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“They're real”

The Barnes Foundation
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Day Trip from New Haven CT to Philadelphia by Rail
Ranked #2 of 458 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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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 April 5, 2014 via mobile

These are famous paintings that have been shown in books but are here for real. Strange and moving installation with architectural iron. Take your time. This is worth every penny.

1  Thank DocBrown55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,973 - 2,977 of 4,299 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2014

The Barnes was better before it moved. Today I took my children to see the 'new' museum.
Many elements were disappointing--most involving museum design and staff unfriendliness.

When we first walked up to the ticket scanning area, the many attendants chatted to one another rather than helping us. We waited for for quite a while before we finally interrupted their important conversation to ask for assistance with self-tour gear and children's packets. Before entering, all visitors were given stiff warnings about the collection and correct behavior.

We entered and almost immediately, one of my children had to use this toilet. This was unfortunately, because once in the collection area there is no opportunity to find a toilet. One must go back out, return their self-guided tour gear, traverse the entire museum, go to the basement floor to use the toilet. Smart.

Once we were scanned back in and returned to the collection, we perused the beautifully arranged walls of art and metal work, Truly it's a great collection. But we also could not help but notice the stern security staff who ever-vigilantly chastised visitors who were not really out of line. Three seconds standing in a doorway and you got it. I sat down on a bench, my three year old daughter put her head in my lap and partially lay down, and she was told to stop by the Barne's police. Really?

Overall, it felt child-unfriendly. They provided a game packet with a game that promised a prize at the end, if you could solve a puzzle. My kids tried to figure the game out, two college-educated adults tried to figure it out, and it was so comically complex and required so much reading and interpretation that we returned the packet. No prize honeys.

We may return again when our kids are teens.

4  Thank agastache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

We stumbled on this art gallery and couldn't have been more excited!! 181 Renoir paintings, 90% of which we never knew existed!! Also 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 7 Van Goghs!!! What a collection Dr Barnes amassed.

1  Thank Cin53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

It's really a staggering amount to absorb. The beauty, the complexity, the sheer magnitude of this collection. The space is tremendous. I've lived within 1/2 hour of the old one & never went there, however plan to go again this spring. Pick an impressionist, post-impressionist and it would be worthwhile just to go for their works in the collection. Renoir is heavily represented, and I even found an Albrecht Duhrer in an upper floor room.

1  Thank Bajoba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

I had visited the old Barnes in Merion three times in the past, the last of these to try to register everything about the old setting before they picked the thing up and moved lock, stock and barrel to downtown. The move was worth every nickel. I saw paintings on this visit to the new setting that were unviewable in the old one. The ancillary facilities (great lobby, bookstore, cafe, restaurant and so on) which did not even exist in the old Barnes were lovely and user friendly and yummy (restaurant, not bookstore) in the new one. The collection speaks for itself, and it is a source of continuous wonder to me that a snake-oil salesman could have done such a brilliant job assembling it. God bless you Dr. Barnes, whereever you are.

Thank jetlagged123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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