April 26, 2011

#43 The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is currently looking to move to Center City from tiny little mainline Merion Station. I thought I should see it in the original setting described by the 1000 Places book. The second floor gallery is already closed, and the first floor gallery is jam-packed with stuff. One thing I didn't care for was that there were no information placards next to any of the art. Just a small plaque with the artist's name fixed to the frame. Even without the placards they have an amazing collections. Tons of Cezanne, van Gogh, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and, my personal favorite, Seurat.

Seurat painted primarily in pointillism which is a method that uses tiny dots of individual color to create the picture. His most famous work (and my very favorite painting ever) is A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, it hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago and was made famous in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Seurat's Masterpiece\

The Barnes Foundation has a small study of that painting, plus a couple of additional Seurat's. Among them was

Georges Seurat: 1886 Entrée du port de Honfleur 1c - The Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA – Artchive
My new favorite. I loved that I was able to stand close enough to see every single dot, and far enough away that it all blended together. I probably stood if front of that painting long enough to make security nervous, but it blew me away.

Both these photos were taken by others. The Barnes Foundation doesn't allow photographs inside the gallery.

The Barnes Foundation also has an arboretum. When I left the house I thought about how unfortunate the weather was: wet, raining, miserable; but by the time I actually went outside to wander the grounds the rain had basically stopped and left everything dripping and glistening. An added benefit was that no one else was out there looking around. I got some pictures that I'm really happy with.