A Shameless Plug for the Barnes Foundation



Reagan Wish Staff Writer

Most Villanova students know about the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Between the Rocky Steps and the classic, massive architecture, the building is iconic. But far fewer students know about the Barnes Foundation. 

The Barnes Foundation is a collection of works that belonged to Doctor Albert Barnes, who in his lifetime amassed an enormous collection of pieces within all genres and time periods. Some of the most heavily featured art comes from impressionist, post-impressionist and early modernist periods, but also crucial to the Barnes’ collection is African sculpture and American furniture and decorative art. And every piece is indeed crucial—Dr. Barnes was exceedingly particular about the arrangement of his collection, so particular, in fact, that he had it written into his will that the art must stay organized as he decided. 

So why would you, a busy student who has not even heard of Dr. Barnes or his foundation, want to visit this collection? Well, it’s nothing like any other museum you have seen before. Walking into the Barnes Foundation’s galleries is like taking a trip into the mind of Dr. Barnes. The galleries are set up with no obvious rhyme or reason, and each wall is intricately packed with art. Art museums can be scary, with all the art behind glass and isolated on white walls, but the Barnes isn’t like that at all. The Barnes is arranged like a home, and you’ll feel welcome there—whether you’re an art buff or not.