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Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

4.6
Must see · Art Museum · Museum
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Barnes Foundation is known internationally for its collection of 19th- and 20th-century French paintings. Established in 1922, the museum houses extensive works by Post-Impressionist and Early Modern masters, such as Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso. It also exhibits American art, African sculptures, Native American crafts, and countless other international pieces. Honoring its founder Albert C. Barnes’s commitment to fine arts and horticulture, the Barnes Foundation also created the Barnes Arboretum, located on the Merion campus. Here you can round out your educational and cultural experience by viewing upwards of 2,000 species of trees and plants. For Barnes Foundation and beyond, use our Philadelphia trip planning app to get the most from your Philadelphia vacation.
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Barnes Foundation reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
5,372 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Repeat visitor. Always outstanding - as other reviewers will note, fantastic collection of French Impressionism, but more besides. It's all top notch. Two nits prompt this review. Post-covid... 
    Repeat visitor. Always outstanding - as other reviewers will note, fantastic collection of French Impressionism, but more besides. It's all top notch. Two nits prompt this review. Post-covid...  more »
  • Renoir exhibit was wonderful museum has laid out in a spectacular manor. We used gocity pass for admission. What a great way to see many attractions 
    Renoir exhibit was wonderful museum has laid out in a spectacular manor. We used gocity pass for admission. What a great way to see many attractions  more »
  • What a treat to see this remarkable collection. The building itself is stunning but the collection is what it's all about. Coming here is a rare opportunity to see such incredible works of art that....  more
    What a treat to see this remarkable collection. The building itself is stunning but the collection is what it's all about. Coming here is a rare opportunity to see such incredible works of art that....  more »
Google
  • In my opinion, the architecture of the building is far superior to the actual collection of art. Some of the individual pieces were really good but it’s curated so poorly… there’s maybe like one good art piece in a room of 45 bad pieces from famous artists who had not yet developed their skills yet. In a way, it’s fun to see that these recognizable artists had so many failed artworks that were really missing the mark before they started creating great impressive art… but in general that’s the impression I got from this museum. So many of the artworks could be filtered out to really make the handful of amazing ones stand out. The lighting in the rooms is horrendous which made it very hard to appreciate the color and strokes of the art, and the quirky arrangement of art all stacked one on top of the other was somewhat interesting at first and then became incredibly annoying because you couldn’t fully appreciate the art when it was hung up next to the door in the hall where everyone was walking or above the door higher than you can comfortably see. The museum app allows you to scan the art to get info on each piece and then they send you an email with the art you saw. I liked that. I thought it was a nice modern touch. In general, the museum is worth going to, but just not the best museum I’ve been to. Could be improved.
  • What an amazing and unique museum! I kind of love that nothing is really labeled, it makes you look at the wall as a whole (lots of symmetry going on) and sort of enjoy what you enjoy without other telling you how important it is. And it's not just impressionist art, though that is the bulk of the collection. There are African pieces, furniture, and lots of hardware - decorative hinges, locks, metal bits that I found fascinating. To learn more about a piece that catches your eye, there is a website you can pull up on your phone, point it at the painting, and it will give you all the info. It's set up inside like the old house the collection was originally in but the outside is very modern and concrete. I really loved the juxtaposition. Make sure to catch an introductory talk in the ground-floor classroom - it explains the history and why everything is set up like it is.
  • Amazing experience for any art lover. Large collection of European and American modern paintings including Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Rousseau, and many renowned artists. The rooms are packed with pieces curated in thought-provoking ways by Barnes himself and without overwhelming texts or explanations like most museums. It was highly experiential and inspiring. Recommend at least 3 hours to properly enjoy all the galleries.
  • I would not have come here except for a friend’s recommendation, but I am glad I did. The art is arranged in a unique way to contrast or showcase how different artists treat the same subject. They have a great app for learning about the art but it seemed to drain my phone’s battery a lot. Come fully charged!!
  • WOW! Over 4000 pieces of art in this incredible museum. When admiring the works, one of the guides (Mark) was incredibly helpful and informative, educating us about the Dr. Barnes, the collection, history, the location, and about specific paintings. They have an app where you can use your phone to scan the art and it'll tell you all about it (look for the QR code signage when entering the exhibit after the cafè). They have a coat check (required), and very nice and clean bathrooms. Don't forget to go upstairs to admire the rest of the collection!

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