rodin museum thinker statue
20 December 2017

A Day At The Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia is home to some of the world’s most impressive art museums. The famous Rocky steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art may be the most popular tourist destination as far as museums are concerned, but this impressive museum is only one of several which house billions of dollars worth of artwork from all over the world. The Barnes Foundation is another impressive collection and is home to over 4,000 objects, primarily from Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modernist artists. Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers recently visited this sprawling museum and want to share some of the highlights from our trip.

The Barnes Collection

The Barnes Collection is the Foundation’s permanent collection of various forms of artwork from all over the globe. It features one of the world’s largest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern European paintings, including large exhibits from prominent artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. This collection also houses a variety of art from Africa, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting and wrought-iron metalwork.

This collection is organized in a unique way – you’ll see famous paintings by Van Gogh and Picasso displayed next to ordinary household objects like door hinges, spatulas, and yarn spinners. A French medieval sculpture is displayed next to a Navajo textile. While these pieces may seem opposite at first, this arrangement was intentional. Dr. Barnes assembled the collection himself and wanted to show visitors the similarities between arts and crafts from different cultures which most of us don’t notice. The entire exhibit is arranged this way, with objects from different cultures, time periods, and media displayed close together.

Kiefer Rodin

Running through March 12, 2018, the Kiefer Rodin exhibition features artwork created by famous German artist Anselm Kiefer, which have been inspired by the sculptures, drawings, and writing of legendary French sculptor Auguste Rodin. This exhibition was organized with assistance from Paris’ Musée Rodin. It also celebrates the 100th anniversary of Rodin’s death and is one of many worldwide tributes to the artist currently on display.

This exhibition was first conceived of in 2013, when the Musée Rodin began researching a project for revisiting Rodin’s book Cathedrals of France through a new interpretation by a contemporary artist. Kiefer took this project on and the plan for a reissued book eventually grew into a plan for a full exhibition featuring new art inspired by the iconic sculptor.

In Kiefer Rodin, Kiefer’s new works are displayed alongside Rodin’s original works, including many rarely seen plasters. The intention is to encourage visitors to think of both artists in new ways. According to the Barnes Foundation’s website, the exhibit explores two main common themes between the artists: their mutual love for architectural ruins and a creative process based on mutability.


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