The Barnes Collection 2013

Expand/Collapse The Barnes Collection 2013


The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” Located at three campuses in the Philadelphia area, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more.

  • African Art

    In the Barnes Foundation art collection, form, rather than the cultural context in which the works of art were created, is emphasized. Dr. Barnes arranged his collection so that African masks are positioned next to European paintings. This allows viewers to compare the forms of the two styles of art and note the similarities between the paintings and the masks. This video, an excerpt from the documentary “The Barnes Collection,” explains Dr. Barnes' interest in form, and shows African masks and sculptures next to European paintings.

    Grades: 6-7,9-12
  • African Art (Part 1)

    Students will come away with a deeper understanding of form as it pertains to two mediums, painting and sculpture in The Barnes Collection. The idea that form cuts across the artistic mediums as an organizing principle is a broad concept we aim to get across to students. In this section, the emphasis is on FORM over the context/cultures from which these pieces came. This image gallery emphasizes that art work from cultures outside of Europe is valid and important, and that aesthetic concepts like form can be seen in works besides paintings.

    Grades: 6-12
  • African Art (Part 2)

    Students will come away with a deeper understanding of form as it pertains to two mediums, painting and sculpture in The Barnes Collection. The idea that form cuts across the artistic mediums as an organizing principle is a broad concept we aim to get across to students. In this section, the emphasis is on FORM over the context/cultures from which these pieces came. This image gallery emphasizes that art work from cultures outside of Europe is valid and important, and that aesthetic concepts like form can be seen in works besides paintings.

     

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Shapes (Part 1)

    Students will come away with an understanding of how to look at a painting to better understand its composition by finding shapes in the arrangement of the figures on the canvas. The concepts of how a work of art is composed and how shapes across works can echo one another and how a viewer can establish commonalities and relationships will be emphasized. When Dr. Barnes bought these paintings in 1921, a lot of Americans did not understand Cubism. This series of images emphasizes looking at paintings for aesthetics rather than for stories.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Shapes (Part 2)

    Students will come away with an understanding of how to look at a painting to better understand its composition by finding shapes in the arrangement of the figures on the canvas. The concepts of how a work of art is composed and how shapes across works can echo one another and how a viewer can establish commonalities and relationships will be emphasized. When Dr. Barnes bought these paintings in 1921, a lot of Americans did not understand Cubism. This series of images emphasizes looking at paintings for aesthetics rather than for stories.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Education Today

    Dr. Barnes had a very particular way of looking at art. By examining formal elements in a painting such as color, line, shape, or balance, Dr. Barnes endeavored to find an almost objective method of judging a painting. In this video, an excerpt from “The Barnes Collection,” watch students learn to identify shapes in paintings both by looking for forms drawn with paint and by looking at the arrangement of figures in a picture.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Ensembles (Part 1)

    Students will come away with a deeper understanding of how Barnes approached looking at art, and in his words “How to Judge a Painting.” Students will be introduced to Barnes’ concept of “The Ensemble” – gaining a better idea of how Barnes approached grouping art works together, how he constructed the wall hanging arrangements in the galleries, and the introduction of furniture and ironworks into the ensemble.   Students will be exposed to the concepts of symmetry, balance and rhythm in the gallery. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Ensembles (Part 2)

    Students will come away with a deeper understanding of how Barnes approached looking at art, and in his words “How to Judge a Painting.” Students will be introduced to Barnes’ concept of “The Ensemble” – gaining a better idea of how Barnes approached grouping art works together, how he constructed the wall hanging arrangements in the galleries, and the introduction of furniture and ironworks into the ensemble.   Students will be exposed to the concepts of symmetry, balance and rhythm in the gallery. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Ensembles (Part 3)

    Students will come away with a deeper understanding of how Barnes approached looking at art, and in his words “How to Judge a Painting.” Students will be introduced to Barnes’ concept of “The Ensemble” – gaining a better idea of how Barnes approached grouping art works together, how he constructed the wall hanging arrangements in the galleries, and the introduction of furniture and ironworks into the ensemble.   Students will be exposed to the concepts of symmetry, balance and rhythm in the gallery. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • An Ensemble of Collectors

    Dr. Barnes worked with several art dealers to buy paintings for his collection. These dealers contributed to Dr. Barnes' knowledge and appreciation of art. While the doctor had strong relationships with some of these men, he also argued with some of them, which affected how he was able to purchase artwork.  This video, an excerpt from “The Barnes Collection,” describes how Dr. Barnes began his art collection, and details his relationships with dealers including Durand-Ruel, Ambroise Vollard, and Paul Guillaume.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Letter from Dr. Barnes to Durand-Ruel

    Dr. Barnes worked with several art dealers to buy paintings for his collection. These dealers contributed to Dr. Barnes' knowledge and appreciation of art. While the doctor had strong relationships with some of these men, he also argued with some of them, which affected how he was able to purchase artwork. In this letter, Dr. Barnes discusses his goals for his art collection, saying “As you know it is my intention to have only important paintings in my collection.” The letter also reveals some of Dr. Barnes' business practices: he would return paintings he didn't want or grew tired of for a refund or for credit towards new paintings.

    Grades: 6-12

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