Note: the Barnes Foundation building in Merion closed in July 2011. The art collection is now displayed in its new building in Center City, Philadelphia. The Merion location will reopen in the late summer of 2012 as the home of the beautiful Arboretum and to its horticulture program.
Assembled by Dr. Albert Barnes, this can’t-miss stop for Impressionist fans has more than 180 Renoirs (by far the most in the world in a single location), 70 Cézannes, two dozen Picassos, and lots of other works by all the great masters of the late 19th century.
The walls of the rooms displaying the collection are dense with art – the paintings and other works are arranged exactly as specified by Dr. Barnes, who arranged them at the original Merion Campus in combinations that he felt would lead students to understand and appreciate fine art. The new building preserves the same room arrangements, though with additional rooms for such things as showing movies.
The Philadelphia campus sits on a beautifully landscaped, 4.5-acre site on the north side of Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the heart of downtown’s cultural corridor. The site is part of Philadelphia’s 9,200 acre city-wide park system, known as Fairmount Park.
The Merion campus is surrounded by a 12-acre arboretum. The horticulture program and library, and the institutional archives, are based here.
Barnes Foundation Information
- Other Venue: Merion Campus: 300 North Latchs Lane, Merion (610-667-0290)
- Public Transportation: Philadelphia Campus (a short walk from buses 7, 32, 38, and 48 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway/North 21st Street and bus 33 at Callowhill Street/North 20th Street). Merion Campus (accessible by bus 65 at Lincoln Highway/Lapsley Lane and bus 44 at Old Lancaster Road/North Latchs Lane)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good at both locations
- Hours: Philadelphia Campus: Wednesday–Monday 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. (open Fridays until 10 p.m.); closed Tuesdays. Merion Campus: Closed until late summer 2012
- Admission: Philadelphia Campus: Adults $18, Seniors (65+) $15, Students/Youth (17 and younger or full time students) $10; Free for members and children (0–5). Merion Campus: TBA
- Tour: Philadelphia Campus: Free with cost of admission. Docent-led tours are available on a regular basis and last one hour. Merion Campus: TBA
- Membership: Patron ($90–$149); Contributor ($150–$249); Supporter ($250–$499); Sustainer ($500–$999); Circle Member ($1,000–$2,499); Circle Supporter ($2,500–$4,999); Circle Patron ($5,000–$9,999); Director’s Circle ($10,000–$24,999); Chairman’s Circle ($25,000+). Member benefits include unlimited free admission; priority access to tickets; permanent status as a Founding Member; member-only line for priority entry into the collection; exclusive lectures and programs; previews of special exhibitions; a 50% discount on guided tours of the collection; a 10% discount on education classes and in the shop (in-store and online); discounted parking; a subscription to the monthly e-newsletter; and more.