Barnes Collection

Apr 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #21  
 
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I had mixed feeling when I read that the Barnes Collection had moved. I had visited the old site numerous times and my memory is of crowded rooms with tons of people peering over shoulders to see the paintings. I can't remember where we parked our car or that it had been difficult, but it must have created problems for the nearby residents.

Times do indeed change and while it is sad that things could no longer remain the way Dr Barnes envisioned his collection to be seen, it sounds like an effort has been made to create the original ambience. Certainly the new location, will give more people access to this wonderful art collection.

Many great estates in Europe were closed to the general public a hundred yrs ago, but events have allowed us plebians to see these wonderful homes and grounds. Barnes could not envision the future, but I believe the change in location was for the best. I look forward to visiting the collection this fall in its new location.

It sounds like we need reservations to see the collection. Is that true?
annetti is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #22  
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I'm now a member and take guests

And in keeping with Barnes' original intent, please invite some young residents of West Philly as guests from time to time.
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Apr 7th, 2013, 08:32 AM
  #23  
 
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Pretty much most young residents of West Philly (so long as they are still in school) have already been to the new venue or soon will be. The school field trip program there is huge!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 08:37 AM
  #24  
 
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Oh, but my membership donation helps pay for those programs, so in a sense you can say I AM taking some young West Philly guests.
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Apr 7th, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #25  
 
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I see reservations are recommended on the Barnes website. How important is it that we make them?
annetti is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 02:34 PM
  #26  
 
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I would treat reservations as a necessity, not a recommendation.
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Apr 7th, 2013, 03:06 PM
  #27  
 
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Thank you, ML. How far in advance do I need to make them? Rather what would be the minimum time I could get away with, assuming it is mid week and not a holiday period?
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Apr 7th, 2013, 04:23 PM
  #28  
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The day we went there no more tickets were available for walk-ins.
Michael is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 04:26 PM
  #29  
 
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Thanks, Michael. I guess we will play it safe and make reservations.
annetti is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 06:45 PM
  #30  
 
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I believe you can also change your reservations if need be, but do check with the Foundation itself.

I, too, saw it at the old location and must agree that it was the totality of the experience that MLTimes mentioned which made visiting so pleasurable. I had visited twice before the removal to Philadelphia and had so wanted to visit it one more time in its original location, but just wasn't able to do so.

Late last year I had planned to visit the collection in its new location, having had many doubts as to what could be accomplished by a relocation, but again wasn't able to visit, so thank you, Michael, for bringing it up so I can put it on my calendar for this year.

I am most curious as to what happened to the Matisse work on the ceiling and walls that was so marvelous to behold in the main gallery. Was it moved to the new location? How were they able to move it? Or did it remain at the mansion?
easytraveler is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 06:46 PM
  #31  
 
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Hi, annetti! Are you back on the east coast again?
Make your reservations as soon as you know when you'll be in the city.

My kids are reluctant museum goers but I was able to convince them to visit the new Barnes when we were in the city. They loved it. I would not have had the same success if the museum was still out in Merion.
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Apr 7th, 2013, 09:19 PM
  #32  
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I am most curious as to what happened to the Matisse work on the ceiling and walls that was so marvelous to behold in the main gallery.

The Matisse work was moved.
Michael is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 09:40 PM
  #33  
 
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Wow, Michael!

However in the world did they do that?!!
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Apr 7th, 2013, 11:06 PM
  #34  
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I don't know the details, but it is commonly done with old frescoes for preservation purposes. This fresco in the church is only a copy, the original has been moved to the Catalan National Museum in Barcelona:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...57623190654780
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Apr 8th, 2013, 08:35 AM
  #35  
 
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Hi Birdie, no, not on the East coast now, but planning ahead for a trip this fall when we will be in NY.
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Apr 8th, 2013, 09:39 AM
  #36  
 
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Annetti, since you have some flexibility, why not look at the calendar on the Barnes site occasionally, and reserve when choices start dwindling.

~Liz
elberko is offline  
Apr 8th, 2013, 09:48 AM
  #37  
 
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Last year I tried to book in August for the Thanksgiving weekend and it was already too late, but, obviously, that is a very busy weekend. When we took a shot at just walking in they told us that a few tickets had been "turned in" earlier, so I do think you can give up tickets you've reserved, most likely without penalty as they know they'll resell them.

As for the new location, I wish I had seen the collection in its old digs, but am glad that more visitors can enjoy it in its current location. I have mixed feelings about honoring the original collector's wishes if those wishes significantly restrict the number of people who can view the art.
NewbE is offline  
Apr 8th, 2013, 11:30 AM
  #38  
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I have mixed feelings about honoring the original collector's wishes if those wishes significantly restrict the number of people who can view the art.

Access to the museum is still restricted to about 800 visitors per day during the week and about 1000 per day on weekends. That's the nature of the museum; the rooms are not that big.

If the original collector's wishes were not following at least to the point of reconstructing exactly as they were the rooms of the original building (there are corridor modifications), the collection would not be seen as it exists.

How many Renoirs would a fine arts museum exhibit at the same time? Or Cézannes? Or Pendergrast and Demuth? Never heard of the last two?--my point exactly. Would a fine arts museum with an overwhelming European collection include Indian pottery and rugs, African masks, 18th cent. Pennsylvania Dutch chests, Southwest votaries? All these would be de-accessed in no time. However crazy the personal vision of Barnes, it offers an eclectic collection that would not remain together had the courts not imposed the duplication of the original exhibit space.
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Apr 8th, 2013, 11:33 AM
  #39  
 
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It might also be noted that people who died over 60 years ago, had no idea what developments would be made in art preservation and presentation. It's pretty well understood that the lighting in the new facility is amazing and provides for much better viewing -- would Barnes have approved? Quite possibly if such lighting was available in his day, yes, he would have installed it. But who knows? And the new facility even has special window glass to prevent any damaging rays to the paintings -- not so in the old facility. Perhaps Barnes didn't want his collection to last terribly long, but again if so, his wishes have been denied, because the paintings will survive much longer now.
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Apr 8th, 2013, 12:42 PM
  #40  
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It might also be noted that people who died over 60 years ago, had no idea what developments would be made in art preservation and presentation.

True of any major collection in a building that was constructed before W.W.II--the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Louvre, etc. etc. Somehow these buildings were upgraded--at least I'm sure that the security of the Gardner Museum was changed.
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