world is here at the Barnes. Located between the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Rodin Museum, the entire area along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a great place to wander around.

Thank Keystone_Traveler
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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3,579 - 3,583 of 4,480 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2013

Just beautiful and overwhelming at the same time. Plan on immersing yourself in this outstanding exhibit that rivals anything you've seen in other parts of the world!

Thank Marcsmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

This was my first trip to the Barnes since the new building opened. It is breathtakingly beautiful and the art is displayed in a fashion reminiscent of the old building, somewhat haphazardly on the walls in a way the reminds you that this was one man's collection - a living room feeling. The public spaces are dramatically large and attractively sparse and the staff on hand were very helpful.

Thank msginthevillage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

It was tough to rate this museum. On the one hand, how could you give fewer than five stars to the collection of so many masterpieces - 181 Renoir's and 59 Matisse's for starters among some 800 paintings valued in the billions? But I have some comments:
- Despite selling tickets for admission at a certain hour, the gallery rooms were crowded, especially with tour groups and loud guides. The gallery rooms are small, though, adding to the claustrophobic feeling. I would leave the busy rooms and find quieter others and return later. My wife found herself alone in one gallery, and a guide sarcastically told her how lucky she was to be alone!
- The lighting is scandalously poor, not giving the paintings a chance to show off their brilliant colors, particularly the Renoir's. I've seen them at the Art Institute of Chicago in much better lighting, and they positively glow.
- Perhaps because of the mustard colored walls and the lighting, all the paintings took on a kind of yellow tint. I began seeing yellow everywhere.
- Because of the vertical stacking of the paintings, usually three, from eye level to ceiling, it was difficult to really see many of them. Also, they were so crowded together that's it's hard in retrospect to remember many of them, except the larger ones that hung alone. This constant vertical orientation is not to my taste - I prefer the horizontal orientation of most museums where you see one picture at a time and are not distracted by so many other objects thrown so closely together. But the trust set up by Albert C. Barnes stipulated how the paintings were to be hung. I think the trustees should have disregarded the instructions. Of course, that would have required a much, much larger museum.
- What I learned about art: Renoir had been one of my favorite painters, probably because I've seen so few. However, in seeing so many, it was obvious to me that he had not evolved much as a painter. All the paintings over his lifetime are pretty much alike. It gets monotonous. I appreciate Matisse and the others a lot more now!
- We liked the building and its surrounding area - spectacular.

4  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2013

We recently visited Philadelphia on a quest for great Art Museums. Of course we planned to visit PMA, but we weren't as certain about the Barnes Foundation. After visiting, we can say that this is a must visit if you want to see an excellent collection of all kinds of art (of course featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art) in a unique and beautiful setting. There are tons of Cezannes, Reniors, and Matisses - but I was really excited about the really good collection of Modigliani works. The museum is a beautiful facility - with water and stone as you approach from the outside... and once inside, the presentation of art as a re-creation of rooms in Barnes home is something really special to witness. For the setting and for the collection, I highly recommend a visit to the Barnes Foundation.

Thank 48bounty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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