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“Sensory overload”

The Barnes Foundation
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$49.00*
and up
The Philadelphia Pass
Ranked #1 of 428 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 September 2, 2013

A friend of mine is a member who gets a certain number of visitor passes so I confess, I did not pay to attend the museum. I'm not sure I would.

I found the place to be exceptionally crowded--not just with people on a busy Friday night that had a jazz band playing--but with artwork. I understand it's supposed to be remniscent of Mr. Barnes' home as it looked in its original location but the placement of pieces was haphazard and overwhelming at times.
While certainly impressive in its breadth and depth of a variety of genres and cultures, it is a sensory overload given the sounds, sights, and smells within the museum itself (there was something roasting on a BBQ while we were there and lots of beer and wine flowing).
I'm glad my friend took me; I'm not sure I'd pay to see it again.

1  Thank SuzanneGarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"new building"
in 220 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 257 reviews
"impressionist art"
in 182 reviews
"original location"
in 103 reviews
"lower merion"
in 57 reviews
"private collection"
in 111 reviews
"van gogh"
in 222 reviews
"docent tour"
in 111 reviews
"art lovers"
in 119 reviews
"each piece"
in 66 reviews
"great art"
in 101 reviews
"love art"
in 68 reviews
"benjamin franklin parkway"
in 50 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 76 reviews
"on display"
in 77 reviews
"second floor"
in 47 reviews
"timed tickets"
in 44 reviews
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3,833 - 3,837 of 4,855 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

I was amazed at the amount of famous and spectacular paintings Mr. Barnes had collected. The groupings and layout of the paintings were special. I lost count of the number of Renoirs, Monet, Van Goghs, El Greco, and Cezannes he owned. I also liked that there were headphones to explain some of the paintings.

Thank cathyck1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

Museum houses a lot of paintings. Just the right size. Beautiful building too. I didn't know reservations were needed and we were just lucky since it seemed to be a quiet day. Enjoy!

Thank ecogirl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

My wife and I had seen the video The Art of the Steal last year and had the opportunity to see how it all worked out. The art work collected by Dr Barnes (largest collection of Renoirs by an individual in the world) had been moved to the city from his original site. The move attempted to keep the atmosphere of the original site by having small rooms and the exact placement of paintings and metal artifacts on the wall as he had exhibited them. He had been against moving his collection and this wasn't done until after his death. The idea was good but did make for small rooms and the need for timed admissions to keep the crowds manageable. The audio tour is very helpful both in discussion some of the paintings and sculpture but also in explaining the metal objects displayed around the art. They would have remained a mystery to us otherwise. The tour made for a pleasant afternoon. Plus, nearby are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum and even the stature of Rocky!

Thank bilsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 2, 2013

Wow, not usually into art museums, This experience was interesting, informative and eye opening-- had the Dolcen Experience--fantastic exposure to great art in a beautiful setting.High recommend the Barnes Museum In Philly, Larry Segall

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

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