A Day Trip to the Barnes Foundation

Old Oct 25th, 2018, 12:30 PM
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A Day Trip to the Barnes Foundation

We are D (72) and G (82) and we love art. Neither of us is interested in driving 2.5+ hours from Annapolis Md area to Philadelphia PA so we decided to take the Amtrak train.

First things first, G got entry tickets to the Barnes: $28 each for seniors with an 11:00 a.m. entry. There are free days but we couldn't coordinate our own free days!

G also wanted to visit Independence Hall and see the Liberty Bell. So D got tour for $1.50 each at 3:40 p.m.

We talked again about train times and how we could get to Philly: not too early but build in some wiggle room. We settled for 8:22 a.m. from BWI arriving in Philly at 9:50. Returning, would be at 5:38 to about 7:14. These cost $76 each.

We met in Annapolis at 7 and I drove us to the BWI Amtrak Station. A new (to us) route from Annapolis was north on rte. 97, west on rte. 100, first exit to 170 and then left onto rte. 995 which took us to Amtrak Way. Less than 1/2 from Annpolis.
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Old Oct 25th, 2018, 05:09 PM
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I was on Amtrak to Philly from Williamsburg last Fri returning Monday. It’s so much nicer than driving. Didn’t get to the Barnes on this trip but did get to see the Nemours mansion in Wilmington.
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Old Oct 26th, 2018, 06:06 AM
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So....What did you think of the Barnes?
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Old Oct 27th, 2018, 11:12 AM
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Oh Birdie, I loved Nemours. And, all of the duPont houses really. Hagley Museum, the first home/plant is fascinating as well.

OK, schmerl, DH, another couple and I visited the original many years ago. Although I was impressed by the number of works, the arrangement felt cluttered. I also found the metal pieces distracting. We felt that the staff was off-putting as well!

That being said, I was amazed at the new building.

There was another shallow pebble pond on the other side of the entry. I read online that the new building is about 10 times larger than the original. The original's arboretum remains and I think the old home has study/research facilities.

The inside is beyond spacious. There are 2 coffee stands and a regular resto. Do make reservations for the restaurant. G and I started at 11 and at 12:30 needed a break but the resto was full. We split a very good ham and brie sandwich from the stand upstairs.

The arrangments have been conscientiously duplicated. A wall plan is provided in each room (and there are over 20 rooms) and there are plenty of benches for one to sit and view. I found some of the paintings dark--in need of cleaning? Or just dark? G mentioned that fans of Renoir should not miss the Barnes. Indeed, there are 181 by him...followed by 69 of Cezanne's! There were 7 van Gogh's--that was a surprise as my memory was that he only sold a couple.

I liked this one:


We visited the Morisot also. One didn't need a separate ticket. G appreciates Morisot more than I but it was great seeing so many of her works and how they changed over the years.


I liked this one showing Manet (her bother in law). There was a series showing women doing domestic chores that G and I both liked very much. Our fave is under glass--a child telling her nanny a story--so I didn't get a good shot.

We left at 3 for our 3:40 tour of Independence Hall.

Last edited by TDudette; Oct 27th, 2018 at 11:13 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Oct 28th, 2018, 06:10 AM
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I'm glad you enjoyed the Barnes. I visited the old site, but even though I live in the Phila. suburbs, I have not been to the new site!
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Old Oct 28th, 2018, 08:17 AM
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schmerl, I think you will enjoy it.

At 3, we hailed a cab and went to Independence Hall. We walked along the Liberty Bell area--a long covered building with lots of information on the walls. We were in time for the 3:20 Independence Hall tour so waited until our time. If you order your tickets online, stop at the Information Center to get tickets.


The building had been Colonial Philadelphia's Capitol. The tour included 2 rooms and was interesting. The docent talked about the disarray the U.S. was after the revolution and Shay's Rebellion that made changes needed. I didn't feel ghosts this time.

Hailed another cab back to the train station and split another sandwich at Pret a Manger; chicken and guac.

To wrap it up: If you love Renoir and Impressionism, do visit The Barnes. I'd say this trip cost each of us $150+ each with train and tourist tickets, cabs and meals. More than the cost of gas and parking, but more than compensated by not driving. G has Uber but we didn't use it.
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