Barnes Collection

Apr 5th, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
Barnes Collection

We just spent 10 days in NYC and went to Philadelphia for a few days. Stayed with a friend who had reserved tickets for us for the Barnes Collection. The collection is a must for anyone interested in art, although I am not crazy about the modern building that encases the reproduction of the original rooms. I would even consider visiting it on a day trip from NYC, taking a Bolt bus (reservations recommended) from 34th St. & 8th Ave. in the morning and coming back early in the evening.

If staying in Philadelphia, I recommend Scannichio's Restaurant (2500South Broad St.) for a good and relatively inexpensive meal ($161 for three appetizers, 3 main courses, three desserts, including tip); bring your own wine or beer.
Michael is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 12:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,963
I'm glad I got to see it before they ripped it from it's home.
I hope the ghost of Dr.Barnes haunts the dreams of those thieves.
logandog is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 06:06 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
logandog, you're entitled to your opinion, of course, but frankly I think the fact that now many more people can view the amazing collection thanin the old place makes it very worthwhile. And while the exterior of the building is modern, the inside is virtually an exact replica of the original, right down to the exact placement of the art on the walls according to Dr. Barnes original layout. There aren't many museums that would give that much attention to preserving the integrity of a private collection.

There's a reason the new museum has already won so many awards, and I'm fascinated by how "green" the entire project was, right down to the floors being made from old Coney Island boardwalks.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 07:38 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
Wow! $55 per person for a meal is relatively inexpensive?
Cranachin is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 08:46 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,963
I believe that The Elgin Marbles would be best viewed en situ in Greece.
Perhaps we should uplift Stonehenge and plant it Trafalgar so more people could view it.
logandog is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 09:51 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
Wow! $55 per person for a meal is relatively inexpensive?

Normally we never need a doggy bag. Here we did. The portions are generous and the quality was good with the fish dish outstanding.
Michael is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 10:00 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
but frankly I think the fact that now many more people can view the amazing collection than in the old place makes it very worthwhile

I think that something is lost in the exchange. The replication of the African granary door (see Permanent Collection for a false representation of Barnes vis-àvis AFrican art) over the outside entrance and the other details no longer exist. The central room definitely does not have the same wow effect being in a hall that's accessed through an even larger hall. It's as if Annenberg finally lords it over Barnes (see The Art of the Steal.

But the one thing that stands out far better than in the old building is the incredible collection of Indian pottery located in the sitting area near the cloakroom.
Michael is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
"I believe that The Elgin Marbles would be best viewed en situ in Greece.
Perhaps we should uplift Stonehenge and plant it Trafalgar so more people could view."

Well it's pretty hard to argue with such "brilliant" reasoning as that, so I won't bother to try.

logandog, the new Barnes is receiving rave accolades from all over including some of the most prestigious art "critics" and organization in the world. But of course, their views are meaningless compared to yours.

And yes, I DO realize you have your right to shun it -- as I pointed out before. Just as I have my right to praise it. As someone who never made it to the old one (a nearly impossible feat in itself), I really appreciate the fantastic job they have done making this collection accessible to us "peasants".
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 05:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 361
I agree that it is somewhat sad that clearly documented wishes of Dr. Barnes are no longer possible. He wanted his collection to be viewed in his estate in the specific way that he wanted it presented. That said it became increasingly impractical to carry that mission forward. I was fortunate enough to see the collection at the estate and have not made it to the new location - it is on my to do list. It is great that more people will see it now - truly an amazing collection and very diverse. And it is next door to the Rodin museum so day trippers can see both if they are so inclined.
familythattravels is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 09:14 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
I agree that it is somewhat sad that clearly documented wishes of Dr. Barnes are no longer possible.

That was not that clear according to the admittedly biased documentary The Art of the Steal, where it was pointed out that the State's contribution to the move would have provided enough for the essential renovations of the original site.
Michael is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 09:27 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
Michael, care to talk about the neighborhood issues at the old site? You know, parking, traffic, and the very limiting issues of allowing the public there much at all.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 11:33 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,963
I took the bus,two bucks from downtown and a five minute walk.
logandog is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 02:09 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
Limited parking, although we were given parking access when making a reservation. But that is true of other art collections, such as the Fondation Maeght near Nice. Not everything should be immediately accessible, and when we speak of general public access, we tend to forget that this was not the primary purpose of the Barnes Foundation. Barnes saw it as a educational venue for disadvantaged children. I wonder how much of that remains of his intent?
Michael is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 06:02 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
Interesting question, Michael. I'd be curious how many disadvantaged children saw the collection this year as opposed to previous years at the old venue. My money would be on "many more".
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 09:09 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,963
Neooooo... Neooo Patrick.
This is the ghost of Dr. Barnes and his little dog.
We had the foresight to collect this art and we made our wishes clear. You and your ilk have thwarted us.

Neooooo.... this is the ghost of Henri Matisse. I painted those dancers just for this place, why did you move them?

Neeeooo..this is the ghost of Renoir. Don't you think my later work was maudlin and....
Sorry, wrong dream.
logandog is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 11:53 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
I'd be curious how many disadvantaged children saw the collection this year as opposed to previous years at the old venue

But probably not as Barnes would have wanted it.
Michael is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 04:38 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
So a man who died over sixty years ago somehow knew the best way his collection could meet even his own goals in the future? It's not the first time a man couldn't predict how his estate should or would be managed over half a century later. Her's a surprise. Society changes.

By the way, I had never even heard of the Barnes Collection until it opened in the new location. I saw it, I returned. I'm now a member and take guests. I guess I'm typical of the "riff raff" you and the other "purists" wish could have been kept away. Sorry to have spoiled your little secret, but I'm happy.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 07:44 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 228
Much like the Louisiana in Denmark, the original Barnes was more than the art on the walls (and the way it was hung). The landscape, the greenhouse, the specimens were part of the experience, both when wandering the grounds and when looking out from the galleries' windows. That cannot be replicated on the Parkway.

So, yes, I agree that access is important and has improved. But achieving that has not come without a price to the patron experience.
MLTimes is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 07:49 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
I guess I'm typical of the "riff raff" you and the other "purists" wish could have been kept away

You are making wild assumptions.
Michael is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 08:07 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,722
Not too wild an assumption (other than calling myself riff-raff), as we are clearly typical of the many people who are now enjoying the Barnes who never would have in the old venue. And clearly from your posts, that would have been preferable to you than making the move, adding a bigger more complete facility and greatly increasing access to the collection. Seems pretty clear to me.

And yes, I'll be the first to agree that perhaps sometimes when things expand, move, or add significantly to their programs, something DOES get lost. Sadly, that's progress.
NeoPatrick is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:25 AM.