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View of Collection Gallery and Gallery Garden from Light Court, the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, 2012, photo by Tom Crane
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Barnes Foundation

MEET THE NEW BARNES: SAME AS THE OLD BARNES -- ONLY BETTER
by Jerry Saltz

After a half-century of misguided intentions, a will interpreted every which way, deteriorating infrastructure, neighbors wanting it gone then wanting it back again, and outrage over the thought that art should ever be viewed under any rules but its owner’s, one of the greatest and Frenchest and most oddly displayed collections of post-Impressionism and early Modernism is back on view. The roughly 800 paintings in the Barnes collection have been reinstalled precisely as Albert Barnes hung them, tightly crowded and flanked by odd bits of hardware and other hoarded artifacts, in a meh-looking new building on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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