Today I want to follow up on my affection for the Barnes Foundation and share some resources so curious readers can learn more. The video above is from the classic children’s film Mary Poppins, telling the story of a magical nanny who added joy and whimzy into everyday life. When I write about art appreciation and/or showcase certain works in a single post, I allude to how art moves me. This video does a great job showing how one can become one with art. As a little girl seeing the film watching this movie for the first time, I became enchanted with this scene and this sense of awe never left me. My enchantment grows as I anticipate the fall Matisse class. While recently contacted about getting familiar with the online process I was informed all students can visit in person for free!
The Barnes Foundation, established in 1922, has one of the largest and greatest collections of impressionistic , post -impressionistic and early modernist paintings on the planet. It is also an educational institution featuring both horticulture and art appreciation. It also reflects Barnes` avant garde arrangement of the pieces that defies convention and must be seen to be experienced. I had a few friends who lived a couple blocks away from the original location in Merion PA and have been there for several visits. It is a place I have celebrated with many friends and family. The setting was intimate, exciting, and simply glorious. Showcased within this post is some of the artwork exhibited at the Barnes. I feel very lucky to live so close to this treasure but was not happy when the move was made to downtown Philadelphia on the site of the former DHS Youth Study Center ( juvenile detention center ). My history with the YSC is complicated, but leaving that aside, I was worried that the negativity of incarceration would taint the magnificent Barnes energy. I have visited the new site once and still found it lovely but some of the charm was gone. However the central location gives more access to visitors and that is a good thing.
During my last visit I got lost and was rescued by a kind soul . I also viewed a compelling performance by Cambodian dancers. However, my introduction to the Collector ( see below) was the highlight for me. This film on Albert Barnes’ biography showed how the artist looked at nature or any real presentation and how their vision morphed into a multi textured creation. The film actually showed you the transformation. Seurat was also featured with a brilliant explanation of pointillism at another level ~ how everything is changing and interconnected and how the points are actually particles. Very quantum indeed! Below you will see the video of The Collector along with two links on psychosynthesis and pointillism, topics prominently featured in the film. I highly recommend you visit both of them:
This next film is about the politics of the Barnes Foundation and how key players manipulated the outcome to disregard Barnes’ wishes and relocate from Merion to Philadelphia’s Art Museum District. It is actually much better than it sounds, especially if you enjoy history and political theater mixed in with culture. Let me know what you think about the films and resources in the comments section!
images courtesy of wikipedia.org, public domain