For years I’ve been writing that this may be the very last chance to see the Barnes Foundation collection in its original home in Merion, Pa., but it looks like this is really really that last chance. The Foundation’s website says it will move to Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia in 2012. Tonight, I started thinking about all that great art that will be on the Parkway.
Construction started in the fall and is expected to be complete at the end of this year. The two-story, 93,000-square-foot building, with an additional level below grade, will house the Foundation’s collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, African sculpture, Pennsylvania Dutch decorative arts, and other important works. The collection will be displayed in 12,000 square feet of exhibition space that replicates the scale, proportion and configuration of the original galleries in Merion. The galleries will include a classroom on each floor to facilitate teaching, as well as an internal garden. In addition, vastly improved lighting will enable visitors to see the art in a more natural setting.
Read more about Albert C. Barnes and the Foundation he started here.