The Barnes Foundation - this gallery and collection houses one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and the then evolving modernist collections in the world is a vast understatement. It is a magnificent offering into the evolution of transformative art.
Dr. Albert Barnes began his collection in 1912 The walls are covered in Renior's, Matisse's, Picasso's, Cezanne's and even one Pissario. It is the most numerous collection of Renior's in the world with over 181 of his creations as well as 69 from Cezanne. The Foundation is currently including a special exhibit that focuses on the history and influence of Pierre-Auguste Renior the "painter" and his son - Jean Renoir the ceramic artist and influential "film-maker" of the mid 20th century.
Walls covered in paintings and artifacts. The collection stands today as Dr. Barnes left it. When you walk the floors and then enter the individual rooms you notice and find that everyday objects are placed by priceless paintings. A key - a door hinge - a candle or a couple of candles and a bowl sitting under a Picasso.
Picasso - Young Woman Holding a Cigarette
You see - the images that are represented are often just everyday, traditional or ordinary situations or objects but rendered remarkable by the artists and depicted as such through their talents leaving us with lasting "Impressions". Recognizing, realizing and recreating through their talent and imagination the beauty of the ordinary. If we could all do as well.
Degas Cezanne Van Gogh
I was also fortunate to visit during the special exhibition - Renoir !!
It was exploring the relationship and sometimes contentious ongoings between Auguste Renior and his son Jean Renoir. What I found fascinating was the Sr. Renior had used Jean as a model - a subject for his work. Published in magazines and used in photo ops.....to see the actual original paintings along side the stories that surfaced years later was incredible. Here are a couple of examples !
Finally - to watch parts of Jean Renior's films - as in Grand Illusion or A Day in the Country .....to see the cinematic influence that his father had on his artistry - and feel it in real time was extraordinary ---- the colors - the vibrancy - the impressions of delight - watching "paintings" coming to life.....artistry in action.
There are many - many - many things to see and visit in Philadelphia. The historical significance is incredible but it also has a world class collection of museums that house some of the finest art works in the world. If you are a fan of impressionistic and modern paintings the Barnes Foundation is a must on your list. You will be overwhelmed !!!!! So enjoy !!!
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.