Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

4.4
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
4,651 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Having visited the museum in the original house in Merion, PA, I was eager to visit its new home in the city. Reading about the controversy that surrounded the move from the stately mansion that Dr. A...  more »
  • I’m a member of the Barnes and, as an Art Historian, I can’t get enough of it. The architecture and the grounds are stunning, the art is breathtaking, and the restaurant is sheer elegance. A must-see ...  more »
  • It's so nice that the Barnes collection is now in downtown Philadelphia. Dr. Barnes had amassed one of the most amazing collections I've ever seen. He must have the most Renoir's under one roof in the...  more »
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  • Amazing collection and the new facility is beautifully designed and the galleries really do look like the original one one that Barnes designed. I was surprised that there is virtually nothing mentioned about Dr. Barnes and how he acquired and curated the art. I overheard some of the docents refer to him as being "crazy" which I thought was really disrespectful and inaccurate. Eccentric genius is more like it. The experience of arriving and entering the museum is less than seamless. We opted for the $20 valet parking. The sign for the valet parking is so tiny! We drove right by it and had to go around the block. Upon entering the museum, we were assaulted by the guards telling us that we need to check our bags. Fair enough, but let people enter the lobby and take in their surroundings before telling them the rules. The restaurant was very nice and the food was good, but only one egg dish for brunch?? The galleries themselves were lovely and intimate, but noisy! Large groups and kids should be reminded to speak softly so everyone can enjoy the art. When we went to pick up the car, we were told we had to go back into the museum, WAIT IN THE TICKET LINE TO GET A TICKET, and then present that ticket to the valet...even though we had an e-ticket on my phone. I paid for the convenience of valet parking and had to go through a ridiculously inconvenient procedure to leave the museum. Get it together Barnes Museum!!!
  • The Barnes Foundation offers close-quarters interaction with a truly extraordinary collection of art and objects. You will recognize plenty of master artists and their work, especially by Impressionists. In the quality of work on display by very famous artists, this is a great experience. However, you may feel that it's all over too quickly for the high price of admission. The overall footprint of the permanent collection is small when compared to many other art museums, and it's easy to walk through and finish in an hour. Its a very linear flow and not much of an adventure. I would recommend taking the audio tour to understand and appreciate the collection more, get a look inside the salon-style arrangement of pieces, take your time, and ask questions! With this approach, you can get more out of your trip. Architecturally speaking, the building is gorgeous.
  • An excellent collection of the just the right size for a single visit. The structure of themed rooms creates a very structured presentation. The works can both stand out and be compared. It's gets crowded fast so get there at opening time before the lines.
  • The exhibits would be cool if it weren’t for the fact that I was made to feel like a criminal at every step of the way. After the third time I was yelled at for actually not doing anything against their policy, it became clear that Family Day was anything but. I think I’d like this more if it weren’t for how crappy every single employee here made me feel.
  • Aggressively protective of their collection... had to be told the exact etiquette before entering which makes it feel like they treat their visitors as if none of them has ever set foot in any other major museums/collections before(???) The policy on only allowing pictures to be taken from sitting on the bench is pathetic. Definitely not the first-rate works from the first-rate artists... but all in all constitutes a impressively large-sized, varied collection. The way of displaying is overwhelming, non-selective, and almost challenging for some visitors who is not completely familiar with art in those periods( and they intend to keep it that way for their enjoyment) It is hard to know the director’s intentions and ambitions from this almost frustrating visiting experience. A great range of products at the gift shop.
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